Especially in Germany! I just realized that some nice little laws have been passed without much involvement of the public. I had to read it in a swiss blog where the author was worried about his “Germanic neighbors”. Let’s see – a central shared database (shared between police, toll, military police, BND (our secret service) and many more agencies) has been ratified by CDU/SPD at December 1st. It’s interesting, that this file seems to ignore the separation between all those agencies that is stated in our constitution. Who said to respect the constitution – just ignore it and see what happens.
The contents of this file are also pretty interesting. It’s actually called “anti-terror-file” (of course) and contains all necessary information about all citizens to prevent terrorism (of course), as e.g., (see wikipedia for details):
- membership in terroristic organizations
- ownership of weapons
- telecommunication and internet data
- bank account information and bank locks
- education, job information, place of work
- family situation, religion
- lost ids or passports
- travel information
Pretty interesting – huh? It scares me that somebody tries to collect all this data about me – and it is even more scary that they do this officially (and force e.g., travel agencies to provide this information)!
A second interesting, and pretty much Orwell-like news, is that our nice minister of the interior plans to introduce “virtual home raids“. This means that the police should be allowed to break into home PCs and steal data. Interesting enough, this is only an addition to another law that has been passed which actually allows a federal agency (Bundesverfassungsschutz) to access data in harddrives on virtually every PC (including home systems) without notifying the owner. Somebody sued against this law, we’ll see how it goes.
I’m actually currently more worried about the databases then about terrorism in Germany (do you remember the last “terrorist activity” here?).