Google takes legal action against Germany’s expanded hate speech law


Berlin-Google said on Tuesday that it was taking legal action against an extended version of the recently enforced German hate speech law, which violated the user’s right to privacy.

The Alphabet unit, which operates the video-sharing site YouTube, has challenged the administrative court in Cologne with a provision that allows user data to be passed to law enforcement agencies before it becomes clear that a crime has been committed.

The judicial review request was made by Germany in fear that hostile discourse and influential operations conducted via social media could destabilize the country’s normal stable campaign politics. It will come when we are preparing for the general election of the month.

“In our view, this massive intervention in user rights contradicts not only data protection, but also the German Constitution and European law,” said Sabine Frank, regional director of public policy on YouTube. I am writing in. ..

In early 2018, Germany enacted a hate speech prevention law known in German as NetzDG, which put online social networks YouTube, Facebook and Twitter in charge of cracking down and removing toxic content.

The law, which also requires social networks to publish regular reports on compliance, has been widely criticized for being ineffective, and Congress passed a law in May to strengthen and expand its application.

Google has addressed certain issues with its extended Netz DG requirements. This requirement requires the provider to pass to law enforcement the personal information of anyone sharing suspected disliked content.

Only when personal information is possessed by law enforcement will the decision to file a criminal procedure be foreseen. This means that innocent people’s data can be unknowingly recorded in a crime database.

“Network providers such as YouTube need to automatically transfer large amounts of user data to law enforcement agencies on the basis of alleged criminal offenses, without legal order and without user knowledge.” A Google spokeswoman said.

“This undermines our fundamental rights and has been decided by the Cologne Administrative Court to have a judicial review of the relevant provisions of NetzDG.”

Douglas Busbine