MSC: More judges, more officials and insufficient powers to deal with hate crime

The Federal Ministry of the Interior is only at the beginning of a "broad initiative" to combat hate crime on the Internet. This was promised by Markus Kerber, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, in a round organized by the World Jewish Council on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), According to Kerber, the ministry is currently analyzing various categories of hate speech and is hoping for approval for more powers.

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Hate speech and fake news are discussed in several rounds at the MSC as the motor of extremist currents and racist parties. Legislature and the judiciary do too little and act too late in criminalizing and persecuting 'hate crime', criticized publicist Michel Friedman. Friedman is annoyed that cybercrime is being pursued more meticulously in the business sector than when individual citizens are the victims.

The streaming of attacks on places of worship of different faiths has meanwhile spoken drastically from representatives of all major religions, said Rabbi Pinchas Goldsmith, chairman of the Conference of European Rabbis. Goldsmith cited a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury who compared Facebook and Twitter to the "devil" in early February.

Only an attack like the one in Halle allowed the Interior Ministry to deploy 250 new officials at the BKA on the subject. The Home Office would also like to have a new law that allows investigators to force primary and secondary IP addresses of platforms and providers to be released immediately to track hate posters. After the initial compromise with colleagues from other departments, the Ministry of Justice in particular backpedaled. "We need a solution that also lasts in Karlsruhe," says Kerber.

The prosecution of perpetrators whose content is on servers abroad must also be pursued. According to Kerber, the ministry continues to discuss whether attacks on such servers should also be possible if diplomatic channels are unable to get ahead with the local authorities. Tighter criminal law alone, but more investigators and officials will not solve the problem, Kerber said. "We are at the beginning of a long battle that cannot be fought with criminal law alone, with more judges and more officials."

For example, Bavaria recently appointed an officer for hate crime to the public prosecutor's office after an anti-Semitism officer installed in 2018, who, together with 22 Bavarian public prosecutors, is to intensify the persecution. Citizens must be aware that they will be held accountable for comments on hate, said Chief Prosecutor Andreas Frank, Acting Anti-Semitism Officer.

Alex Samos from the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) campaigned for understanding about the allegations against Facebook and other platforms. Decisions about what is still free opinion, what an ugly comment and what is already a criminal statement are complex. In constitutional states, judges think about such questions for 40 hours, for which a Facebook employee has a few minutes. Samos, himself a long-time security chief at Facebook, also etched that it should not be forgotten that social media had given a voice to those who did not appear in the classic media: blacks or women who defended themselves against harassment at work. "Thirty years ago, 40 white men in Germany decided what was newsworthy." According to Samos, those days are over, "and you can't get that spirit back in the bottle."

On Saturday afternoon, Mark Zuckerberg has to defend himself. The Facebook boss then answers questions in the Bayerischer Hof from the organizer of the security conference, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger.


. (tagsToTranslate) Facebook (t) hate crime (t) hate speech (t) hate speech (t) internet (t) Munich security conference (t) social media