The federal government is working “hard” to make the draft law on the “fight against right-wing extremism and hate crime”, which has been put on hold, constitutionally compliant with a correction law. This is what Justice State Secretary Christian Lange (SPD) writes in a heise online answer to a request from FDP member of the Bundestag Manuel Höferlin.
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Duty to pass on data would meet suspicious cases
In a letter dated October 5, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) informed the Federal Council as well as the Federal Government that he would not sign the draft passed by the Bundestag in June and that “the issuing procedure would be suspended”. In mid-July, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that state access to inventory data such as the names and addresses of users must be limited.
The Karlsruhe judges decided that “a sufficiently precise delimitation of the intended use of the information concerned” had to be guaranteed. Jurists see this as not given, especially in the draft for the anti-hate law, to pass on criminally relevant content, including IP addresses and port numbers, to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), as this initially relates to pure suspected cases.
Ministry of the Interior to draft repair law
According to Lange, the Constitutional Court, with its decision made parallel to the legislative process, objects to “individual legal regulations” in the Telecommunications Act or the BKA Act, which are “directly or indirectly also the subject” of the initiative passed by Parliament.
Although the law against hatred is a prestige project by Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht, which the Social Democrat initiated after the right-wing extremist attacks in Halle, Hanau and Kassel, according to the State Secretary, the team of Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) is now to work out the urgently needed repair law . It is important to ensure that the specifications from Karlsruhe are implemented.
Sensitive requirements for telecommunications providers should remain
The debate on the correction project has not yet been concluded within the government, the interior department announced in the meantime to the “Spiegel”. At the same time it defended the agreed approach of not reopening the original legal procedure and directly improving the actual draft. This should prevent this from having to be discussed again in the Bundestag and Bundesrat. The consequence would have been that the law could have come into force later.
The “core draft” contains further sensitive requirements, for example for all providers of telemedia services, sensitive Internet IDs of suspects and passwords to be issued to security authorities in the future. With the urgent repairs, the government could now ensure that this is no longer stirred.
“Suspicion database of unimagined dimensions”
The executive is trying “to cheat the necessary legal changes through parliament as unnoticed as possible,” fears Höferlin. Long before the ruling from Karlsruhe on stock data information, the liberals had warned that the anti-hate law “is evidently unconstitutional”. This creates “a suspicion database of unimagined dimensions at the BKA”, which represents an “unprecedented breach of the rule of law”.
According to the digital expert of the FDP parliamentary group, the now agreed “exchange between constitutional organs” is “simply outrageous and, for good reasons, not provided for in our Basic Law”. The Federal President is not “the repair shop for messed up laws”. Steinmeier must immediately reject the unconstitutional draft completely.
Greens suggest two-stage data transfer
The Greens parliamentary group has meanwhile made a request to the government to bring more transparency into the process. “In this way we are forcing the federal government to finally show its colors to the public and parliament with regard to the further course of action,” said parliamentary group vice-president Konstantin von Notz. He considers the executive branch to be completely overwhelmed with the matter. The Greens have already submitted a motion to parliament in which they propose a two-stage process for data transfer from Facebook & Co. to the BKA and subsequently to other security authorities.