Tech

Justice Minister: More cooperation in digitization and protection against deepfakes

Thuringia’s Justice Minister Dirk Adams (Greens) has spoken out in favor of uniform rules for digitization in the judiciary. “We have to get faster and better here. And that can be achieved through better cooperation,” said Adams in the run-up to the Conference of Justice Ministers (JuMiKo) of the German Press Agency. As in many other areas, Corona has shown through a magnifying glass in the judiciary that there is potential in digitization.

Above all, there needs to be more uniformity, said Adams. The minister said the wheel should not be “reinvented every few hundred kilometers”. He cited the introduction of electronic files in courts and in the administration of justice as an example. Each country is responsible for the implementation.

But there is the realization that we have to work together more closely. “Not only because there can be international criminal proceedings or if a criminal file has to be passed on to the Attorney General, but because it naturally makes sense if we can have similar rules in legal dealings,” said Adams. The Justice Ministers’ Conference is therefore also about the question of what can be jointly launched as a guideline for digitization.

Adams pointed out that the topic of digitization also affects other areas that are discussed at the meeting of federal and state justice ministers – for example, victim protection. “It is possible to conduct video interrogations, but there are no uniform guidelines in judicial practice,” complained Adams. For example, it is about the question of how to ensure that it is possible to hear freely from influences. “We have to develop guidelines for this, but also optimize the technology for it,” said Adams.

He underlined the importance of video interrogations of witnesses who were also victims. “These people are often traumatized, and it is an incredible feat to face someone who has committed a crime in court,” said Adams.

Bavaria’s Justice Minister Georg Eisenreich (CSU) has meanwhile called for better protection against so-called deepfakes – false but realistic-looking video clips that were made using artificial intelligence techniques. The Free State wants to submit a corresponding application at the spring conference this Wednesday.

Eisenreich is demanding imprisonment of up to five years for the publication of fake videos or images that damage the reputation of individuals – instead of the previous two years. “We mustn’t have fake videos from top politicians or statements from apparently government agencies on the security situation,” said the CSU politician. Bavaria also advocates cross-border negotiations using video technology. What is already possible across Germany has no legal basis at European level, it is said. In addition, the Free State wants to better control the messenger service Telegram, because so far this has not been covered by the Network Search Act. “Telegram has long been a mass medium – and one that also attracts corona deniers, Reich citizens and right-wing extremists,” Eisenreich told Bild-Zeitung. Such services cannot be allowed to remain under the radar.


(mho)

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