In association with heise online

15 October 2009, 15:42

Report: German Federal Criminal Police Office has not yet conducted any online searches

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According to the German language newspaper tageszeitung (taz), when asked, a BKA spokesperson stated that, since the amendment to the German Law on the Establishment of a Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA Law) came into force on the 1st of January 2009, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) has not conducted a single secret online search. Reportedly, the BKA has not even filed any pertinent court applications. The BKA spokesperson said "In times of terrorist threats, however, we continue to consider online searches an indispensable tool for police investigations" .

The newly amended BKA Law has granted the Wiesbaden police authority new rights that aim at facilitating counter-terrorism. The rights include secret online searches, grid searches, the preventive tapping of telecommunication devices, including internet telephony, and the possibility to request connection details and locate mobile phones. German member of parliament (FDP) and former Minister of the Interior Gerhart Baum is among those who have launched a constitutional complaint against the law.

In the current coalition negotiations with the CDU and CSU parties, the FDP has demanded that online searches be disallowed. A member of staff of senior FDP politician Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told The H's associates at heise online that the CDU/CSU party isn't moving an inch in terms of online searches, data retention and internet censorship. CDU/CSU and FDP are to continue their negotiations today (Thursday).


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