2011-11-24 German Pirate Party shuts down Piratepad server after child porn allegations

The entire Piratepad service provided by the German Pirate Party has been shut down after a Berlin based newspaper, Tagesspiegel, received a "dubious e mail" saying that one of the public pads contained links to child pornography. Once the Pirate Party was notified, it immediately shut down the pad in question and reported the case to the police. Berlin State Police subsequently recommended to suspend the entire service to prevent further abuse; the party followed this advice and shut down the Piratepad server, including pads used by its own working groups.

According to § 184b StGB, it is illegal to possess child pornography, and to make it accessible. It is not uncommon for internet users to report such cases to the police in Germany, as any failure to do so could be interpreted as complicity.

The Piratepad service made headlines earlier this year, when the Offenbach based server was confiscated by Darmstadt prosecutors shortly before state elections in Bremen. The raid was motivated by allegations that instructions for a denial of service attack appeared on one of the pads. The Pirate Party filed a complaint about the way the case was handled. Darmstadt District Court would later acknowledge procedural errors.

A few months later, the Pirate Party won 8.9% at Berlin state elections.

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