German government proposes extended tracking of Internet users
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Deutsch: Deutsche Regierung plant ausufernde Überwachung der Internetuser
The German government is proposing an amendment to the Telecommunication Act that would allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to extensively identify Internet users, without any court order or reasonable suspicion of a crime.
The proposed amendment comes as a result of the German Federal Constitutional Court having decided in January 2012 that the rules governing the inquiry of telecommunication data from providers were unconstitutional. The Court found the provisions within the Telecommunication Act granting authorities the right to access such data, as unconstitutional and required additional specific provisions within the relevant specific laws, such as the code of criminal procedure.
According to the draft amendment produced by the government, prosecution authorities as well as security and secret services may inquire certain personal data (such as name, address or bank information of customers) collected by telecommunications and Internet providers. Explicit provisions allow the use of a dynamic IP address for the identification of its holder. The amendment also includes a qualified legal basis for inquiry rights of the respective authorities against providers. The identification of IP addresses is not to be limited to a case-by-case basis. Providers are to install electronic data handover interfaces. The government is also planning to grant access to e-mail account passwords as well as to voicebox and mobile phone PIN codes without clearly defining the preconditions to such access. Several civil rights groups expressed concern regarding the draft amendment considering it poses a serious threat to civil liberties.
“In the face of the fact that this has the quality of a breach of the privacy of telecommunication, the present draft of a revised disclosure of inventory data contains only insufficient provisions to guarantee the basic rights. It is especially problematic that it lacks the necessity of an injunction issued by a court or a state prosecutor. There has to be a qualified legal basis which fulfils the requirements of the principle of proportionality,” says Henning Lesch, Head of Law & Regulation of eco Association.
Revision of Telecommunications Act Constitutional? (2.11.2012)
New German draft on state authorities' rights to inquiry
telecommunications data from providers (11.2012)
German government to legalize extensive tracking of Internet users
http://www.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/content/view/714/79/lang,en/ German version
Draft Amendment (only in German, 19.09.2012)