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Norway killings spark debate on surveillance

The Local · 26 Jul 2011, 08:01

Published: 26 Jul 2011 08:01 GMT+02:00

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As German politicians debated what, if any, new measures were needed in the wake of the massacre, Bernhard Witthaut, head of the Gewerkschaft der Polizei (GdP) police union said authorities needed help from the public.

“It’s important that we are all vigilant about such things and all help to ensure such attacks don’t happen. The police can’t do it on their own.”

His remarks came as a debate re-emerged about the controversial technique of internet and phone data-gathering, under which all German web use and phone call records would be automatically stored for a certain period. After politicians from the ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their Bavarian counterparts the Christian Social Union (CSU) called for a re-examination of data-gathering, opposition politicians slammed the calls.

Witthaut, meanwhile, said Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian far-right nationalist who has admitted responsibility for the mass shooting on the island of Utoeya and the bombing in Oslo, was active on the internet for more than a year, leaving many clues about his beliefs and intentions. Breivik killed at least 76 people.

Witthaut appealed to users of blogs and internet forums to “pick up the phone and inform the police” whenever they came across somebody expressing violent extremist views.

However he also acknowledged that the completely safety of the community could never be guaranteed, especially when lone perpetrators were responsible.

“Such a crime is very, very difficult to prevent,” he said. “We could be affected just the same in Germany.”

Witthaut also rejected conservatives’ call for the immediate reintroduction of the controversial internet and phone data-gathering surveillance in the wake of the Norway masssacre. Witthaut said the technique would not have helped in this case – though the union supports the technique in general.

Andrea Nahles, general secretary of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) said more monitoring of the far-right scene was needed but rejected suggestions that tougher laws, including data-gathering, were needed.

“We have to have more police who are able to observe the right-wing radical scene on the internet,” she told the Rhein Zeitung.

But it was “not right” that the tragedy should be used to push through data-gathering laws.

The SPD would also look at the need for tighter security at its own youth camps. The next SPD camp is planned for Berlin in 2013.

Greens co-chairwoman Claudia Roth made a similar call, saying that although the far right should be more closely watched, the conservative government “should not use the tragedy to grandstand on an old issue,” referring to data gathering.

One of Germany’s top experts on political extremism, Eckhard Jesse, told the Ruhr Nachrichten that the far-right scene was most likely steadfastly against the Norway attacks.

Story continues below…

“These crimes are probably being rejected by organised right-wing extremists. People would distance themselves from anyone who had sympathy,” said Jesse, who is a professor at the Technical University of Chemnitz.

He also expressed doubt about Breivik’s own claim that right-wing extremist groups were behind the attacks.

“This is the crime of an unbalanced individual.”

DAPD/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:08 July 26, 2011 by oldWine
To stop and prevent happening:

1) check the bank transactions of the far right people their movement.

And most importantly embed spies in their group

2) arrest them and find out the big fishes who pays these right peoples bill

===It is not a big thing to find out information and arrest them and this way this kind of worst case can be stopped.
09:26 July 26, 2011 by freechoice
instead of spending time reading blogs online and spotting potential extremists views while getting a fat ass, why not invest in fast response team with helicopters access and SWAT team, ready to take down looney individuals at a moments notice?

everyone can bullshit online, it takes a different individual to make it into reality!
09:56 July 26, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
Crimes of violence have always been a curse to humanity, but they cannot be forbidden simply by changing laws. Although the suggestion of reporting, violent extremist views expressed on Blogs and web forums to the police, would at first glance appear to be sensible, it is hardly workable.

Germany has too few police officers and there are millions of writers misusing Blogs for political and radical purposes. These range from Fanatic Moslems and Jews, to Nazis and the Antifa. Just a glance at military Blogs being coming from that land of freedom (the USA), is enough to show how violence is applauded and regarded as normal by many users.

Considering the many one-sided reports of events by various forms of media, it is also to ask: Who decides what may be allowed and who may not? It is not only the far right which is and has been guilty of violent criminal acts.

Misconception leads to fear, fear leads to hate and hate leads to violence. To deal with this, one must return to the routes of such problems. These can often be found in policies being forced upon the people against their will. National leaders would do well to listen to their voters, rather than just telling them what they may think.
10:11 July 26, 2011 by freechoice
please don't change the law just for this mad man alone! we ended up mad ourselves!
11:13 July 26, 2011 by Landmine
The fool is actually smiling in the photograph.... Bet he won;t be smiling pretty soon.
11:25 July 26, 2011 by auniquecorn
He´s smiling because there´s a good chance he´ll get out after 7 years.
11:56 July 26, 2011 by taiwanluthiers
I don't think so... like Germany they have laws on the book that allows for indefinite detention for those who may be a danger to society.... so even if the maximum sentence he might get is 7 years they can in reality keep him in prison indefinitely if he is judged to be a danger to society.
12:12 July 26, 2011 by freechoice
have you seen a Norway prison? it's like a luxurious dorm.
12:24 July 26, 2011 by Lachner
The German government should invest heavily in the Bundespolizei and the GSG-9 forces to develop a very fast response team to deal with such massacres and other possible terrorist attacks. Additionally, they should create programs where Internet communication and credit card purchases are monitored, so that red flags can be raised for critical criteria such as terrorism, bomb making, weapons procurement, and such. All of this is standard procedure in the US and very efficient.
12:34 July 26, 2011 by lunchbreak
More surveillance? Back to 1939. Some folks never learn.
12:38 July 26, 2011 by Englishted

