10.06.2021

Amendment to the Law on the Protection of the Constitution: eco Association calls for transparency, clarification and control in dealing with state Trojans

Today, Thursday, 10 June, the Bundestag will vote on the German Federal Government’s bill to amend the law on the protection of the constitution and is expected to pass the controversial amendment. eco – Association of the Internet Industry sharply criticises the amendment for weakening IT security, data protection and the trustworthiness of digital communication in the long term. The association also calls for more transparency, as well as documentation requirements on which state Trojans, with which capabilities, are being used.

Klaus Landefeld, Vice-Chair of the eco Board, says:

“Instead of listening to the opinion of numerous experts, the legislator has now decided to rush through the amendment to the law on the protection of the constitution shortly before the end of this legislative period. This ineptitude on such a sensitive issue affects us all, as the so-called “Lawful Interception at the Source Plus” has laid the foundation for an online search that monitors far more than mere communication. I have considerable doubts that courts or other supervisory bodies have sufficient expertise and knowledge about what the state Trojan really does, let alone what it is capable of searching. This applies in particular to Trojans that were not developed by the state itself. Even if gradual improvements are currently emerging in the area of encryption and authorisation, this does not change the basic problem of uncontrolled, comprehensive access to even the most sensitive data. There is therefore an urgent need for documentation requirements and a serious examination of who should be empowered to use state Trojans. Recent developments show that one question is becoming increasingly urgent: Who monitors those doing the monitoring?”

Our demands for action for more trust and security online are summarised in the Internet Policy Agenda – 20 Demands from eco for the 2021 German Federal Election.

Learn more on our German-language website on this year’s federal elections in Germany: eco.de/wahldigital-2021

Amendment to the Law on the Protection of the Constitution: eco Association calls for transparency, clarification and control in dealing with state Trojans