The FDP parliamentary group has lodged a constitutional complaint against the new powers for the domestic intelligence services. Domestic politicians of the parliamentary group justified this on Thursday in Berlin, among other things, with too great IT security risks for citizens. If the Federal and State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) were allowed to use the so-called State Trojan, there would be a “security gap for everyone in Germany,” said Konstantin Kuhle. That is disproportionate, especially since the number of surveillance cases will probably be low. Until now, only the Federal Criminal Police Office was allowed to use the secretly installed software to read communications – and only in certain cases.
“Secret search of private rooms”
The parliamentary manager of the group, Marco Buschmann, said that in a society in which everyone could potentially expect to be monitored at all times, it was normal for citizens to wonder whether they could still speak freely at all. He compared the use of the “state Trojan” to the secret search of private rooms.
At the end of June, the Federal Council passed an amendment to the law regulating the work of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In the future, the protection of the constitution and the MAD will be allowed to read chats via Whatsapp and other encrypted messenger services. However, you need a corresponding arrangement for each individual case.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) had campaigned for the new powers with the argument that extremists hardly ever used the phone and SMS for their propaganda and agreements, but mainly encrypted communication. With the new powers, the domestic secret service will only be put in the same situation as it was years ago, when messenger services such as Skype, Whatsapp or Telegram did not yet exist. However, photos, videos and large data packets can also be transmitted through Messenger, which was previously not possible with normal telephony.