German online hate speech reform criticised for allowing ‘backdoor’ data collection

Germany’s Network Implementation Act, NetzDG for short, has become even stricter. Social networks must now not only delete potentially criminal content but also report it to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). However, some data will have to be forwarded to the authorities, even before they have established suspicion. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Late Thursday afternoon (18 June), the Bundestag decided to tighten the laws against hate speech online, which will work in conjunction with the NetzDG, which was adopted in 2017.

Previously, if someone posted potentially criminal content on social networks, these only had to delete the post.

Now, the new amendment provides for an obligation to report to the BKA, whereby social networks also have to transmit some user data, such as IP addresses or port numbers. The aim is to guarantee effective prosecution, which could have a preventive effect.

“Words can become deeds. The horrible deeds of Halle/Saale, Hanau and the assassination of Kassel district president, Dr Walter Lübcke, have made this clear to us in a vivid way”, Thorsten Frei, deputy chairman of the Union parliamentary group, has said in a press release.

Article URL : https://www.euractiv.com/section/data-protection/news/german-online-hate-speech-reform-criticised-for-allowing-backdoor-data-collection/

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