If your programs are efficient then why does it still happen in the U.S.A.,the problem is whatever programs are in place a determined madman will bypass them.

In the U.K. c.c.t.v. is everywhere but if the terrorists want to be caught or to die then seeing them on video before the attack simple is to late as in 7/7 .

Please don't do another knee-jerk reaction what till the dust settles and look carefully what can be done.

Personally I think gun control is a must ,but as I said I will wait for the report.

Hope he goes down for a long time and the fellow inmates make his life "unpleasant" to say the least.
13:28 July 26, 2011 by NachtMusik
Exactly lunchbreak-- It's like we're all on the Animal Farm, and we can't for the life of us, recall history - recent or decades ago. It's the same Hegelian recipe, people! Problem - reaction - Solution. Tada! The problems are created - yes.. created!-, the reaction from the people (which is already predicted before the problem's created) is completely abused and manipulated to condition the people that a change is needed. Of course we are experiencing the pain and sorrow of this.. the fright. But it is being Manipulated to bring the solution => More Surveillance, more unconscionable control! yay!

And it doesn't stop at that. Now YOU the citizen must be on watch, must take on a paranoid perspective, must question those around you, which again, creates dissension, separation, hate, intolerance. Separated, docile people follow the rules so very nicely. But the rules are not good for you.

Hegelian Dialectic is the process by which all change is being accomplished in society today. More importantly, it is the tool that the globalists are utilizing to manipulate the minds of the average citizen to accept that change, where ordinarily they would refuse it.

Coming from AmeriKa, I am experiencing the nightmare of this process over and over again. We felt it most painfully and deeply with 9-11. We watched our liberties and freedoms erode as the Patriot Act and subsequent dictatorial controls were put upon us. And people heralded these changes! We exchanged freedom for "security" the omnipotent buzzword that cloaks the real effect: Utter and endless Control over the people. You see the solution never really intends to solve the original problem.

But it is only getting worse, and everywhere. Everyone is affected by the Hegelian Strategy. The people were never meant to be the "police". and for Witthaut to say that the "police can't do it alone" is a joke, lip service, towing the line for the solution.

and just what is a 'violent extremist view"? Again - I'm experiencing deja vu as I lament the passing of the Thought Crime bill, HR1955 in AmeriKA. So Orwellian in its design, it's nauseating. It defines "Violent Radicalization" as promoting any belief system that the government considers to be extremist. Since the bill does not provide a specific definition of extremist belief system, it will be whatever the government at any given time deems it to be! Brilliant!

In the end, these, including this incident in Norway, are attempts at legislative lobotomy of conscience. It aims to eviscerate ethical sensibilities of an entire culture! Everyone think about it and see what is really going on.
14:16 July 26, 2011 by Loth
In time any speech that does not agree with the government will be seen as radical. If the internet has censorship programs. Radicals who want to kill, will just quit posting. Then no one will have a clue until an event happens. No discussion with them that might convince them of their error in opinion before it happens. Censorship is never a solution to a problem.
15:49 July 26, 2011 by Lachner
@Englishted - You state that "gun control is a must". Well, there are other famous people that had or have the same positive view with regards to civilian gun control such as Adolf Hitler (Germany), Fidel Castro (Cuba), Muammar Qaddafi (Lybia), Joseph Stalin (Russia), Benito Mussolini (Italy), Idi Amin (Uganda), Mao Tse-Tung (China), Pol Pot (Cambodia) and Kim Jong-iL (North Korea).

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." -- Adolf Hitler

¦quot;If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.¦quot; -- Joseph Stalin

¦quot;The measures adopted to restore public order are: First of all, the elimination of the so-called subversive elements. … They were elements of disorder and subversion. On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results.¦quot; -- Benito Mussolini

¦quot;All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.¦quot; -- Mao Tze Tung

¦quot;Armas para que? (¦quot;Guns, for what?¦quot;)¦quot;

A response to Cuban citizens who said the people might need to keep their guns, after Castro announced strict gun control in Cuba. -- Fidel Castro
16:33 July 26, 2011 by asteriks
I don't see what is different between cops/government and this Norwegian? Just watch what German gov is doing with immigrants and you will see that there is no difference between Norwegian and many EU governments. Read this website: http://no-racism.net/article/3865/ and watch some docu movie: http://kanalb.org/metatopic.php?clipId=72
17:32 July 26, 2011 by jbaker
If you thougt Stalin and Hitler were bad news ,wait until the cameras are everywhere and you can not walk down the street without getting searched by the so-called authorities.

