Data protection: FDP submits constitutional complaint against State Trojans

The Liberals want to legally stop the use of security software. The use of the state Trojan brings Germany 34; to the borders of a surveillance state 34;.

Data protection: FDP submits constitutional complaint against State Trojans

The FDP has lodged a constitutional complaint against use of so-called state Trojan, thus following example of several plaintiffs for Data Protection Association digital Courage, who also filed an action at highest German court in Karlsruhe. The first parliamentary director of FDP group, Marco Buschmann, was convinced of success of lawsuit: grand coalition "deliberately" crossed boundaries of case law of Federal Constitutional Court with state Trojan.

The state Trojan allows investigators, among or things, to monitor communication in Messengerdiensten like WhatsApp. The use of software for investigation of criminal offences has been permitted by police for about a year. The state Trojan is used without knowledge of user concerned. Until 2017, such measures were only allowed for counter-terrorism.

Real-time monitoring

During presentation of FDP lawsuit, authorized representative Nikolaos Gazeas called online search "most serious intervention" in rights of citizens, which Criminal Procedure Code foresees. "After all, anyone who reads a person's computer or smartphone or even monitors it continuously knows almost everything about him nowadays."

The state Trojan does not only allow investigators to crawl data on a computer, lawyer said. He also allows real-time monitoring, as if an investigator constantly throws a glance over shoulder onto computer and sees everything – and can also read, for example, discarded passages of an e-mail or text. The online search is refore only measure in Code of Criminal Procedure, "which even allows people to watch when thinking".

FDP sets back on civil rights issues

Buschmann criticized use of spy software in a "disproportionate way". His party colleague Stephan Thomae, at same time deputy chairman of Bundestag group, called on state to continually examine proportionality of interventions in citizens ' rights and privacy in fight against crime. Burkhard Hirsch, former North Rhine-West Westphalia FDP Interior Minister and Bundestag vice president, also warned: "We get to limits of a surveillance state."

The FDP also wants to live up to its traditional reputation as a civil-society party with lawsuit. In presentation of lawsuit, besides Hirsch, former federal minister Sabine Leuusser-Schnarrenberger and former interior minister Gerhart Baum were on podium. It must be filed against this law constitutional complaint, said Leuusser-Schnarrenberger. "Because legislator wants to try out what is still possible in digital age of fundamental rights restrictions."

Updated Date: 21 August 2018, 12:00

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