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Well, I can think of only one legitimate use for this; to classify hate crimes against gays. That's as neutral a light as I can shine on this one.

Re: Targeted Registration of Homosexuals

Still, if CDU/FDP win the election in September, Germany could end up with an openly gay foreign secretary (Westerwelle). I don't think that could happen in the US today.

So, what´s new? Leftist fringe groups have been telling us for ages that Germany is an evil police state and that the average German is an intolerant closet Nazi. That´s why we definitely need more of Red/Green "Multi-Kulti", and other fun things like the great anti-discrimination law that sadly was stopped by the conservatives...

Actually, I´m a bit surprised that you buy into this rubbish. IMO, Germany is a very open and tolerant society. I do not at all see the danger of drifting off into a police state.
As for the registration of sexual orientation: Apparently the software merely provided the possibility to enter this information. In reality, it wasn´t even used. That would really make the whole story a tempest in a teapot.
Btw, I could imagine many cases where this information might be very useful: E.g. today the verdict was spoken against one of the murderers of a 15 year old boy. Or think of the Sedlmayer and Mooshammer murders.

Actually, if it makes the Germans feel better to consider America the source of all evil, less than they are, etc, so much the better. I surely would not want any unhappy Germans. It ranks them right there with those who are committing act of terror through out the world as their

Besides, the Germans have lots going for them. They have a social welfare state which will care for them. They have social justice which will protect them not only from the Americans, but the Turks and Indians, and who ever else they feel might be a threat to them.

So let them focus on all that is going on around them and feel secure that their future is bright and they need to do nothing but raise the drawbridge.

"Sedlmayer and Mooshammer"? This refers to a crime?

Another question: Was this software 'off the shelf' or custom designed? I was a software developer for 25 years. I know how systems are built. So, I would be curious to know if some company, e.g., SAS, just developed a suite of packages and law enforcement bought them off the shelf or if law enforcement worked with a contracting firm and developed the requirements along side the software people.

@ray
" when they can't even prevent an airplane from crashing and burning on the lawn of the German Reichstag in central Berlin"

Maybe we should get the help from the americans, I heard they know how to prevent those incidents!
*cough - sarcasm cough*

"German police would possibly target homosexuals as a potential criminal group"
At least people here are not getting on a oficial police website with photo, complete address etc. when they need "company" of some prostitute as it happend in some american states!

@raffzahn
>>At least people here are not getting on a oficial police website with photo, complete address etc. when they need "company" of some prostitute as it happend in some american states!

Wait. Are you saying there was a police website somewhere that people used to solicit prostitutes? Too funny! I'd like more info if you can provide it (no links required, from your memory is fine)

Niko, ah got it. That would certainly be the easiest way to develop the most flexible software.

But the more I think about this, the less disturbed I am. Maybe. Back in the '70s & '80s here, many gay hangouts were also havens for illegal drugs, runaways who had turned to prostitution, etc. So although the cops did not have the software to develop a digitized database, believe me the vice cops had those databases in their heads.

So, perhaps this is the same or similar thing? Just asking..........

That's total bullshit. German police doesn't target homosexuals as a possible criminal group, they are just collecting informations about criminals. Sexual orientation is no standard information like eye colour, but if you know by chance that a felon is homosexual why should you pretend not to know it? In those databanks e.g. you also can look up age, gender or eye colour. So does the German police also target 40 year old blue eyed women? Medienkritik sometimes seems to fall to this kind of LLL-junk if they can use it against Germany.

Certainly, some German folks dislike e.g. turks or poles. But all societies suffer from xenophobia. E.g. some americans don't like hispanics. This has nothing to do with the question if the society is an open one or not. It's an open society if you can be what you are and do what you want (as long as you don't harm others), even if some folks don't like it.

@ Rob:

So I guess the entire German media, most of which is also covering this very same story, is also just trying to use this against Germany...right? And Rob, are you trying to deny that there is racial profiling, housing discrimination and intolerance directed against foreigners in Germany? Are you trying to say that foreigners are treated with openess and fairness in German society? I guess you aren't living in the same Germany that I know...

"So I guess the entire German media, most of which is also covering this very same story,"

You're very clever, Ray D. So I guess what the entire German media reports about the USA, Israel, Iraq and so on is also right? At least, the entire German media can't be wrong?

