The Gewerkschaft der Polizei (GdP) union said 2,000 specialized officers are needed to fight crime online and make things safer for young people.
“We need police officers who go on patrol on the internet, as they do in the real world,” said Rainer Wendt.
The proposal comes in the wake of statements by Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich suggesting that the German government should find a way to reduce users’ anonymity on the internet.
The idea has been met with mass derision by activists, who have called Friedrich naïve and his ideas unworkable and a possible attack on free speech.
Wendt suggested that people had “maliciously over-interpreted” Friedrich, and said the minister was on the right track. But Wendt admitted that banishing anonymity online was a practical impossibility and that real progress would be made by more officers tracking wrongdoers.
“This is not created by laws, but only with police unmasking criminals on the internet,” he said. “We need to identify anonymous criminals. But to do that we need much more capacity.”