According to the latest crime statistics, the number of recorded cases of child abuse online has more than doubled. The interior minister says the IP addresses are urgently needed for tracking.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser has spoken out in favor of securing the IP addresses of computers in order to be able to better track child sexual abuse on the Internet.

“I think you need the IP addresses,” said the SPD politician on Deutschlandfunk on Wednesday. “It’s less about data retention as a whole. It’s about how we can secure the IP addresses as much as possible so that we have access in these cases and can also identify the perpetrators.”

A German regulation on data retention has been on hold since 2017 due to an ongoing legal dispute. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) still has to decide on this. “We will wait and see and then implement the rule of law,” said Faeser.

The federal and state justice ministers will also talk about the subject at their meeting in Hohenschwangau in Bavaria this Wednesday.

Traffic light relies on “Quick Freeze”

The traffic light coalition wants to use the so-called “quick freeze” method instead of data retention. Internet providers are only asked to store data on individual participants for a certain period of time if there is initial suspicion. In another case, the ECJ held that it considered this to be legal in order to combat serious crime and prevent serious threats to public security.

Last year, the police in Germany recorded significantly more depictions of child abuse than in 2020. More than 39,000 cases became known to the authorities in 2021, according to a special evaluation of the police crime statistics presented on Monday. This corresponds to an increase of 108.8 percent in the cases of dissemination, acquisition, possession and production of images of sexual violence against children and young people.