terror prevention

State Ministers Agree to Joint Security Measures

German Interior Minister de Maiziere uses his mobile phone as he attends a cabinet meeting in Berlin
Will intelligence services soon be able to read the minister's private WhatsApp messages? Picture source: Reuters

The interior ministers of Germany’s 16 states had ambitious goals to crack down on terrorism and improve overall security collaboration for their annual conference. Some 50 items were on the agenda ahead of their three-day meeting with federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in Germany’s eastern town of Dresden.

Under pressure to prove Germany’s ability to ward off terrorism attacks at a time of heightened risk, Mr. de Maizière had called on his state colleagues to overhaul a system of diverse security measures. “We don’t need a patchwork of inner security,” the minister said in reference to the country’s federalized security system, which is unique among major international powers. It devolves police powers primarily to the 16 states, and puts firewalls between the different security and intelligence services.

As a result, Germany’s security officials deal with a hodgepodge of security and intelligence systems across the nation, complicating collaboration and raising questions over whether the system is fit to deal with modern challenges.

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