Thematic Focus: Impending Danger

Anticipatory Tendencies in Criminal Law
by Benjamin Derin

The traditional separation of police action into preventive measures according to police law and repressive criminal prosecution according to criminal procedure is becoming increasingly blurred. Today, criminal law too is measured by its ability to prevent crimes. This manifests itself in the constant advancing of anticipatory tendencies in both the material definition of criminal offenses and procedural investigative powers. These developments are accompanied by a progressive loss of suspects’ rights.

Impending Danger
by Michael Lippa

With the introduction of the term “impending danger” into its police law, Bavaria is the first federal state to leave behind the hitherto accepted legal terminology of threat levels, and in doing so has cited the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision on the Federal Criminal Police Office Act. Whether this can be justified is doubtful.

Social Media Intelligence
by Matthias Becker

Data from Twitter or Facebook is becoming increasingly important for the police and intelligence services. The mass data stemming from direct communication among the population is supposed to provide insights into threat potentials and risk carriers – without effective control over the processing and evaluation.

Federal Supreme Court on Stealth Ping
by Lukas Theune

In a decision from February 2018, the Federal Supreme Court has for the first time defined a legal basis for the common surveillance method of stealth pings, and at the same time significantly restricted the scope of its application as compared to the previous practical utilization by law enforcement. The case concerned a Kurdish activist.

Domestic Intelligence Service Seeking Organized Crime
by Norbert Pütter

Harnessing the particular capabilities of the domestic secret service (Verfassungsschutz) to combat “organized crime” is an idea from the 1990s that has been implemented by only a few federal states. The struggle for domination of the preemptive sphere has been won by the police.

Promoting Democracy – As Monitored by the Secret Service
by Tom Jennissen

In recent years, government funding for organizations working in the field of promoting democracy has repeatedly come into public focus. Right-wing and conservative politicians are frequently raising doubts as to the trustworthiness of such organizations. The domestic secret service (Verfassungsschutz) is examining initiatives on their political reliability.

Non-Thematic Contributions

Linksunten: A Shot in the Dark
by Udo Kauss

The ban on the online portal has had reper­cussions on the student self-administration at the University of Freiburg (VS). With the August 2017 raids, the VS’s backup has fallen into the hands of the police. Now, the security agencies are taking advantage of this welcome opportunity to analyze the student self-administration’s activities and how they might relate to the banned platform. So far, this has been thwarted by the still unbroken encryption mechanisms.

Continuity of Antiziganism
by Markus End

For German police departments, antiziganist investigative approaches have been part of the repertoire since the 19th century. Until this day, there is evidence of unlawful data retention, of references to alleged minority status in police communication, and of investigative activities based on it.

The European Arrest Warrant
by Henriette Scharnhorst

The expansion of European criminal prosecution is accompanied by a considerable infringement on the concerned persons’ rights, but without simultaneously securing defendants’ rights and their effective enforceability in court. The European Arrest Warrant is considered a prime example of the Europeanization of criminal prosecution which is being expedited rapidly since September 11, 2001.

Police Fatal Shooting 2017
by Otto Diederichs

According to statistics published by the Interior Minsters’ Conference, German police fired at individuals in 75 instances in the previous year. This resulted in 39 injuries and – as far as official figures are concerned – 14 deaths. By contrast, Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP recorded a total of 16 deaths through its own press evaluation.

Right-Wing Violence: No End to the Registration Flaws
by Heike Kleffner

Since January 1st, 2017, a new uniform system of registration for politically motivated crime (PMK) is in effect nationwide. But so far, there has been a lack of public, police-internal and scientific reception of the important changes – even though state registration of right-wing, racist and antisemitic violence is not a statistical issue, but rather a key area of political confrontation as recently demonstrated by former BfV president Maaßen’s campaign for the sovereignty of interpretation over the racist manhunts in Chemnitz.

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