Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences / Challenges for Criminal Law in a Digitized World – the Solutions of German Criminal Legislation

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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences. 2019 12 (3)
Schramm, Edward
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Schramm, Edward: Friedrich Schiller University of Jena Germany;
Spying on data; computer sabotage; cybergrooming; cyberbullying; digital detox; core area of personal life; online searches; post-digital age; sabotage of systemically important infrastructure

The digitization of our world is causing a profound change in living conditions. The article discusses how German criminal law and criminal procedure law deals with the resulting challenges. In substantive criminal law, the technology required for digitization and the datas are protected against harmful manipulation by various german criminal offenses specifically related to computer software and hardware. The data change does not require that the offender overcomes certain access safeguards. In the offense of sabotage of hardware and software, the hacker attacks on the computer-controlled supply of systemically important infrastructures (water, electricity, gas) are threatened with increased punishment. Privacy in digital communication is protected against spying on data. In Germany is also a discussion about the introduction of a new criminal offense “digital trespassing”. Unlawful content on the internet is largely criminalized, such as insults, discrimination, child and youth pornography, cybergrooming, cyberbullying and cybermobbing. Also the german criminal procedure law contains a wide range of instruments that enable the state to  observe digital communication. Thus, the German StPO (Criminal Procedure Code) allows the search and seizure of computers and cloud computing. The planned EU-Regulation of Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters is designed to oblige telecommunications companies to secure and release electronic evidence for criminal proceedings throughout the EU. The monitoring of encrypted Skype and Whats App phone calls is possible in the installed software on the device, so the call can be unencrypted listened and recorded before encryption. In addition, law enforcement institutions are allowed to monitor a computer via the Internet using software installed externally on the PC (so-called „online searchings“). However, insights that come solely from the core area of personal life may not be gained by police and used in procedure (§ 100d StPO). In the end, the critique of digitization and the political demands for a post-digital age are briefly discussed

Paper at repository of SibFU

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