"is also just trying to use this against Germany...right?"

Yes. And they are also trying to use it against the German police. Leftists hate the police, their nation and themselves. The German media is controlled by leftists. Is this realy news to you?

"And Rob, are you trying to deny that there is racial profiling, housing discrimination and intolerance directed against foreigners in Germany? I guess you aren't living in the same Germany that I know..."

I wrote "Certainly, some German folks dislike e.g. turks or poles." Is this sentence so difficult to understand?

@ Rob,

"You're very clever, Ray D. So I guess what the entire German media reports about the USA, Israel, Iraq and so on is also right?"

Like so many people who are out of real arguments, you've now resorted to knocking-down strawmen of your own creation. This is not about how certain sectors of the German media report on the US or Israel or any other foreign nation. This is about how the German police are recording information that jeopardizes the rights of citizens to privacy. In this case, I think the media is right to report on this issue. Frankly, the government has no business recording and storing anyones sexual orientation, especially not if they are crime victims or witnesses. And let me remind you that Die Welt and FAZ, hardly notorious left-wing publications, also covered this story.

"Certainly, some German folks..."

I'm not talking about "some" folks here Rob. I'm talking about the fact that housing discrimination has been perfectly legal throughout Germany for decades now. Racial profiling is a nationwide phenomena. You can see hostility to foreigners virtually everywhere. That isn't to say that all Germans are a part of the problem, but these problems are certainly not isolated to an insignificant minority in some hidden corner of the country. Time to wake up to reality.

@Ray D
>>Frankly, the government has no business recording and storing anyones sexual orientation, especially not if they are crime victims or witnesses

Well, I'm not sure about witnesses, I might end up agreeing with you on that point. But as for victims; I think in one scenario it might be relevant, that scenario being that the person was a crime victim BECAUSE of his/her sexual orientation.

@ Pamela,

I would think the police could record a crime against homosexuals as such without permanently recording the victim's sexuality in a police database. Why would that be necessary?

Ray D

If, as a society, you thought crimes against gays was a real problem, you might want to track over time the number of incidents for statistical analysis/social policies. There is a way you can do that without associating the victim's orientation but it would require separate databases and you would sacrifice the ability to cross-link.

Now, your comment about PERMANENTLY recording a victim's orientation tickles up another approach. Mark it for five years, then transfer the data to a statistical database that is anonymous. Do-able, certainly, but my experience with this kind of thing says that kind of data scrubbing rarely gets done or gets done in such a sloppy manner that everything gets corrupted to the point it's useless.

Well, I see I've put my old system analyst hat on. I should just shut up already, I'm boring even myself!

For heavens sake, not again about xenophobia in germany.
If foreigners dont like the way they are treated here - they are free to leave. Nobody asked any foreigners to stay here forever.

As long as they know how to behave and do their working, its fine to me. Its absolutely correct that those foreigners, who worked here for decades, get their medical care and pensions paid by the government - they really did something for our country.
And the rest will be dealt with when the conservatives are in charge (which is one of the few things one may look forward to within the new government).

I so hope Beckstein will be our next federal minister for inner affairs - just take a look at how well things are managed in bavaria when it comes to foreigners :)
(Though Schily wasnt a bad choice for that position either)

There s one thing i dont understand about the complaints in that blog though: While many keep whining about those 68ers in the current federal government, the same people are complaining about the way foreigners/minorities are treated here. I m so excited what you say when those conservatives took over.


Back to topic:

All the fuss about that homosexual category is totally overexagerated. (German) police tends to note everything special about everyone somehow involved into criminal cases, and being homosexual is considered to be special.

Everyone working within the police system has the ability to access all that data - not only about sexual preferrence.
But what one must not forget is that only educated people, who have been taught the legal fundament for years get that access (in germany). Its that wide access that enables our police to do their work efficiently.

So the benefits from such a police policy outnumber the possible abuses by far.
Its pretty ridiculous to worry about a few sexual entries on some people`s data while virtually everyone can be wiretapped these days.

@ hansemann: I've been very patient and let your comments go until now. But we've had enough of the personal insults. Don't come back until you can conduct a civil conversation in line with our comment policy.

In the US we are all wrapped around the axle on the term hate crimes. In some states if it is proven a crime is a hate crime it can add time to any sentence given.

