Minister of Justice Buschmann fuels coalition dispute

Berlin With a comment on Twitter about a possible mandatory storage of IP addresses in the fight against crime, Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) drew the ire of the social democratic coalition partner.

Buschmann wrote on Sunday evening: “Instead of operating digital surveillance of all citizens through data retention and chat control, we should better quickly digitize all services at citizen registration offices and other authorities with which people have contact.”

The minister is alluding to the fact that Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) no longer wants to set a deadline for the implementation of administrative digitization after the government digitization planned by the end of 2022 had failed. SPD domestic politicians reacted angrily. “Further digitization projects are welcome,” explained Bundestag member Sebastian Hartmann. “But don’t play it off against internal security.”

The criminal policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Sebastian Fiedler, accused Buschmann of having long since left “the level of factual arguments” when it came to IP address storage. “It should make him think that not only all police unions, but also the German Association of Judges are demanding storage.”

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The issue of securing telecommunications data to fight crime is one of the contentious issues within the traffic light government. Like the FDP, Buschmann favors the “quick freeze procedure”. In the event of suspicion, a judge must first order that certain data may be backed up. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) considers the procedure insufficient to solve crimes and therefore advocates mandatory storage of IP addresses.

SPD demands 14-day storage obligation for IP addresses

In September, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) set narrow limits on the storage of telecommunications data for the investigation of criminal offenses in Germany, but declared the storage of only IP addresses for investigations to be justifiable without cause.

IP addresses are assigned when you dial into the Internet and can be clearly assigned to Internet connections. For the police, they are therefore usually the most promising investigative approach for identifying suspects. Currently, however, the IP addresses are usually deleted after a few days.

In the case of the Iranian terror suspects arrested in Castrop-Rauxel at the beginning of January, the digital search tool helped to track down the two brothers. Against this background, SPD member of the Bundestag Hartmann called for a clear regulation for the storage period.

“It can’t be that security authorities have to hope that terrorist suspects are customers of mobile phone providers with the longest storage periods,” said the domestic policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group of the “Rheinische Post”. With a traffic light majority, the legal basis should be created “that in future the IP addresses will always be stored for 14 days”.

IP addresses

IP addresses are assigned when you dial into the Internet and can be clearly assigned to Internet connections.

(Photo: dpa)

The SPD domestic politician Fiedler also sees an urgent need for action. “There was a lot of luck involved in the investigations in Castrop-Rauxel into the foiled poison attack,” he said. “Next time, perpetrators might not use a telecommunications provider that voluntarily saves IP addresses for a few days.”

Data retention: Greens support FDP proposal

According to Fiedler, this has long been about the large data retention discussed earlier. That’s yesterday’s news. “We’re talking about IP addresses, so to speak, the license plates of the end devices with which you go online,” explained the MP. “This means that it can be determined in individual cases after a judge’s decision which end device is behind a sequence of numbers – nothing more.” The movements of a person on the Internet can not be determined with it.

However, there is also opposition from the Greens. “The old theater in a new disguise must stop,” said the interior expert of the Greens parliamentary group, Marcel Emmerich, the Handelsblatt.

A storage obligation is nothing more than data retention. “Ultimately, that would again be a massive storage of sensitive communication data without a specific reason and in reserve.”

>> Read here: “Not sufficiently efficient” – Traffic light politicians want to strengthen secret services

The Green politician campaigned for the quick freeze procedure proposed by Justice Minister Buschmann. This is “an effective and clearly constitutional instrument that would support the investigative authorities in their work,” said Emmerich.

The focus must finally be on that. “With Quick Freeze, the investigating authorities can immediately freeze relevant telecommunications data at the providers if there is a suspicion of a criminal offense of considerable importance.”

The general manager of the digital association Bitkom, Bernhard Rohleder, made a similar statement. “It makes no sense to work on storing connection data in bulk and without cause,” said Rohleder the Handelsblatt. In addition to the so-called quick freeze procedure, there are already numerous legally compliant options for digital forensics that can be carried out following a judicial decision.

More: The new federal justice minister got off to a rocky start

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