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Germany top court upholds terrorism database

The German Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] ruled Wednesday that an anti-terrorism database does not violate [press release, in German] any rights guaranteed by the country's constitution. The court, however, requested the that government perform security enhancements and further access restrictions to the database by the conclusion of 2014. The court also requested that data protection experts regularly check the database to ensure the program confirms with Germany's data regulations. The database was created in 2007 to assist investigators in tracking down suspects.

Recently Germany has contemplated the role technology law plays in combating the threat posed by terrorism. In 2010 the Federal Constitutional Court overturned a law [JURIST report] requiring telecommunications providers to store information on telephone calls, e-mails and Internet use for six months for use in possible terrorism investigations. In 2009 the Federal Constitutional Court upheld [JURIST report] legislation prohibiting public support and justification of the Nazi regime. In 2008 Germany's parliament approved [JURIST report] a new law [materials, in German] which would expand the power of Germany's federal police agency, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) [official website, in German], to undertake online and telephone surveillance.

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