There are some states who have laws making crime against homosexuals hate crimes or crimes which target them.

So in the US there is some need to capture if the victim is a homosexual. Besides this community uses this information to push their own agenda for more rights.

I have no idea that is crime directed toward a homosexual in Germany is a special class of crime or not? If it is then I could see the need for capturing this information.

As what information the state or any state has about an individual really is of little importance. If they want the information, then they actually can get more than most of us would ever believe everything from the type of ceral we purchased on Tueday to who we just called on the telephone and how long we talked to how much money we make and how much we have saved. The amount of data is just staggering.

@ Joe

"I have no idea that is crime directed toward a homosexual in Germany is a special class of crime or not? If it is then I could see the need for capturing this information."

No there is no such special crime like you mentioned. I believe it is captured simply because our police sometimes tends to act like "police better knows more than enough than knowing not enough".

Hate in fact might also increase the time a criminal has to spend in prison for certain crime constellations in germany, but its not bound to political correctness.

"As what information the state or any state has about an individual really is of little importance. If they want the information, then they actually can get more than most of us would ever believe everything from the type of ceral we purchased on Tueday to who we just called on the telephone and how long we talked to how much money we make and how much we have saved. The amount of data is just staggering."

Thats what i wanted to point out when saying that its ridiculous to protest against such a particular data capturing while everyone`s phone can be wiretapped...

Bottom line is that if such software was used in the US, the German press would be going nuts and German TV would run talk-shows non-stop decrying the rottenness of Amerika. I don't think that is happening now.
Bottom line is that racial profiling is quite widespread in Germany. I'm not saying that _all_ Germans dislike non-Germans, but there are definitely more than "some folks" who do. In fact, just read what this Zyme character has to say about it: "If foreigners dont like the way they are treated here - they are free to leave. Nobody asked any foreigners to stay here forever". Nice, isn't it ? Makes you feel really welcome to Germany. No wonder so many educated, hard-working, law abiding foreigners I know in Germany would move to the USA over night if they just could. Then the German dream would be finally fulfilled: "Deutschland den Deutschen!".

no, nobody asked the foreigners to stay forever.. they are 'guests', right? doesn't that mean the host extends hospitality? hmmm..
German hospitality, an oxymoron, if I ever heard one.
no, foreigner, don't stay here forever.. just as long as we need you to rebuild óur economy (wirtschaftswunder anyone?) as long as you 'serve' us and are of use to us, you are welcome, after that we WANT to toss you out like a disposable razor. Thank God there are laws to prevent that, many Germans would love to see that. Of course the whole society would fall apart.. ever see a German janitor? garbage collector? few and far between.

btw: which parties are governing these states?

I would like to point out one thing again: While the software provided the possibility to register homosexuality, the police apparently did not use it.

Keep in mind that designing systems like these is not a trivial job. I can imagine lots of reasons (Joe and Pamela gave some) why somebody might have thought that this field could be useful. Well, design errors happen all the time.
Much more important is how this was used in practice. And here we can confidently say that there is no indication of abuse whatsoever.

I cannot see the "double standards" some claim: The story is not hushed up because it´s not about America. It was run by almost all major German media.

I see a bit of a double standard by medienkritik, though: On the on side, you hint that Germany is an intolerant and prejudiced society, and on the other hand you complain that Germany isn´t tough enough on terrorism.
You don´t like racial profiling? Well, I don´t like it either. But right now, I´m a bit prejudiced towards Pakistani-looking guys with heavy backpacks. And I actually hope that our police feels similarly.

@ nils

They are all governed by conservatives (CDU/CSU).
Thats why i m so excited about what all those complaining people in here are saying, when those conservatives also take over our federal government this autumn!

i just wrote the last comment

@zyme: will homosexuals then be tracked all over germany? and how about muslims? and jews? and gypsies? and dissenters? and disabled persons?

I really do hope these PeeeCeee Nonsene in the MSM doesn't stop the german police from using their brain - and saving lives.

Isn't "racial profiling" (or let'S call it "ethnical profiling") exactly what Rush & Sean, et. al., want? Does the german police has to search 70 year old german grannies to proof they are not racist?

