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How much judicial authorization do they need for this stuff? That to me is really the issue, not online searches per se. That's just another type of search and I don't have a problem with it, as long as there are strict warrant requirements.
by MarekNYC on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 01:14:22 PM EST
The online "search" is more on the order of a wiretap, i.e. the idea is to slip a trojan into the target computer to log content and contacts. This, together with audio and video home surveillance, represents a new qualitative level of privacy infringement potential.

Under the new law, a court order is required in advance, with exceptions for "urgent" cases; there a court order can be obtained subsequently. The problem is that they do not need to show probable cause that a specific crime has been committed, but merely an "acute danger of terror across the borders of a single state".

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 03:17:03 AM EST
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Didn't counter-terrorism and surveillance use to be in Verfassungsshütz's job description?

And wasn't there a pretty good reason for that? Something about not wanting to have powers of surveillance and powers to arrest in the same organisation...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 12:31:25 PM EST
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<tired voice> 9/11 changed everything.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 12:41:47 PM EST
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Oh, right. 9/11 showed that terrorists are, like, dangerous. 'Cuz it's not like Germany has had to deal with terrorists since before I was born...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 12:57:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. You're learning.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 01:00:13 PM EST
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And the funny thing is that before 9/11, it was organized crime -- Russian mafia -- that was supposed to have changed everything, in the rhetoric of the advocates of the surveillance state in Germany.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the BKA's remit expanded towards counter-terrorism and self-initiated investigation during the seventies, in reation to the then terrorism. But it's true that there was some level of division of surveillance and police work between the Verfassungsschutz and the BKA even then.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:02:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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