Federal Minister of Justice insists on tougher penalties for Internet hate
BERLIN Federal Justice Minister Christina Lambrecht (SPD) has defended the planned tightening of the law on hate on the net. “Inhuman incitement of the people and threats on the net will lower inhibition thresholds”, Lambrecht said, referring to the alleged right-wing extremists arrested on Friday in the Rheinische Post.
“The case shows once again how extremists are joining forces to attack people in our country and our democracy,” warned the SPD politician. Extremists would radicalize themselves from nowhere. This Wednesday, Lambrecht and Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) plan to introduce the legislative package against right-wing extremism and hatred on the net into the cabinet.
“Those who rush and threaten on the net will be prosecuted harder and more effectively in the future,” Lambrecht announced. Among other things, the legislative package provides for a tightening of the Network Enforcement Act. In addition, criminal law will distinguish between insults in the digital and real world. In view of the “unlimited reach and the often very aggressive way of committing such acts due to alleged anonymity”, higher penalties are envisaged for corresponding statements on the net, as was stated when the measures were announced at the end of October.
Federal states against anonymity on the net
Meanwhile, the states of Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have declared war on anonymity on the net in the Bundesrat. Hate and hate on the Internet could not be adequately punished at present, as offenders often use pseudonyms. Therefore, providers of social networks and game platforms should be obliged to register the names, addresses and dates of birth of their users.
“In this way, the authors of hate comments would be identifiable and could be held criminally liable,” says a Federal Council communication. The two federal states had submitted a corresponding bill on Friday. The Bundesrat’s technical committees will discuss the motion next week. (ls)