Coalition agreement: Ampel wants to make data retention legally secure

After a month of negotiations, the SPD, Greens and FDP presented and published their coalition agreement on Wednesday. In the area of ​​internal security in particular, the plan is characterized by compromises. It does not contain a clear end for the massive collection of connection and location information or for the use of state Trojans.

On the 177 pages it says: “In view of the current legal uncertainty, the forthcoming ruling by the European Court of Justice and the resulting security policy challenges, we will design the regulations for data retention so that data can be stored in a legally secure manner and by judicial decision.”

Storage of user data without distinction or cause should no longer exist. It should then amount to a quick-freeze procedure, in which providers have to store traffic data in suspected cases at the request of investigators, or to a retention obligation limited to certain areas of crime. During the coalition talks, the executive minister of justice, Christine Lambrecht (SPD) in particular, urged not to include a data retention clause in the paper and to maintain the currently applicable but legally suspended regulation.

With a login trap, for example, the traffic light wants to create “instruments that protect fundamental rights and are freedom-oriented” in order to identify perpetrators. Above all, operators of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter should work closely with the police to identify suspects and their IP addresses as soon as they log in again. Investigators could then compare the Internet identification with the inventory data of the access providers and thus obtain their names and addresses.

The concept for the login trap comes from the network policy association D64, which is close to the SPD. This describes the approach as a targeted instrument of law enforcement in order to solve crimes without placing the general public under general suspicion. The obligation to use a clear name, which is otherwise already required in SPD circles, is intended to be prevented. With this in mind, the coalition members state: “We reject general monitoring obligations, measures to scan private communications and an identification requirement. We will preserve anonymous and pseudonymous online use.”

“Video surveillance cannot replace the presence of a community-based police force, but it can supplement it with areas of focus on crime,” is another announcement. We reject the widespread use of cameras and “biometric recording for surveillance purposes”. The right to anonymity should be guaranteed “both in public spaces and on the Internet”.

According to the agreement, the exploitation of weak points in IT systems is “in a highly problematic relationship with IT security and civil rights”. The state will therefore “not buy security gaps or keep them open”, but instead “always endeavor to close them as quickly as possible” in a weak point management system under the leadership of a more independent Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

For the use of state and commercial surveillance software, the traffic light wants to raise the intervention thresholds and adjust the existing powers, for example for the police, so that the requirements of the Federal Constitutional Court for clandestine online searches must always be observed. The state Trojan license for the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution will be checked as part of the planned surveillance accounting. The federal police should not be given the authority decided by Black and Red to eavesdrop on WhatsApp & Co. via “sources TKÜ” and to search online until the protection of the core area of ​​private life is ensured.

Transparency and effective control are to be ensured with these tools, which cut deeply into fundamental rights. The coalition also wants to create legal foundations for the state hacker authority Zitis and for federal-state institutions such as the Joint Counter-Terrorism Center, which regulate responsibilities more clearly and guarantee seamless supervision.

The three parties want to respect the constitutional separation of the police and secret services and also expand control over the agents. “We are comprehensively reforming federal security law, including transmission regulations,” is the project here. The work of the secret services is to be “strengthened and differentiated through a well-founded scientific analysis”.

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