The governments around the world have most people scared and Bushy #1's statement about One World Order is almost in place.

Welcome to 1984!
17:37 July 26, 2011 by Lachner
@jbaker - Totally agree with you! This is all part of the "New World Order" conspiracy that the world's elite are planning. Soon all of our liberties will be stripped away.
18:00 July 26, 2011 by Englishted

To use quotes from dictators to support your argument is counterproductive.If everyone had a gun there would be no dictators ?,Africa and the Middle East disprove that.

You are also looking from the American perspective in Europe we don't have such a gun culture ,normally the only guns people see are carried by the police o.k. the armed forces too but they are not normally seen except on the streets.

The death rate from gun crime is on the rise but that is because of the ability to acquire guns is easier following the break up of the Soviet Union,hopefully that can be brought under control.

As stated earlier to stop a determined individual is always a problem but if you can restrict access to the weaponry it can only help or?
18:06 July 26, 2011 by GFG
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:40 July 26, 2011 by jbaker
If Europe had a gun culture in place before the 20th century WWI and WWII would not have happened. No country dared to take on Switzerland because almost every home had a gun and some had cannons. The Nazis took what they wanted because their was no threat in front of them until the Allies arrived.

The United States would never be successfully attacked - They will destroy themselves in a terrable civil war(worse than 1860-1865) - then they may be vulnerable to outside attack in some places.

Europe is in place to be wiped out again by the next tyrant war lord.
06:51 July 27, 2011 by harcourt
Englishted #18

You're right weapons(guns) are the curse of mankind. The sale of weapons should be restricted dramatically. Lets face it it the sale of weapons from one country to another is for two reasons. Firstly political (one way or another) and secondly (by far the greatest reason) - TO MAKE MONEY. The second is obscene and shows the depths to which mankind will stoop !!
21:01 July 27, 2011 by whpmgr
All who want to restrict or forbid guns in the hands of normal people/citizens: HEY. Wake up. The police we depend on took 90- minutes to get to the scene. They are not funded and yo ucannot fund any police force enough(even with the best intentions) to react on time to every situation. Even if they could get there in 30 minutes, how many would be dead. Teh only answer is that those who want guns, and are stable, should have them. The bad guys always will. If two people in that island had a gun, they may have saved many lives.

The news copter was there, why didnt they fly over, pick up a sniper and take him there and forget about the news for a minute or two?

You who wish to say guns are the problems, people are the problem. Most people who own guns legally never have outbursts you read about in the news. Also, the crime rates in Arizona, Texas and a few other places that allow concealed carry of weapons are DOWN. Proof positive that a free people, allowed to protect themselves and the public keep the bad guys at bay.

So wish away our freedoms. Trust that the Police will protect you, and when you dont expect it, a bad guy will come in and prove that they cant be everywhere all of the time. WHen they have heavy presence in one place, the guy goes to another. Evil stuff happens and we need to be able to stop it. Spying on everyone wont catch anything as most people dont know what to look for. Few eyes know, and they are busy.
22:36 July 27, 2011 by harcourt
whpmgr #22

Depends how you classify somebody as a "normal person". My guess is that you think that you are a normal person !!
07:58 July 28, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ whpmgr #22

Are you aware that the "normal Norwegian" is already allowed to carry a gun? There are 31.31 guns per 100 people (shooting is one of Norway's favourite sports; Norwegian athletes are always big favourites in biathlon competitions). This did not help preventing the tragedy on the island of Utoeya.

Police was indeed unprepared. The first attack created confusion and as a result the first reports about what happens on the island were delayed. Police infrastructure was not the best and apparently also not-so-well maintained. My guess is that this can be explained by the low criminality. Norway is a country where most policemen do not normally need a gun to exercise their duty (even if they can have one at any time). If we are to compare Norway to, let's say, US, there are ~2,000 times (!) less gun-related murders. In absolute terms, in 2005 there were only 5 (!) homicides committed with a gun in the whole Norway.

I am pretty sure the performance standards for police intervention will be significantly increased in Norway due to this tragedy.
10:52 July 28, 2011 by harcourt
Getting back to the topic of this article i.e. Helping the German police by reporting extremist views on web forums. After viewing comments here at The Local for the past six months or so, may I suggest that they take a look themselves from time to time at the utterances here !!
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