Cracking down on corporate spying ! (?)

Germany had in the past few years a row of scandals with an identical theme: Corporations became bold enough to behave as if they were entitled to treat their employees like subjects. This concerned especially the spying on subjects, err, employees at work and in general.

This behaviour did fit well to the seemingly ever-increasing desire of the state itself to spy on the citizens.

This latter trend was stopped when the liberals joined the new federal government as junior partner. The coalition treaty between conservatives and liberals already pointed at this, and the new Minister of Justice was a strong signal that the liberals were serious (the same minister had resigned in the 90's from the same office in protest against a then new wire-tapping law).

The wait was long, but now the government even seems to attempt to turn back the trend a bit. The brazenness of the corporations was an easy target for this. The BMJ (Ministry of Justice) developed a bill to restrict such spying and surveillance.

BMJ speech transcript here.

This is good news, of course. There are some open questions, though.

I) Will this attempt to roll back extend to executive powers or will it be limited to corporate rights?

II) Will the discussion about Google Streetview discredit and distract those who fight for protection against spying too much? It looks like an utterly irrelevant and childish discussion to me.

III) Will the Merkel cabinet be able to act decisively on anything?

IV) Some laws of the aforementioned trend were enacted when conservatives were in power. Can they back-paddle?


No comments:

Post a Comment