And for "xenophobia": Al-Guardian has an article that claims two thirds of all british muslims consider to leave Britain after the bombings. Is this bad news, what do conservatives in the Anglosphere think? Just read the comment section at LGF, go figure:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=16816_UK_Islamophobia_Watch#comments

Fakten-Fiktionen, no way anti-gay or anti-muslim:
Um ein eigenes Beispiel zu stricken für Mathematik Gesamtschule, NRW:

Zwei schöne, große, gutgewachsene, braungebrannte, schwule Männer stehen an der Ecke. Dein liebenswürdiger, netter Nachbar, der Dir immer Schokolade schenkt und auch schwul ist, kommt dazu. Wieviele liebe, schöne, große und echt coole Schwule stehen somit an der Ecke?

Mir persönlich wären andere Aufgaben wichtiger, zum Beispiel:

Muslimas in Deutschland bringen durchschnittlich 4 Kinder zur Welt, andere Frauen nur 1 Kind. Wie lange dauert es, bis die Muslime in der Mehrheit sind?

Diese Aufgabe übersteigt aber nicht nur Gesamtschulniveau, sondern auch den Horizont der herrschenden Klasse!

@ nils

"will homosexuals then be tracked all over germany? and how about muslims? and jews? and gypsies? and dissenters? and disabled persons?"

Who knows what will happen next, our politicians sometimes tend to do a lot and sometimes they dont.. depends on whats currently most important.

As regards religious affiliation: That - of course - is tracked. Everyone s religious membership is captured.

I m not sure about gypsies though. Everyone `s address is captured of course, so people without a fixed address will stand out of the ordinary.

"Dissenters" are listed in each years report of the 17 offices of the Verfassungsschutz. (There s one Verfassungsschutz in each of the 16 german countries plus a federal one). They arent called dissenters though ;)
They are called enemies to the constitution or enemies to the republic.

I m not sure about disabled persons - as it is something special to be disabled, i strongly assume that such attributes are also recorded.

Zyme,
"Get their medical care and their pension paid by the Government"

Where did you get that one? Oh, I forgot, isn't that the socialist Mantra?
19.6% pension contributuion, matched by Employer.
15.5% Healthcare, matched by Employer.
I guess, all your money belongs to us. (Government)

Wasn't it the Nazis who made homosexuals where small pink triangles? Which have since become a badge of honor worn by the group Act Up?

In Germany, you MUST (still) register your religion and pay a church tax. If that wasn't also a helpful advantage given the Gestapo back in the 1940s/50s.

Considering one must register his address and also religion, Germany shouldn't have any difficulty in tracking suspected Islamic terrorists. Why 9/11 happened is still a mystery to me.

@ James

"In Germany, you MUST (still) register your religion and pay a church tax. If that wasn't also a helpful advantage given the Gestapo back in the 1940s/50s."

lol yeah, i think so. Come to think of it, its relieving to know that all those immigrants will always be registered from where they came. So if there will be a big hurry one day again, we know where to send them back :)

"Considering one must register his address and also religion, Germany shouldn't have any difficulty in tracking suspected Islamic terrorists. Why 9/11 happened is still a mystery to me."

There are simply too many of those muslims in our country. Like those taking part in 9 / 11, most live their lives inconspicuously. You cant arrest them for that.

Also, our constitution forces our secret services to work independantly from our police. Thats why the Gestapo was so effective (police and secret service at the same time) and why our current police cant get rid of those potential terrorists.

>> Still, if CDU/FDP win the election in September, Germany could end up with an openly gay foreign secretary (Westerwelle). I don't think that could happen in the US today. <<

Abe, you might want to check your kneejerk perceptions. The U.S. Congress alone has three openly gay members: Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; and Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz.

If it's true that the national police are keeping a database of gay people, that is creepy as hell. There is no factual evidence that I have ever seen to suggest that gay people are more or less likely to commit a crime. Explicitly identify and register? WTF?

If gays are regristred by German police something like this is inacceptable. But on the other hand there is e. g. a greater tolerance towards gays and lesbians in our large Protestant churches, who are asocciated with the liberal american 'United Church of Christ' than among most Protestant Churches in the U. S. A. or -of course- in the Roman Catholic Church in Italy and elsewhere. Discrimination is always bad - everywhere in the world.

Rolf, you're railing about descrimination against homosexuals, yet you chose to wage no grievance against Islamic churches? Are you blind in one eye? You have no perspective.

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