Thematic focus: Cyberpolicing

Digital Wild West: Surveillance without frontier
by Benjamin Derin

The constantly expanding digitalisation and multiplication of communication channels and their control entails the proliferation of surveillance both with regard to actual methods and in legal terms. At the same time these new opportunities are used more frequently and intensely.

Data shadows: how the state handles networked data
by Rainer Rehak

As a result of digitalisation, human activities leave a trace of metadata in many systems. All these data are exploited for commercial profiling but they are also analysed for invasive purposes by the police and the intelligence agencies. The blind faith in technology must be addressed urgently.

Cross-border eavesdropping in the EU
by Matthias Monroy

Plenty of EU institutions and bodies are dealing with the surveillance of digital communication. At the centre of these activities are the retention of telecommunication data, access to cloud data and the bypassing of encryption. Many of the new measures bear the hallmark of the German Federal Criminal Police Office.

The results of the NSA Inquiry Committee
by Anne Roth

German intelligence agencies are also involved in the international exchange described by Edward Snowden as „technology for data“. They receive hardware and software from the NSA with unknown capabilities. In return, the Federal Intelligence Service transfers mass data from domestic and foreign surveillance. Parliamentary oversight is subordinated to the domination of intelligence interests.

Centres of cybersecurity
by Dirk Burczyk

The ubiquity of information technology in administration, „critical infrastructure“ (networks of electricity, telecommunication, water etc.) and in industry and commerce makes all these areas vulnerable to attacks by a variety of actors who aim causing harm or stealing data. Many institutions – the police, the military, civil and industrial bodies – deal with cyberdefence in Germany while pursuing their own agendas,

The domestic intelligence agency and the cyber attack against the German parliament
Interview with Petra Pau

Since the IT systems of the German Bundestag had been hacked in 2015, the security agencies and conservative politicians warned of Russian manipulations of the national elections in September 2017. Dirk Burczyk talked to the vice president of the Bundestag about the hack and the role of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in investigating and managing the incident.

The police and social media
by Susanne Lang

Since 2014, police forces in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich and Hamburg are on Twitter. They are constantly causing discussion on what are the actual tasks of the police on Twitter and Facebook. Along with communication, information management and manhunt the police are using social media during demonstrations. This use could violate the principle of neutrality.

Police raids and criminal proceedings against the internet platform­
Interview with an affected activist

On 25 August 2017, the Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, publicly announced the ban of the internet platform linksunten.indymedia. Those who are deemed being responsible for the website are persecuted on the basis of the Association Act. As operators of the website they are allegedly aware of criminal content without making use of their capability to delete this content. The State Criminal Police Office of Baden-Württemberg searched their homes and the autonomous centre in Freiburg while officers of the domestic intelligence agency were present on the spot. Technical equipment and money was seized as „asset of the association“.

Non-thematic contributions

Digital migration control: technology and asylum
by Anna Biselli

Language analysis software, automated comparison of fingerprints and the extraction of mobile phone data – these are only some examples of measures which were launched by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees  in the recent months. The asylum procedure become digital; the fate of human beings is increasingly determined by machines.

The militarisation of protest policing
by Martin Kirsch

The paramilitary arming of German police forces in the name of counterterrorism shows first visible impacts in the area of protest policing. The deployment of special forces at the G20 Summit in Hamburg in July 2017 was followed by another show of force during a demonstration of antifascists in Saxony only two months later.

Police cooperation with Egypt
by Matthias Monroy and Leil-Zahra Mortada

The German government is „worried“ and „concerned“ about the human rights situation and the repression of civil society in Egypt. Nonetheless, both countries have started implementing a new security agreement. Moreover, they have signed an agreement on cooperation in migration control in August 2017. These measures aim to promote the rule of law, according to the Federal Foreign Office.

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