Child pornography: data protection for investigators an obstacle

Bamberg’s public prosecutor, Thomas Juger, has called for more legal and technical options in the fight against child pornography on the Internet. Gugger is the director of the Center for Combating Child Pornography and Online Sexual Abuse. The center is part of the Bavarian Central Office for Cybercrime (ZCB), which is based in the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Bamberg.

Data Retention Law: Investigators at a Dead End

In an interview with epd, he expressed his lack of understanding of politics. “The legislature can help us relatively easily and not,” Gouger said. In its statement it refers to the allocation of IP connections, popularly known as data retention. Due to current laws, these personalizations, which can help convict offenders, must be deleted after a certain period of time for data protection reasons.

This could mean: After lengthy investigations, the emergency services have located the IP address from which videos of serious abuse are being sent, but still nothing else can be obtained because the mapping to the contact has been deleted after seven days.

“In such cases, it is a very short period of time. Because the perpetrators who do something like this are very well technically equipped. They hide their IP addresses, they encrypt their data. Dead end, which is frustrating.” Thomas Juger, Attorney General

Although the problem only affects a few cases, it is mostly serious. According to Goger, there is often current and possibly ongoing child abuse in the room.

Child pornography: psychologically stressful investigative work

A total of eight prosecutors are investigating the Child Pornography Center. There are also four IT forensic scientists who help investigators evaluate the vast amounts of data and support them in technically complex cases.

Investigative work is psychologically stressful, especially for prosecutors, who must scrutinize materials and write down every detail and procedure. It is very difficult, especially when the culprit cannot be finally identified.

Children and young people also send child pornography

According to Goger, child pornography cases do not always focus on the sexual abuse of children. Pornography of children and young adults themselves is often sent to courier groups. In order not to expose yourself to prosecution, it is important not to send files under any circumstances. There is a minimum of one year in prison for distribution, regardless of the intent behind it.

Parents should go to the police in such cases. They can be sure that “the investigators are not going to shoot the sparrows with guns,” says Guger. Then there will be no home search for all students in the class. Prevention and media education are more rational steps in this case.

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