A local news station, ksta.de, spoke with an ex-officer of the Federal Police about the state of crime in Germany. Nick Hein, a 32-year-old who served as a Federal officer in Cologne, previously described the Federal Criminal Police Office’s inability to fight crime in Germany. Hein spoke on crime in general, but he explicitly focused on the darknet and cybercrime. The Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt aka BKA) found themselves facing too many problems within a short span of time. Consequently, crime on the darknet became harder to monitor, and the police’s inability began to manifest itself on the streets.
After the shooting in Munich, police forces in Germany made record-breaking numbers of darknet arrests. The shooter’s vendor fell into a sting operation. He helped law enforcement arrest firearm buyers and suppliers. Even after the BKA added charges to the vendor’s indictment, he announced full cooperation with the police. Drug vendor captures seemingly disappeared or at least took a backseat to the weapon-related arrests.
President of the BKA, Holger Münch, announced the first darknet crackdown. Months later, the Interior Ministry conducted a study on the darknet and found that drug trade barely mattered. However, the Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière and Münch jointly announced that terrorism thrived on the darknet. They announced the threat darknet marketplaces placed on the public and law enforcement alike. Weapon transactions, of course, caused the greatest scare.
“The BKA will continue to investigate organized crime and counterterrorism. This is a valid concern about the arms trade, smuggling and falsification of documents,” according to BKA President Holger Münch. “Especially with these offenses, steps to combat terrorism should be taken.”
The study called the darknet “an interface to terrorism” and Hein agreed. He said Germany faced an unexpectedly rapid expansion in the number and frequency of terrorist attacks. “The ability to fight the cybercrime on the Internet must also be improved – from the monitoring of the terrorist recruitment to the arms trade in Darknet. A stronger executive police force in all areas is urgently needed,” he said. The influx of immigrants made the job more difficult—authorities rarely knew the intentions of an immigrant. And the darknet only complicated the problem; fake documentation is easily obtained.
During the press release, the Minister said:
Organized crime threatens us all. In the case of the fight, it is above all the law on the disposal of wealth that is important, with which the assets of unclear origin are easier to recover. This grabs the criminals where it hurts them. The changed cyber communication challenged the police to change their methods. We started developing and therefore using tools for collecting and examining mass data. Also to monitor encrypted communications. This costs money, requires qualified personnel, But is expected to combat cybercrime effectively.
These changes take time and money to ever reach their full potential, Hein acknowledged. He said that “at heart,” he shared the mentality of any officer of the law. And if the option existed, Hein would put the uniform back on.