Theme: Security-industrial complex

From the military to the security industrial complex
by Heiner Busch
The spiralling technological armament has reached the sphere of public security. The overlaps and parallels to the military-industrial complex are hard to miss. They can be seen in the companies involved, the use of military technology but particularly in the political dynamic: the continually renewed threat scenarios of terrorist attacks and other catastrophes that allegedly require society to be prepared for the „worst case” and to create the necessary scientific technological and industrial bases. The result is a surveillance technology that in many ways resembles the intricate nuclear arsenal of the Cold War era.

In the footsteps of Uncle Sam
by Ben Hayes
Following the US American model, the EU invests enormous amounts into security research. The reason for this investment, amongst others, is the fear that US multi-national companies could start dominating the profitable homeland security industry. Arms companies profited from the EU „preparatory action“ programme (2004-2006) and since 2007 from the European Security Research Programme.

„Public security” and Germany’s military research
by Eric Töpfer
Next to the EU, the German government funds security research with more than 123 million Euros. The funding programme repeatedly refers to protecting the population and „public security”. The main focus of this new research field, however, were institutions close to the military and insider deals involving the research institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft from Baden-Württemberg, characterised the funding process.

Drones: the mechanisation of surveillance
by Volker Eick
The use of drones (UAV – unmanned aerial vehicle) has been extended over the past years not only in military and intelligence areas. The reusable flying objects are increasingly being used in the civil sphere, pointing to an increasing convergence of military, intelligence and civil policies as well as economics, technology and research. In western Europe, police use UAVs particularly for the surveillance of football fans, demonstrators and drug users.

Satellites and the „fight against illegal immigration”
by Initiative ziviles Bremen
In the fight against undocumented migration, the EU deploys, amongst others, satellite technology. With the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), the EU started a massive project to network earth observation satellites, involving the EU Border Agency Frontex. The space technology used in the surveillance system is developed in Bremen.

Unisys: Spider in the web of information-technological security
by Eric Töpfer
Once the fourth-biggest arms company of the USA, Unisys Corporation has developed into a leading global producer of homeland security technology. After 11 September 2001, the company emerged as the third-biggest contractor of the US Department of Homeland Security. But Unisys is also successful in the EU, thanks to its good contacts in the EU Commission. The company’s business and its politics are exemplary for the consolidated power of the security-industrial complex.

Non-thematic contributions

Name badges for police officers: never ending story
by Otto Diederichs

Identification badges for police officers showing either numbers of names might be a consistent debate in the political arena, but even in regional states governed by the Social Democrats or Left Party, identification of officers remains merely a project, which police trade unions moreover continue to resist.

„fdGO“: continuity of a formula protecting the state
by Wolf-Dieter Narr
The German constitution refers to the „free democratic basic order” (fdGO) without defining it more closely. The formula has survived the political and societal changes of the last 60 years: more than ever it serves to exclude unwanted political movements outside of „our” society.

Swiss homeland security: 20 years after the big scandal
by Viktor Györffy
In November 1989, shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall, the Fichen (secret service files on citizens) scandal shook the Swiss nation. It forced the secret service to say goodbye to old methods whilst concurrently forming the basis for its renewal. Today, the internal intelligence service has a legal basis that fails to set proper boundaries. Old paper index cards were replaced with an information system. Political dissidents, however, continue to be placed under surveillance.