Germany uses AI to target online content for removal, send data to police

It's already being used to target adult content.

Stay informed on privacy and free speech rights

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Germany has a “porn police” – regulators, that is, who are using an “AI” tool called KIVI to find adult content across the internet – on sites and apps like Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, and TikTok.

And when they do, those creating and/or posting this content could wind up in prison or pay fines, and they are notified of their transgression by the actual police.

Porn is not KIVI’s only target – the tool also scans for “political extremism, Holocaust denial, and violence.”

Reports mention a couple, dabbling in amateur porn, who received one such letter from the police in Berlin, that said they had posted pornography online unlawfully. However, the letter was not big on detail, neither when it comes to where the content in question was shared, nor why the action was illegal.

In this case, it eventually turned out that the system found the content while scanning Twitter, providing the police with screenshots.

The policy of suppressing porn seems to be picking up speed recently in Germany, as over a hundred people were sent the same type of letter and could now stand accused in criminal cases.

Even though pornography itself is not illegal to access in Germany for those over 18, there has been a push to introduce age verification using this particular industry as the obvious choice to promote the implementation of the technology.

As ever, age verification is touted as a way to protect those under 18 from inappropriate content, but in reality, to try to achieve that, every internet user is exposed to the age verification process (typically involving presenting government-issued IDs to sites or third parties).

And the authorities seem determined to have their way, since they are now ordering Twitter to block contentious accounts and have even tried imposing a blanket ban on a major porn site that would affect every user in Germany, Wired writes.

Those on the receiving end of these measures shared their feelings of being censored – but also intimidated into deleting sometimes thousands of posts for fear of being exposed to criminal proceedings.

Stay informed on privacy and free speech rights

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

What’s your email address?


Get news, solutions, tools, and analysis to push back against censorship and privacy invasion.