This week we received a huge packet of documents with fines and legal threats from the nation state of Germany. Gab is refusing, and has refused for many years, to comply with the German Network Enforcement Act. Gab is a US company and as such we are under zero obligation to obey foreign laws from tyrannical governments.
For those unfamiliar, the Network Enforcement Act is a draconian German law aimed at combatting “fake news” on social networking websites. “Fake news” is of course, whatever the German Government says it is.
For example this week Facebook deleted 150 accounts belonging to an anti-lockdown movement in Germany, likely at the behest of the German government under the Network Enforcement Act.
Because of Gab’s unwillingness to participate in State-mandated censorship of free speech, the German government is now coming after our bootstrapped tech startup with heavy fines and other legal action.
Gab is not a lawless website. We work diligently to stop and prevent illegal activity from taking place on our platform. We have great relationships with many foreign countries who understand and respect our position on free speech and appreciate our zero tolerance for criminal activity. The German government isn’t concerned about any actual criminal activity, they are concerned with Thought Criminals who dare to dissent against their globalist regime.
According to our legal team, who has been working with us on this issue for several months, we have three choices.
1) Obey German censorship laws and start censoring content that the German Government doesn’t like (this is not going to happen)
2) Disobey German censorship laws and pick a fight with the nation state of Germany (I likely wouldn’t ever be able to leave the US again, they would come at us from every possible angle through state-sponsored deplatforming, heavy fines, they would possibly leverage contacts in the Biden Admin to come after Gab in other ways, and Lord knows what else.)
3) Temporarily stop providing this service in Germany by blocking German IPs.
I hate everything about these choices, which is why we went public with this information to gather feedback and consensus from our community on the topic.
The overwhelming majority of people have been very supportive of the third option. Our lawyers are suggesting this option. Our community is suggesting this option. I’ve had many people email me and reach out privately to say that this is our best course of action. We seem to have a consensus.
Yet it doesn’t sit right with me.
Ultimately as the CEO of Gab I alone need to make this decision. These are the types of decisions that define a man and make history. If we block German IPs to appease the German government that sets a precedent that other countries will want to follow. We are not IP blocking ourselves into a corner here. If the German government wants to stop German IPs from accessing Gab they can block us themselves.
Why should we block an entire country from accessing Gab because their government is sending us fines we won’t pay and veiled legal threats that mean nothing to Gab as a US corporation? I won’t be able to travel to Europe anyway because I’m not getting injected with an experimental substance. On the bright side I now have a huge stack of kindling paper for my wood stove this winter.
The reality is the German government has zero authority or jurisdiction over how we operate Gab. We have no corporate entity in Germany, we have no employees in Germany, and we are not German citizens. We are Americans.
In America you play by our rules, we don’t play by yours. Germany is a guest in our community and they will respect our values and way of doing things, not the other way around. I have nothing but love for the German people and they too deserve the fundamental human right to speak freely on the internet.
Our mission is to defend free speech online for all people, everywhere. Including in Germany. We will continue to do that, regardless of any threats from foreign governments. If we bow to Germany today, what’s to stop us from bowing to literal tyrants, such as those in Russia (like Google and Apple did just last week) or China (as Apple has done for years)?
In matters pertaining to serious crime, German police forces already know how to reach us, as indeed they have done many times in the past. We will continue to respond to those requests and provide prompt assistance to those police forces on a voluntary basis. What we will not do is restrict access to, or remove, content which is legal in the United States on or from servers in the United States.
As I write this today is the day the American Constitution was signed over 234 years ago. We must stand up now to defend it and fight for the freedoms enshrined in it, which come from God, for all nations.
I’m not sure what will come of this decision, but I will not make an important choice like this from a position of fear. I leave the outcomes of this decision in the hands of God Almighty and I pray that the German people will take back their country and freedoms very soon.
Until then: wir werden nicht nachgeben, “Nuts!”. (we will not comply, Nuts!)
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