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Germany: Traffic light coalition declares war on hate on the web

In order to combat hate on the net, the coalition government now wants to take more decisive action against it. This is to be made possible by a special law against online violence.

More information for victims

For many users, the Internet is apparently still a lawless space. In it, they let off steam verbally and not only insult other people. It is not uncommon for threats and calls for violence to be made. The German government obviously does not want to stand by and watch this development and is planning a new law accordingly. The main focus will be on the right to information and account blocking. However, the focus will also be on victim protection. There are plans to promote counseling services for victims. And this legislative initiative seems to be urgently needed, as a prominent example shows. Some time ago, the Green Party politician Renate Künast was the victim of great hostility on Facebook. However, in order to be able to view the data of the guilty users, she had to go through several instances at once.

Renate Künast

In the end, she even won a case against Facebook at the Frankfurt Regional Court, which put the supervisory duties and disclosure obligations of social networks in a whole new light. Künast has the so-called Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) to thank for this circuitous route. This stipulates that the release of data of agitators is only possible if a judge gives his consent. After the Federal Constitutional Court granted Künast’s request, the responsible judges from back then now have to do it again. Since the Federal Constitutional Court as highest instance court of Germany represents the opinion of Künast, it would be however surprising, if the responsible chamber court in Berlin would decide differently. If this gives now consequently Künast likewise right, this could provide for a large reorientation.

Wide-reaching strategy paper

Probably the most complicated task in the area of hate on the net is certainly the balancing of two of the most important fundamental rights. On the one hand, there is the freedom of expression of the agitators. On the other hand, there is the personal right of those affected, who sometimes suffer severe psychological problems as a result of the attacks. Accordingly, it is not only victims’ associations that are loudly calling for easier access to personal data. On the other side are Internet associations that are concerned that the Internet will not remain the free space it currently is. Terms like censorship and surveillance accordingly make the rounds when people talk about introducing new laws in this area. However, the digital strategy of the traffic light coalition does not seem to focus so much on the hunt for personal data of culprits. Instead, it also focuses on providing support for victims. They want to set up large support programs for victims’ associations in order to avoid serious consequences for the recipients.

The police also play a not inconsiderable role in the program of the traffic light coalition. Above all, the digitalization of crime fighters is of great importance. Among other things, the significantly expanded powers of Europol make clear just how important fighting crime is nowadays, even on the Net. In Germany, however, the strategy paper says that the powers of the police are not to be expanded. Instead, they should be able to benefit from digitization. In particular, police officers are to be given easier access to data anytime and anywhere. With so much data, of course, there is always a great risk, which makes data protectionists break out in a cold sweat. Accordingly, cybersecurity also plays a major role in the strategy paper. The government is to ensure encrypted communication. If a security gap causes damage, the company that programmed the supposedly secure communication channel will be liable.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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In order to combat hate on the net, the coalition government now wants to take more decisive action against it. This is to be made possible by a special law against online violence. More information for victims For many users, the Internet is apparently still a lawless space. In it, they let off steam verbally … (Weiterlesen...)

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