Digital police law and digital security

The more our working and everyday life becomes digital, the less legal provisions oriented to analogue processes are suitable to precisely manage the novel  hazards to public safety and order that are lurking on the Internet. However, general and special administrative law are still struggling to determine exactly where digital investigatory measures belong in their normative structure.

Yet in an era of ubiquitous mass data evaluation and on the threshold of an “Internet of Things”, the work of the regulatory authorities is dependent on normatively clear, constitutionally well-grounded foundations. The research project “Digital regulatory law” examines the outlined problematic area. Based on the findings collected, it formulates specific proposals for constitutionally permissible digital normative measures.

The research project takes a close look at the lawfulness and practical feasibility of the methods of the regulatory authorities currently being discussed in police and criminology studies. The focus is on innovative and novel approaches, such as bodycams, drones, Darknet investigations, or the use of artificial intelligence by the police (e.g. predictive policing) or wearables in law enforcement (e.g. electronic tags).

Furthermore, the project analyses whether the right to telecommunications secrecy (Art. 10 Grundgesetz of the Federal Republic of Germany) requires a normative update in an era of digital change (for example, with regard to source telecommunications monitoring), takes a look at the various forms of telecommunications data retention and examines the data protection law questions of police work (especially with regard to Directive 2016/680/EU). Finally, the project also deals with the question of a “hack-back” of the state and other aspects of investigatory work of the security authorities on the Internet.

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Prof. Dr. Mario Martini


 Roland Klein