German Minister of Justice wants limits to the anonymiser service

By EDRi · August 30, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The German anonymization program An.On, developed by the University of
Dresden and the regional data protection authority of Schleswig Holstein
(ULD), is enabling its users to surf anonymously via a Java-webproxy. The
program has been heavily criticized by the Minister of Justice of the German
federal state of Schleswig-Holstein Uwe Döring, even though An.On is still
being financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and

Considering that combating terrorism has become a much more important
objective than respecting privacy and the right to anonymity on the
Internet, Mr. Doring said that “The spending of taxpayers’ money on a
project that makes it possible for terrorists and criminals of all kinds to
commit crimes without being caught, cannot be countenanced. In these days of
the War on Terror it was essential that the authorities obtain information
fast. Such programs are more or less designed to foil authorities’ attempts
to act swiftly” He then asked that limits should be set to the programme and
said that the programme should not be available free of charge on the

After the 2003 legal action against An.On when a German district court
confirmed the legality of such a service, this new statement came as a new
attempt from the law enforcement authorities to stop this project although
supported by an independent state agency.

The ULD has promptly reacted and dismissed the claims of Mr Doring,
explaining that “The project was carried out in close cooperation with the
prosecuting authorities of both the German federal states and the federal
government. If there was reasonable suspicion of a crime and if the German
Code of Criminal Procedure provided for such an approach in the case in
question, it was quite possible to register the IP addresses of computers.”

The Internet content was also the main target of another initiative of the
German officials. The Federal Minister of the Interior and the German police
trade union have recently announced their intention to closer monitor the
Internet content in order to identify the terrorist activities and illegal
propaganda on the web. To achieve that, they considered that they needed
more experts “with appropriate language skills” in order “to intensify the
monitoring of the Internet”, but they didn’t give details on the type of
Internet monitoring taken into consideration.

ULD: “Hands off AN.ON” (only in German, 22.08.2006)

Minister of Justice criticizes anonymization service (23.08.2006)

Federal minister and GdP call for more stringent monitoring of Web content

An.On Service

EDRI-gram : Police Raids German Anonymiser (10.10.2003)