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Sebastian Kirsch: Blog » German police collects data on homosexuals

Sebastian Kirsch: Blog

Sunday, 24 July 2005

German police collects data on homosexuals

Filed under: — Sebastian Kirsch @ 01:17

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Following up an earlier post, I find that the present is rapidly catching up with fiction.

It has now become known that the software used by German police departments has a category for tagging people or places as “homosexual". This software collects data on suspects, victims and witnesses and allows one to connect this data with the place of the recorded incident. This place can in turn be tagged as a “homosexual venue", thereby allowing one to quickly retrieve all data on persons associated with homosexuality. A companion program even allows the police officer to label a perpetrator as “homosexual” – even though homosexuality as a crime as not been persecuted in Germany since 1968. Interestingly, there exists no corresponding category for crime victims: apparently, the designers of the software were only thinking of prosecuting homosexuals, and not of victims of hate crimes against homosexuals. I think this makes the intent obvious: Not efficient police work, but discrimination and prejudice against homosexuals. The software in question, called “IGVP” and “PVP", is in use in Bavaria, Northrhine-Westphalia and Thuringia.

The association of lesbian and gay police officers VeLSPol first breached this news in a press release, and followed it up with an open letter to the states using the software, lobbying for an immediate deletion of the offending categories. The story was also reported in Spiegel Online, online branch of the renowned German news magazine Der Spiegel, and Heise Newsticker, online branch of computer magazine c’t. Another longer article is on Indymedia.

Homosexuality was a crime in Germany until 1969, and the corresponding part of the criminal code (ยง175 StGB) was not abolished until 1994. In comparison, homosexuality was decriminalized in Switzerland in 1942.


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