Mud-slinging and compromises

The SPD and Alvar Freude want data retention, the AK Vorrat does not

The excitement about the model application of the discussion group Netzpolitik und Gesellschaft at the SPD party executive is rough and last week it was mainly ignited by the person of Alvar Freude, who together with Henning Tillmann and Jan Monikes is responsible for this model application (State of the debate by Jan Monikes). Joy, who has been known for years as a civil rights activist because of his work against censorship, has been called a corrupt traitor, a turncoat, or worse. In addition, the portrayal of some bloggers also led to a condemnation of AKV – "how can they tolerate such a person in their ranks?"-Comments were the logical consequence of this.

Claims that Alvar Freude "resign all his offices in the various associations lobbying against data retention" However, the claims made by the Stuttgart-based author of the "Censorship" report come to nothing insofar as the latter is active in the FITUG (Forderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft) and AK Zensur, but not in AK Vorrat. There: "if you sign up for the mailing list, you’re in". Alvar Freude, however, has never done so by his own admission. His Burgerrechtstatigkeit focused largely (but not only) on the freedom of recipients, as well as the avoidance of censorship regulations on the Internet. The fact that many are of the opinion that a "Burgerrechtler" The fact that the majority of civil libertarians must per se accept all views considered correct leads to a hasty condemnation.


Moreover, there is no basis for accusing Alvar Freude of being a corrupt turncoat in the area of data retention. Anyone who takes a closer look at his attitude towards this is currently experiencing a deja vu. Already in January of this year, such a debate took place when Alvar Freude spoke out against Quick Freeze and in favor of a VDS in the form of IP retention in an interview with Die Zeit. Freude’s response to the ensuing storm of accusations and allegations was a commentary called Gross IP Phobia and the Panacea Quick Freeze, in which he substantiated his views.

Mudslinging and compromises

Alvar Joy. Photo: Thomas Vogt. License: CC BY 2.0.

The current excitement is in this respect only the second rehash of a debate, which fires up over and over again when Joy makes his opinion known, and which ultimately also testify to a willingness to silence every contrary opinion with ad hominem attacks. This is an unfortunate development, which in the end is more likely to lead to a split of citizens’ rights initiatives than to shared views of different actors. The fact that Alvar Freude, in his exposed position as a member of the Enquette Commission, advocates a VDS light (no matter what he calls it) and the "IP hysteria" cannot understand, is regrettable, however his right. In this regard, it is always worthwhile to take a critical look at the role of the Enquette Commission, which is beyond the scope of this article.

Preventing the worst by doing the worst

Alvar’s Joy argues in favor of data retention, which, although a "modified version" but nevertheless constitutes a VDS. As Thomas Stadler aptly describes, this initial form of VDS may lead to the clarification of everyday and mass crimes, but will mean little help in the clarification of serious crimes.

Even statistical sleight of hand like "previously it was stored between 7 and 90 days, so 80 days is an improvement" cannot distract from the fact that the suspicion-independent IP storage is a VDS, which the AKV consistently rejects. The logic that by "less serious IP storage" a "worse retention practice is prevented" paves the way for a VDS in general.

The argumentation "In the past, no one was bothered by the fact that data was stored for 90 days" leave aside the fact that, as a result of the work on the VDS, parts of the population now have a different attitude towards it – in the past knew many people do not even know how long their IP address will be stored and what this means. To conclude now that a return to this time would be better than a VDS, as desired by many law enforcement officials and politicians, is ignorant of social developments.

For the SPD, this approval of the VDS has tactically positive sides – it can pander to the CDU, but at the same time it also accommodates the liberals. While they officially drive a "No-VDS"-track, but the Federal Minister of Justice has already proposed a seven-day "VDS light" as a proposal, which might also be in line with her attitude towards the "Intellectual Property" especially with regard to the reservation of the right to information by a judge. With a not too long IP-storage the "Realpolitik" Enough done, at the same time rights exploiters only had the hurdle "Judges’ prerogative" to overcome the current obstacles in order to obtain addresses of copyright infringers, etc., in a more cost-efficient way than at present. to come. If the warning practice is not curbed, also a potentially good business for the well-known law firm Schalast und Partner, which includes Jan Monikes, who is a member of the SPD party council and the social democratic discussion group Netzpolitik.

No deviation possible with the GAB

The AKV, however, cannot afford such tactical games, realpolitik compromises or the like. His reputation and also the amount of his comrades-in-arms is not least based on a consequent no to the VDS, even in a weakened form. If it were to deviate from this, migration would be the consequence and the acceptance that had been built up for years, not only throughout Germany, as a "civic bulwark against the VDS" was collapsing in itself. That is why it is all the more important not to hastily mix up things that do not belong together and thus, through less than prudent behavior, to damage the reputation of the very people one wants to support.

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