Germany: Federal Government Tightens Anti-Terror Laws

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Germany: Federal Government Tightens Anti-Terror Laws

Originally appeared at DWN, translated by Karin exlusively for SouthFront

Soon the federal government should exacerbate the terror laws. Suspects can then be extensively monitored, even without court authorization upon request of foreign intelligence. Personal data will be internationally exchanged. If the intelligence comes to the conclusion to wish to initiate an operation, the parties concerned have virtually no legal options to protect their privacy.

In the face of the persistent threat, the federal government wants to bring another legislative package this week on the way, to combat terrorism. Berlin government circles told Reuters Monday that voting was complete in the relevant department. On Wednesday, the Cabinet would discuss the tightening of terrorism laws. Improved collaboration of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution with the secret services of other countries is intended. Anyone who buys a prepaid cell phone must submit his identity card in the future.

The constitutional protection office should be able to create shared files with foreign intelligence services, according to a drafted bill that is available to Reuters. This way it should be possible to determine whether one of the parties involved has information on suspicious persons, objects or events. Requirements are a “significant safety concern”. In the participating countries basic constitutional principles must also be guaranteed. The shared files should be limited to “certain events or groups of people.” In addition, the consent of the Federal Interior Ministry is intended in each case.

The problem: The Ministry of Interior is an instruction-bound political authority. Previously such monitoring activities were only possible with a judicial decision. The secret services operate by their nature concealed and may not be prosecuted for any of its operations. Usually the person does not even learn that an operation against him was executed. The agreement between the authorities and services, as a rule, is usually only made verbally. Appeals against such actions are basically impossible because the person concerned has no proof of evidence.

The attacks in Paris and Brussels have showed the “transnational dimension of the terrorist threat again”, says the draft. “Especially with partner services in neighboring countries and beyond that in the EU and NATO is a particular need for cooperation and hence also the need for fast sharing of relevant information.”

Telephone providers and distributors are to verify in the future the identity of client’s with prepaid mobile tariffs to its accuracy. Sampling associated with prepaid cell phones showed “an enormous amount of numbers, apparently erroneous records result, in customer databases of providers of telecommunication services,” it says in the explanatory memorandum. Fictitious information is not isolated cases, but a phenomenon “with mass character”. This is a problem for police investigations.

The Federal Police just like the BKA (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has in future the possibility of using undercover investigators for danger prevention and not only for law enforcement. This practice is highly questionable because it engages the act of presumptions rather then in statutory regulated offenses. It is therefore sufficient to claim that someone had planned an offense to qualify him as the perpetrator.

Convicted supporters of a terrorist organization should be put under supervision, if they had already an imprisonment of at least six month and if there is a risk that the person in the future will commit further offenses. In addition “any assistance” for an outlawed criminal organization should in the future be subject to penalty. This passage is remarkable because it is also used in the by the EU rejected as the fundamentally unlawful terror laws of Turkey. There, the government has made “any assistance” for the PKK punishable and has since been taking actions against opposition politicians, journalists and government critics from the scientific community.

The leaders of the coalition had agreed on the fundamental lines of the new security package in mid-April.

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