GERMANY: Parliamentary scrutiny unveils "secret police networks"

After the revelation in 2010 of the existence of a European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG)[1], a parliamentary request to the German government on 25 January 2012 has exposed the existence of an International Working Group on Police Undercover Activities (IWG). The group has been active since at least 2007. [2]

In 2010, the German government revealed the existence of the ECG, established in 2001, which brings together police services from almost all EU member states (except Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta). The ECG is part of a Cross-Border Surveillance Working Group. It includes Europol but also non EU-countries (Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) and is not subject to EU Law.

In response to concern over the legal framework applicable to the ECG, the German government announced that neither organisations such as Interpol and Europol, nor private organisations were attending the ECG.

The IWG, however, does play host to private companies operating in the field of security and logistics, as well as Interpol. According to Matthias Monroy, these may include companies specialised in surveillance technologies, and involve undercover agents. This has been the case with the ECG.

Information on "criminal techniques" is also apparently exchanged between cooperating countries. The German government also referred to the existence of an internationalplatform for the provision of exchange of information to "competent psychologists", but provided no further details.

Monroy last year revealed intense cooperation between the British and German police forces, especially after the adoption of EU Council Conclusions initiated by Germany on "simplifying the cross-border deployment of undercover officers" in June 2007. Alleged "Euro-anarchists" have in particular been targeted by undercover police officers. [3]

[1] Matthias Monroy (2012) Spitzel und Sicherheitsindustrie in geheimer Arbeitsgruppe organisier

[2] Deutscher Bundestag Stenografischer Bericht 154. Sitzung, Berlin, Mittwoch, den 25. Januar 2012 Plenarprotokoll 17/154 (p.81)

[3] Matthias Monroy (2011) Using false documents against "Euro-anarchists": the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police Operations and Matthias Monroy (2011) Munteres internationales Spitzeltreiben 


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