Thematic focus: The internet under control?

Digital underground: Web 2.0 as new arena for criminal investigators and those being labelled criminal
by Matthias Monroy and Heiner Busch

Unlimited instruments to control the internet are justified by the equation of war, terrorism and organised crime. Hence the open nature of the internet is becoming the projection surface for security ideologies of all kind. The article provides an overview of current scenarios of threat and of those who articulate these.

The jungle of institutions combating cybercrime
by Mark Holzberger
The coteries in which police and secret services meet at the national and European level to coordinate their fight against „cybercrime” is (once again) confusing and non-transparent. New entities such as the Joint Internet Centre of German police and secret services or Europol’s Check-the-Web project aim to analyse internet content. Others shall protect information technology and communication networks as „critical infrastructure”. National armed forces and the NATO are playing an increasingly prominent role in this field.

The ongoing struggle against data retention
by Katharina Maria Nocun
All member states of the European Union were supposed to implement the EU Directive on data retention by 15 March 2009. That some states did not follow the order from Brussels was also a success of civil liberties activists who are constantly reminding that blanket data retention is a drastic infringement of fundamental rights. The article outlines the current state of implementation focussing on Germany.

Social networks under scrutiny
by Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti
Manifold services support communication in the so-called Social Web. People can establish contacts and expand their personal or professional relations via social networks like Facebook, Xing or LinkedIn, they can share videos or photos on YouTube or Flickr and publish news via micro blogging services like Twitter. Hereby the users do not only reveal content but also with whom they communicate when and where. This also offers new opportunities for prosecutors.

Internet investigations by the police and secret services
by Martina Kant and Heiner Busch
The internet brought a series of new investigative methods to the police, customs and secret services: from (systematic) analysis of open online sources to virtual undercover policing and remote online searches by malware being installed on computers of target persons. The article provides an overview of these methods and their – often questionable – legal basis.

Internet surveillance in Switzerland
by Dinu Gautier and Heiner Busch
The Swiss Ministry of Justice and its surveillance service do not only aim to monitor emails but the complete internet traffic of suspected persons. To enact such powers a first bill was presented in 2009. Meanwhile it seems that the expansion of internet surveillance shall be legalised by a simple amendment of the surveillance ordinance.

Online demonstrations: The internet as space for protest
by Martin Beck and Hans-Peter Kartenberg (interview)
The internet does not only offer new opportunities for criminal investigation agencies but also for political networking and action. Pathbreaking in Germany was the online demonstration against the deportation business of the German air carrier Lufthansa ten years ago. Hans-Peter Kartenberg of the Libertad!-Campaign is interviewed by Martin Beck about this protest at that time.

Non-thematic articles:

Security architecture and the Werthebach Commission
by Albrecht Maurer
By the end of 2010 the Commission „Evaluation Security Agencies” chaired by Eckart Werthebach, former chief of the domestic secret service, presented its final report to the German Minister of Interior. The recommendations entailed a storm of protest. Federal Police, Federal Criminal Police Office, police associations and some state ministers contested the idea to merge both federal police forces. When Hans-Peter Friedrich took office as new Minister of Interior it seemed that the plans have become obsolete. But off the cards is only the idea of a rapid merging of the two forces on national level. Despite controversies around details all concerned parties agree to strengthen the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Federal Police. Hence further centralisation of the German security architecture is predetermined.

Order and annihilation
by Norbert Pütter
After years of preparation the German Historical Museum presented the exhibition „Order and Annihilation: The Police and the Nazi Regime” in Berlin. Herewith the police now publicly recognise that they were actively participating in Nazi terror and the Holocaust – a fact which has been denied or whitewashed for decades. However, the insights come late and the lessons that are officially learned from the past remain very limited.