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The following is a listing of offices in the Federal Republic of Germany that govern and administer the monitoring of the media and public assembly on the national and state level.
For our page on the laws that govern media censorship and public assembly click here.
All links are in German unless otherwise noted.
The Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz is the office that coordinates the protection of the German constitution on a national level. For state offices see the list below.
The responsibility for surveillance of extremist groups in Germany falls to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz - BfV). Although the BfV is not formally endowed with police powers, it actively coordinates measures that are to be implemented by the German Supreme Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) and police against radical groups, including the outright banning of such groups, if this is deemed necessary. Two articles in the German Constitution, which is also known as the Basic Law (Das Grundgesetz) are the legal basis for the surveillance activities of the BfV. The primary function of the BfV is to defend the German Constitution and the democratic order in Germany and to uphold the anti-extremist sections of the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch).
This is the German Federal Constitutional court. It often handles cases that have risen from lower level courts pertaining to the protection of the constitution.
This office oversees domestic security in Germany. Otto Schily is the current Minister of the Interior.
Part of the federal-level legal apparatus which handles constitutional legal issues.
The federal German office that deals with extremism (and other issues) on the Internet,
These offices work with the courts and the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz against political extremism. Legal cases brought against individuals or groups typically originate in these lower level offices.
These lower courts typically hand down the first decisions concerning protection of constitution cases. Frequently records of court decisions can be found on these web sites.