Will Germany’s secret service be allowed to conduct online computer searches?

According to Deutsche Welle, a German newspaper unearthed a secret document belonging to the Interior Ministry, in which is suggested that the secret service should be allowed to carry out online computer searches and to wiretap private houses.

The same document suggests that undercover agents should have immunity from prosecution if they commit crimes during the course of an investigation. This suggestions are believed to originate from the Christian Democratic Union – part of the incumbent ruling coalition in Germany, and the party of the current Chancellor, ms. Amgela Merkel. They are also believed to belong to the party’s post-election plan of action.

In a country whose constitution was purposefully designed in such a way to prevent the fusion of the police with the secret service (and the formation of an agency that could have the kind of power that Gestapo had), outraged reactions could be heard all over the place. Comparing the proposal to a “civil rights horror scenario”, the Left party equalled it with an attack on democracy principles – and the rest of the political parties were not far behind.

The Interior Ministry denied that it was a standing proposal, calling it merely a informal “wish-list” for the future. Either way, this is the kind of wish that many feel should not even exist in the first place.

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