SPD election program: Gigabit society, mandatory identification and speed limit


Almost seven months before the general election, the SPD presented the draft of its program on Monday, with which it wants to get as many citizens as possible behind it when it comes to voting in September. She had already presented her “future missions” in advance, according to which she wants to focus on a “climate-neutral Germany”, the “most modern mobility system in Europe”, digital sovereignty and a strong healthcare system. The current ruling party now sets out its goals on 64 pages.

“By 2030 Germany should have a world-class digital infrastructure, a fully digitized administration and an education system in which one can learn for life in a digitized world,” emphasize the Social Democrats. The free self-determination of the citizens “is our guiding principle, so that digitization can benefit everyone. Fast, secure and affordable internet access is indispensable in the 21st century”.

Together with the coalition partner CDU / CSU, the SPD promised three years ago that it would create a legal right to fast internet by 2025. Now it is called in the paper: “In the 2020s Germany must become a ‘gigabit society'”. Medium-sized companies in rural areas in particular, which often operate globally, are dependent on fast internet.

So that it does not stop at promises, “we will guarantee the supply of all households and companies with a bandwidth of at least 1 GBit / s,” praised the party without specifying a specific time. “Concrete, legally stipulated expansion and supply obligations and corresponding interim goals” are to come. Here, “the network operators are also responsible”.

In the grand coalition, the SPD ensured that numerous surveillance laws were passed, including new data retention and the possibility of using state Trojans in the fight against everyday crime. She is now sticking to it: To “prosecute crimes committed from or on the Internet”, investigative authorities have to be adequately equipped in terms of technology and personnel.

If there is sufficient factual evidence of a crime, “it must be possible to identify suspects,” the party demands. “We will therefore also oblige the platform operators to create the prerequisites for fundamental identifiability.” A comparable, highly controversial initiative in the Federal Council had not come very far before, and the interior ministers’ conference also put pressure on it in the summer.

However, the SPD does not see a “real name requirement on the Internet” linked to the identification requirements on social networks such as Facebook and gaming portals. The anonymous and pseudonymous online use protects many journalists and freedom fighters all over the world from persecution and threats. It is an “important prerequisite for freedom of expression and the best protection against discrimination”. Users should, however, have to enter their real name when registering for online services so that investigators can quickly query them with the controversial inventory data information.

“For security on the net it belongs to take systematic action against all forms of hate crime, fraud and other criminal offenses,” emphasizes the party. One will therefore “develop the national protective regulations in the penal code and network enforcement law” and advocate binding rules at European level. However, according to the Federal Constitutional Court, the citizens’ perception of freedom should not be fully captured by the sum of the state surveillance measures. Security laws must therefore be continuously and regularly independently controlled.

The Social Democrats describe the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as an important milestone. It must be better enforced, for which “well-equipped, effectively working” supervisory authorities are necessary. Self-learning systems and algorithms should be created in a non-discriminatory manner, and the goals of an automated decision should be “clearly and verifiably defined”.