[IWAR] DEUTCHLAND Krauts Weaken Constitutional Privacy (fwd)

From: Mark Hedges (hedgesat_private)
Date: Fri Feb 06 1998 - 16:58:01 PST

  • Next message: 7Pillars Partners: "[IWAR] EU report on intl coordination of net"

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 14:17:31 -0600 (CST)
    To: cypherpunksat_private
    Subject: Krauts Weaken Constitutional Privacy
    BONN, Germany (AP) -- Germany reduced constitutional guarantees of privacy
    Friday to fight organized crime, ceding historical concerns over past
    dictatorships to present-day realities. 
    By a one-vote margin, parliament's upper house approved changes to the
    constitution necessary for eventual passage of a law allowing electronic
    surveillance in private households. 
    Before approving the measure, however, the opposition Social Democrats won
    a promise that a parliamentary committee would re-examine the proposed law
    to include protection for some groups -- including journalists, doctors
    and some lawyers. 
    The proposed law has raised warnings about reviving the police state
    tactics of the Nazi regime and former communist East Germany. Mostly,
    though, critics are worried about breaching confidentiality essential to
    some professions, such as doctors. 
    Outside of government, journalists and doctors have been the most vocal
    critics of the draft law, which currently shields conversations between
    suspects and clergy, parliamentarians, and defense lawyers. 
    Journalists view the proposed law as an attack on press freedom. 
    ``It's not about privilege for journalists,'' the chairman of the German
    Journalist Association, Hermann Meyn, wrote in an open letter to
    parliament. ``It's about protection of news room secrets, essential press
    The vote Friday weakened the constitutional guarantee of the sanctity of
    ones home by defining situations when police could bug homes:  during
    investigation of serious crimes -- such as murder, kidnapping, extortion,
    arms and drug trafficking -- with the approval of three judges. 
    The changes necessary for the law also would allow electronic
    eavesdropping on suspects after a crime has been committed -- not just to
    prevent crime -- and for the first time allows information from bugging
    devices to be entered as evidence. 
    Organized crime has risen sharply in Europe since the collapse of
    communist regimes in Russia and Eastern Europe, which loosened previously
    closed borders. Drug trafficking, car theft and smuggling of cigarettes,
    illegal immigrants and even nuclear material has increased. 
    The law must be passed by both houses of parliament. 

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:04:28 PDT