North Rhine-Westphalia: Sexualized violence against children: discussion on data protection

Status: 30/05/2022 11:43

After Cologne police have identified more than 70 suspected perpetrators who are said to have committed serious sexualized violence against children, there is a discussion on how such acts can be better prevented.

Following Cologne police investigations into more than 70 men who are said to have committed sexual violence against children, North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister Herbert Reul (CDU) has called for more rights for investigators. He told WDR on Saturday:

Reporter Jochen Hilgers on yet another abuse complex of sexualized violence against children from Cologne

30/5/2022 16:10

The European Commission wants to monitor messenger services

The background is the controversy over data storage. This would make it easier to identify the perpetrators. However, it is very controversial both at national and European level. Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) expects that this will not be legally applicable in the future either.

At the same time, the European Commission would like to oblige providers of messenger services such as Whatsapp, Signal or Threema to specifically scan their users’ messages for child pornographic images and videos.

Data protection officials criticize EU plans

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. There is no better way to protect children from sexual abuse “by snooping through all private digital messages,” says Patrick Beyer of the Pirate Party in “Report from Berlin”. MEP has been dealing with data protection for years.

And even from the German child protection association comes criticism. It is feared that the planned control will not prevent more child abuse, but that cases of sexting among young people could be reported. This is how it is called when young people, for example, exchange nude pictures in private chats.

“We fear that if messengers and chats are monitored across the board, the number of these cases will increase, that more and more young people will be criminalized while the pedophiles themselves switch to other platforms,” ​​said Joachim Türk of the National Board. from the German Child Protection Association.

Faeser: Prosecution and data protection are not mutually exclusive

“Data protection and child protection sometimes work diametrically opposed to each other,” confirmed Julia von Weiler, CEO of Innocence in Danger eV, WDR.

Federal Home Secretary Nancy Faeser (SPD)

Image: WDR

Study lecture: Julia von Weiler, Chair Innocence in Danger e. V

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Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) does not see it quite as drastically. From their point of view, harshness, “to intervene in the face of this heinous form of crime, does not exclude that we do not also protect private data,” Faeser says in the “Berlin Report”.

The federal government wants to continue searching public platforms on the Internet and unencrypted chats for child pornography. “But we do not want to investigate encrypted private communications,” Faeser said. “That is why we want to take a differentiated approach to the EU directive.”

Reul hopes for a data protection solution

NRW’s Interior Minister Reul nevertheless hopes that the police will be able to track down suspected pedophiles more quickly in the future, thus preventing possible crimes. “How do we manage to do this wisely despite data protection?” said Reul in an interview with WDR. “I can not imagine that wise people can not find a solution to this.”


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