After the police operation against two terrorist suspects in Castrop-Rauxel, SPD member of the Bundestag Sebastian Hartmann called for a legal obligation to store IP addresses for two weeks.

The case shows that there is an urgent need for a clear regulation for the storage period, said the domestic spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group of the “Rheinische Post”. “It can’t be that security authorities have to hope that terrorist suspects are customers of mobile phone providers with the longest storage periods.” With a traffic light majority, the legal basis should be created “that in future the IP addresses will always be stored for 14 days”.

Investigators in Castrop-Rauxel helped IP address

At the beginning of January there was an anti-terror operation in Castrop-Rauxel, during which two Iranian brothers were arrested. They are accused of planning an Islamist-motivated attack and trying to get poison for it. The investigators only found out about the suspect through an IP address.

A spokeswoman for the SPD-led Federal Ministry of the Interior rated the initiative of the SPD deputy positively. “A legally defined period of time is required for the storage of IP addresses,” she told the “Rheinische Post”. The Castrop-Rauxel terrorism case showed that again.

FDP promotes “quick freeze procedure”

The FDP-led Federal Ministry of Justice sees things differently and instead promotes the storage of IP addresses for the so-called quick freeze procedure. An unreasonable data retention of IP addresses would not offer any legal certainty, as according to the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) this would have to be limited to a “period of time limited to the absolutely necessary”.

The question of securing telecommunications data to fight crime has long been a contentious issue within the traffic light government. Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) wants a procedure limited to specific suspected cases. In the event of an initial suspicion, telecommunications providers would be obliged to store data on individual users for a certain period of time – to “freeze” it, so to speak. However, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser replied that this was not an adequate substitute for storing IP addresses.