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Internal security: data transfer: Karlsruhe decides on the protection of the constitution

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Due to far-reaching surveillance powers, intelligence services are subject to strict rules when exchanging information. But does the Federal Constitutional Protection Act meet all the requirements?

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What is allowed in the name of security, where is the state possibly going too far? The Federal Constitutional Court regularly deals with these questions. The judges in Karlsruhe have now dealt with the disclosure of data by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Your decision will be published in writing today.

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Several regulations in the Federal Constitutional Protection Act were examined, which regulate the transmission of data to law enforcement and security authorities and also to other bodies. Karlsruhe has made strict requirements for such an exchange between intelligence services and the police in previous judgments.

The separation principle is important

The reason for this is the different areas of responsibility: the covert secret services are allowed to do a lot, but have to limit themselves to observation and reconnaissance. The police are responsible for intervening in criminal cases, and they have to comply with much more precise rules. This so-called separation principle must not be undermined by the intelligence services simply passing on the data they have collected to the police for their operations.

The fundamental right to informational self-determination is affected. “Restrictions on data separation are only permissible in exceptional cases,” says the judgment on the 2013 anti-terror database. “The exchange of data between intelligence services and police authorities for possible operational activity must therefore serve an outstanding public interest.”

Senate objects to a number of powers as too extensive

The First Senate has now decided on the constitutional complaint of a single plaintiff, which has been pending since 2013. One of the offending regulations was heavily revised in 2015 – as a reaction to the Karlsruhe judgment on the anti-terrorist database.

Just recently, the same Senate examined the Bavarian Constitutional Protection Act in a major fundamental case and found that a number of powers were too extensive. Among other things, the regulations on spying and wiretapping of apartments, on online searches and cell phone location, on the use of so-called informants and on longer observations were affected.

Source: Stern

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