Civil society: Law on data access endangers confidentiality of internet use (2 May 2013)

 On Friday, the International Press Freedom Day, the Federal Council will decide on the controversial law to report inventory data on Internet users and passwords. Ahead of the vote call nine civil society organizations, the prime ministers of the countries to revise the project fundamentally.

A joint statement of the Working Group on Data Retention, of the German Journalists Association (DJV), the New Judges Association (GCC), the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the German journalists and journalists' Union (dju), the Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy, the Evangelical Conference for telephone counseling and Open Door, the Humanist Union and the Organization offices of criminal law organizations published today reads:

"The confidentiality and anonymity of the Internet usage is at stake when the state authorities are given far-reaching access to our Internet use and to our most private data. The fear of investigation or any other harm impair the free use of the Internet, which in certain areas can only be done under the cover of anonymity (eg. medical, psychological or legal advice, press informants and whistleblowers, political activism).

We urge all Lander Prime Ministers to stop the law in the Bundesrat and to revise the law fundamentally in the Conciliation Committee:

  1. The anonymity of Internet use (static and dynamic IP addresses) must be at least as well protected as phone data - no surrender without a warrant, no access in trivial cases (eg minor offenses), no electronic information interface!
  2. We speak out against upgrading the Federal Criminal Investigation Office (BKA) and Customs Office (CCC) to an "Internet police"!
  3. Our passwords belong to us - no disclosure of passwords to our emails, our photos, our social networks and our online storage services!"
  1. Working Group on Data Retention
  2. German Journalists Association (DJV)
  3. German journalists and journalists' Union (dju)
  4. Evangelical Conference for telephone counseling and Open Door
  5. Humanist Union
  6. Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy
  7. New Judges Association (NRV)
  8. Organization Office of criminal associations
  9. Reporters Without Borders (RSF)