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Germany mulls smartphone checks for some refugees

Friday, August 12, 2016 - 01:29

Germany is debating doing checks on the smartphones and social media accounts of asylum seekers who otherwise don't have identification documents, as Europe deals with security issues after a spate of attacks on its civilians. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Germany may have a solution for conducting security checks on migrants who don't have identification documents. Going through their smartphones. It's an idea Germany's debating after a spate of attacks in Europe, some of which were carried out by asylum seekers. It's an approach Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are already testing, says German Interior Minster Thomas de Maiziere. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER, THOMAS DE MAIZIERE, SAYING: "If you want to come to Germany, we have to make safety checks on you. And to make safety checks, we will ask you to show us your Facebook contacts from the last few months, which are public in principle anyway. I don't think that is asking too much." Some Germans aren't waiting for increased security checks to feel safe. The country's gun association says sales of self-defense devices are at their highest level in several years. They spike after each new attack, says the association and this gun shop owner in Essen. (SOUNDBITE) (German) WEAPONS SHOP OWNER, CHRISTOPH KUETTNER, SAYING: "You see the next day that a few more people come in to arm themselves with a pepper spray or an alarm, a tactical flashlight or a blank-firing gun." Ironically, cracking down on illegal gun sales is among the other security measures Germany is debating. Plus internet surveillance and domestic use of military force.

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Germany mulls smartphone checks for some refugees

Friday, August 12, 2016 - 01:29