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CDU touts internet crime watch

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Photo: DPA
12:19 CEST+02:00
Leading conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) want to institute stronger control over internet use and conduct police surveillance to prevent crime, daily Rheinische Post reported on Tuesday.

“We need more undercover investigators that seek out criminal schemes with internet patrols,” Wolfgang Bosbach, deputy leader of the CDU parliamentary group, told the paper.

According to Bosbach, despite its fantastic variety the internet is a “source for criminality, terrorism, and quite a lot of smut,” and the next government should provide more personnel and technology for criminal investigators and prosecutors.

However, the new efforts would not be a “censorship agency,” Bosbach stressed.

Instead, he said it would aim to make the legal standards of the internet world reflect those of the real world.

“The internet is not a lawless space,” Günter Krings, legal advisor for the parliamentary group of the CDU and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), told the paper.

Requiring an “internet identification card” used to track web surfers is one of the rumoured measured that the CDU could try to take.

In recent weeks German Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen, also a Christian Democrat, said she supported a behaviour code for online social networks. She also played a key role in pushing through voluntary censorship by German internet service providers of websites peddling child pornography earlier this summer.

But Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, from grand coalition partner party the centre-left Social Democratic Party, told the paper she rejected stronger rules for the internet.

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“The legal situation is clear: What is forbidden offline is also forbidden online,” she said, adding that did support an international debate on the future of the internet because national laws have boundaries.

A voluntary “type of worldwide Good Internet code” could be helpful, she said.

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