It’s like a rebellious child testing its limits: the CDU in the country tries to stake out claims and drives at least one new pig through the village every week to annoy the traffic lights in Berlin. Winfried Kretschmann acts as if nothing happened.
Now even that is out: Thomas Strobl uses a kitchen scale. At least that’s what he says. And when he weighs what the federal government is planning on the subject of internal security, there’s no rash. Why? Because the “contemporary digital toolbox” is empty. In fact, according to the coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP in the federal government “set the intervention thresholds for the use of surveillance software, including commercial software, high”. The reason lies in particular in the fact that IT security gaps must not be used for monitoring. “Traffic light disruption” is what the Stuttgart interior minister calls it, “grossly negligent and absolutely irresponsible.”
Of course everything is better between the Main and Lake Constance and under his aegis. Baden-Württemberg’s green-black police law expressly allows the monitoring of telecommunications carried out using computers and/or messenger services by means of source TKÜ (telecommunications surveillance). According to Strobl, the supporters of this procedure were able to note “with satisfaction” last July that the Federal Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint against the regulations in the state as inadmissible – but only because the complainant could reasonably be expected to go to the regular courts.
However, the highly controversial source TKÜ has not once been taken out of the toolbox and used in the country. Because not only the legal, but also the (investigative) technical hurdles no longer have to be raised – they already are. The devices to be monitored would first have to get into the hands of the police in order to be equipped with the necessary software at all.
“So far, it has not been very popular in law enforcement, not least because of the considerable technical implementation problems, in particular the great effort involved in detecting a security gap and the secret infiltration of the specific end device,” write the experts from netzpolitik.org. This does not make the source TKÜ an investigative placebo, but it does confirm Leonardo da Vinci’s insight: “Most problems arise when they are solved.”
Loud sounds, little substance
In any case, for Strobl and his CDU, the topic is primarily a means to an end, such as §219a, the abolition of which was pending in Berlin, the institution-related compulsory vaccination, the anti-discrimination law. Or, most recently, the linking of social and mobility policy, including the demands to suddenly raise the commuter allowance and abolish the EEG surcharge. It’s about attracting attention and – last but not least – directing the benevolent gaze of the new party chairman Friedrich Merz to the Southwest CDU, which used to be so accustomed to success. She wants to fly the balancing act and poke the Green coalition partner like a voodoo doll. A strategy is practiced in several elevators. This includes verbally and theatrically thundering against the federal government. Kretschmann’s Greens should somehow feel included according to the motto: “Look, we still exist and we’re not as easy to care for as you think.” And in the third act, the country’s political situation is turned to, because what was negotiated and sealed with a signature cannot be shaken.
The benefit for the CDU lies in headlines such as “Strobl: Traffic lights total failure in terms of security policy” or “Red traffic lights drive households into the red”. The problem is that on closer inspection the issues must fizzle out in state politics, because the Stuttgart coalition agreement contains formulations that are congruent here and there with those in the working agreement between the SPD, Greens and FDP in Berlin. And Strobl in particular knows that many of the CDU’s concessions concern his own house. Not only since the failed CDU top candidate Susanne Eisenmann broke her silence before Christmas and let the public know that she herself had not signed this coalition agreement, because her party had thereby subordinated itself to the Greens. Her examples: lowering the voting age to 16 and the anti-discrimination law.
Both will come in the course of the year and others, such as the reform of the state electoral law, the anonymous identification of police officers during large-scale operations, a new transparency law or the liberalization of the right to stay for integrated refugees. Because, even that doesn’t fit in at all with the appearance of the CDU as a riot opposition to the federal government, behind the scenes even complicated complexes are continuously and silently negotiated. “2022 will be the year of the implementation of many facets,” says the Green Party parliamentary group. “A lot is going in the right direction,” says one of the MPs involved. Therefore, the accompanying music of the CDU is “actually irrelevant”.
Let’s see if Kretschmann buckles
For example, funds have been set aside in the budget for the implementation of the labeling obligation. Examples of how the number combination is placed on the uniforms are circulating in the Ministry of the Interior. The new right-of-residence regulations have been practically negotiated based on the North Rhine-Westphalian model. They not only provide for a residence permit for integrated refugees and their families in work, but also for many deadlines to be shortened. Even in the expired legislature, the CDU had blocked against relief. After the state elections in 2021, however, she had to accept a very far-reaching formulation: “In the future, the state will use all possibilities to give well-integrated, tolerated refugees a right to stay.” The word “all” is decisive.