Facebook, Twitter and other social network operators will have to report violent threats from their users, neo-Nazi propaganda, sedition and some other content to the Federal Criminal Police Office. Otherwise they face fines of up to 50 million euros. This emerges from a draft of the Ministry of Justice for the extension of the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG).
"Anyone who rushes and threatens the net will be harder and more effectively prosecuted in the future," Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) announced on Friday. Too often one had to observe last, that words became deeds, that after hate in the net even a murder happens.
The list of reportable content also includes the preparation of a terrorist act, the formation and support of criminal organizations, violence, but also the approval of criminal offenses, death threats and the disclosure of documented child abuse.
Currently, providers only need to delete such content. A new job at the BKA is to collect the contents and the associated IP addresses in the future. Insults, bad slander and slander are not covered by the obligation to register - here the affected person should be able to decide for himself whether he wants to act.
Richterbund demands significantly more specialized investigators
The Minister of Justice is thus implementing a package of measures against right-wing extremism and hate crime, which was approved by the Cabinet at the end of October. But the Cabinet must now vote for the draft before the Bundestag can deal with it in the coming year.
Lambrecht also wants that not only a death threat, but also the threat of bodily harm will be punished as a criminal offense. Anyone threatening others publicly with bodily harm on the Internet would then face up to two years imprisonment, with death threats of up to three years. In addition, the approval of announced crimes should be punishable.
The German Judges Association welcomed the initiative, but called at the same time significantly more specialized investigators and powerful central offices of the public prosecutor's offices. "The criminal justice system is already working on the load limit", emphasized Federal Managing Director Sven Rebehn. "The key to success against hate and hate in the network is in sufficient resources of criminal justice."