'Nazi Shazam': Police Devise App to Curb Far-Right Music
German police have developed a Shazam-like smartphone app that allows them to identify far-right rock songs by playing just a brief sample. It could make it harder for neo-Nazis to lure under-18s with music, which is seen as a "gateway drug" into the scene.
German authorities are considering using software akin to a smartphone app that would help them identify neo-Nazi music in seconds, SPIEGEL has learned.
The new software would let police quickly identify neo-Nazi rock music, which officials regard as a "gateway drug" into the far-right youth scene.
The regional police office in the eastern state of Saxony has developed a prototype system of registering audio fingerprints from neo-Nazi rock. It has the advantage of "sparing resources and enabling very quick investigations," said an internal government assessment.
Last year, the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors indexed a total of 79 pieces of music for espousing neo-Nazi ideology or having racist lyrics. The indexing imposes restrictions on sales and forbids them from being made accessible to people aged under 18.
It's unclear whether Germany's interior ministers will adopt the system, though. A number of legal issues need to be addressed before it can be deployed. For example, lawyers need to determine whether the automatic identification of music being played in a hall would constitute acoustic surveillance.
Stay informed with our free news services:
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2013
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH
Click on the links below for more information about DER SPIEGEL's history, how to subscribe or purchase the latest issue of the German-language edition in print or digital form or how to obtain rights to reprint SPIEGEL articles.
- Frequently Asked Questions: Everything You Need to Know about DER SPIEGEL
- Six Decades of Quality Journalism: The History of DER SPIEGEL
- A New Home in HafenCity: SPIEGEL's New Hamburg HQ
- Reprints: How To License SPIEGEL Articles
MORE FROM SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL
German PoliticsMerkel's Moves: Power Struggles in Berlin
World War IITruth and Reconciliation: Why the War Still Haunts Europe
EnergyGreen Power: The Future of Energy
European UnionUnited Europe: A Continental Project
Climate ChangeGlobal Warming: Curbing Carbon Before It's Too Late