Coalition agreement “interpreted differently” by SPD and FDP
A planned EU regulation on the scanning of internet communications is causing dissent in the federal government. Platform operators are to be obliged to inspect even encrypted connections of their customers for depictions of sexualised violence against children and adolescents. For this purpose, the companies are to install software for ” client-side scanning” on mobile phones.
At the Federal Press Conference, the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser (SPD), spoke of wanting to “get closer” to this so-called chat control. However, the two FDP-led ministries of justice and digital affairs reject this as a “red line”. Operators of email services and messengers are to be excluded from the regulation and ” client-side scanning” is to be deleted.
This week, the issue was on the agenda of the Home Affairs and Digital Affairs Committees. A statement by committee members of the SPD, Greens and FDP was supposed to call on their own federal government to reject chat control, but was not passed due to a lack of unity among the three parliamentary groups. The coalition agreement explicitly excludes chat control, Konstantin von Notz, deputy leader of the Green parliamentary group, confirmed to “nd”. He had “expressed this many times to the Minister of the Interior”.
In parliament, the SPD and the FDP are by no means at loggerheads, says Anna Kassautzki (SPD), deputy chair of the digital committee, in response to a question from “nd”. “However, the coalition agreement has been interpreted differently in the past months, especially at the working level of the ministries.”
Anke Domscheit-Berg of the parliamentary group Die Linke considers the SPD’s position on chat control “increasingly opaque”. In the digital committee, she said, the state secretary in charge had already given assurances anyway that the federal government would ultimately agree to the planned regulation. “Without violating the coalition agreement as well as fundamental and constitutional rights of the EU, this would not be possible at all,” Domscheit-Berg told “nd”.
In the end, however, the unified voice of the German government is not necessarily important. The EU member states decide their position on the regulation by majority vote. In the responsible Council working group, the project has so far met with fundamental approval.
Published in German in „nd“.