Junge Welt June 10, 2000
Gauck Gores The Internet
Gauck Gores The Internet
How the agency's boss tries to deal with the
pains of the internet generation
Who hasn't heard of him, the federal
commissioner for the documents of the state security services of the former GDR.
The former pastor Joachim Gauck and the multi-thousand headed agency that he
leads is the guarantee that the Cold War will mercilessly continue until the
last native inhabitants of the GDR die out. Such holy enthusiasm naturally draws
with it its critics and opponents; such as the German-Canadian Alant Jost living
in Berlin, who has found a simple method to anger the BStU - thus the official
abbreviation of the agency. He registered for himself the internet domain name
"Gauck.de", and posted in the internet critical articles and press
reports. He also used a graphic of the opening website of the agency to
illustrate their choice in pictures, thus depicting the manner and diction of
the agency, so he explained to Junge Welt.
Even the Gauck-People must have an internet
oriented worker amongst them, since they decided to go after good old Alant
Jost. Preliminary results of their counter-offensive: Gauck's deputy Peter Busse
sent Mr. Jost a letter that in its tone and manner seems tailored to instil
panic in even the most decent of citizens. Legally, quite dubiously, Mr. Busse
argues that Mr. Jost can't actually do what he's doing. "You are calling
your internet domain Gauck.de", Mr. Busse complains and continues: "In
the public's mind this domain has come to refer to the agency (BStU) that is led
by Mr. Gauck. Thus, one finds in the press, and in court decisions the common
use of the term Gauck-Commission. Even in the official phonebook the 'Yellow
Pages', the agency can be found under the name Gauck."
Irrespective of the nice reference to the
alleged official Yellow Pages, its a peculiar argumentation. Had I reserved for
myself the site Fischer.de and used it to criticize the politics of the Foreign
Office, would that be illegal? Is no one allowed to use the domain Schröder.de
because momentarily the Federal Chancellor is so called?
Its not the use of the name that really bothers
the BStU. "The actual intent of the site is the debasement of Mr. Gauck and
the agency that he leads", wrote director Busse in his letter - and here
lies the real issue. Gauck and his people have currently become extremely
sensitive to criticism. Not the least of which has come from the permanent
attacks of the former Interior Minister of the GDR Peter-Michael Diestel. But
get real, these hardly are debasing criticisms. Mr. Diestel's critique can also
be found on the incriminating site (of Mr. Jost).
Alant Jost is certainly a clever old chap.
In addition to the domain name "Gauck.de" for Germany, he acquired the
domains "Gauck.org", "Gauck.net", and "Gauck.com".
These are international domains and one can hardly claim that in the Chinese or
Columbian "Yellow Pages" the term Gauck-Commission can be found. But
even these Mr. Jost needs to give up should the BStU have their way. Otherwise,
legal actions will be taken against him. And its going to be expensive for him.
Attorney fees of over 1 000 Marks are already being asked from him; all this
because an advocate has put up a website. In addition, if he doesn't cease
naming his sites "Gauck" he's threatened with 10 000 Marks in
penalties. He, however, is not willing to give in.
To bad the BStU isn't a mega corporation that
simply missed registering their name. Then the smart Gauck critic could have
sold the rights to them for lots of money. Examples, of people who have
registered names of famous people are many. The "Gauck-Busse-Commission"
should look at there huge budget and make Mr. Jost an attractive offer. In the
end, its all a matter of how much energy one wants to invest.