Periodic Surveillance Barometer for Germany

Periodic Surveillance Barometer for Germany

State surveillance measures and their impact on constitutional freedoms have long been the subject of legal and political discourse. Building on prior, mainly theoretical, considerations about the need for realizing an “overall accounting” of surveillance, we began developing a broader conceptual approach for establish­ing a periodic sur­veillance barometer. Designed as a theoretically and empirically grounded instrument, it measures and assesses the actual status of surveillance and related burdens from a citizenry’s perspective.
This pioneering project aims at identifying and quantifying the cumulative impact on privacy of various surveil­lance activities undertaken by security and prosecution agencies. The results are meant to provide scientifically-based evidence for academic discussions and to benefit legislatures and the judiciary. The barometer has been conceptualized as a periodic instrument. Only long-term monitoring facilitates early detection and retrospective analyses of changes in application or practice.
Despite global attention and concern with state surveillance, such a transparency instrument has not yet been de­veloped, neither in Europe nor worldwide. Our barometer will become operational, at first on a limited basis, in 2022. The concept envisages developing an additional project for comparative surveillance monitoring in other E.U. member states.
With its focus on the use of the various surveillance powers and their impact the project touches upon the core of the Department's third research area which addresses contemporary challenges for the effective protection of fun­damental rights.


Research outcome: Conceptual study (2021/22) [available from January, 2022] ; pilot issue of the surveillance barometer (2022/23); journal articles and conference presentations (continuously, also in English)
Research focus: 3. Challenges: Fundamental Rights, Rule of Law, Democracy
Project language: German
Photo: © devilmaya / Alamy Stock Photo



Poscher, R., Kilchling, M., & Landerer, L. M. (2021). Ein Überwachungsbarometer für Deutschland. Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur periodischen Erfassung staatlicher Überwachungsmaßnahmen. Zeitschrift für das gesamte Sicherheitsrecht, 4(6), 225–232.
Poscher, R., & Kilchling, M. (2021). Entwicklung eines periodischen Überwachungsbarometers für Deutschland: Pilotprojekt – Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung von Kriminalität, Sicherheit und Recht, Abteilung Öffentliches Recht, Freiburg i.Br. Potsdam-Babelsberg: Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit.
Poscher, R., Kilchling, M., & Landerer, L. M. (2022). Überwachungsbarometer für Deutschland – Ein Modellkonzept. Potsdam-Babelsberg: Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit.
Poscher, R., & Kilchling, M. (2022). Wie lässt sich die Überwachung der Bürgerinnen und Bürger messen? Deutsche Richterzeitung, (3), 110–113.

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