Monday, February 17, 2014

The Newest Scandel

For about a week, I've been sitting back and gazing over a German scandal of sorts.  A decade or two ago....the US used to have four-star scandals.  Today?  The media covers them for roughly seven days, and then it all disappears.  This German one....might last on for weeks.

The deal is this....some SPD political figure of limited notoriety at the national level (less than one percent of the public can recognize the guy if tasked)....has this chance to download x-rated videos via a Canadian distribution point with young teens (or less) featured.....on his Bundestag-provided laptop, which goes through the Bundestag network.  Yeah, it's pretty stupid doing this on a company or government provided laptop, through their service.

There is some argument over what was downloaded.  Some news sources hint that one video was of a thirteen-to-fourteen year old gal.....the rest are definitely underage.  All of this is illegal of course.

The Canadian cops kinda stumble into the service, and note all the customers.  Here's this German purchase, with an IP address tied to they go to the German authorities.  The German cops get to a point early on....when they realize this is the Bundestag server....and it will be difficult to serve a warrant.  So things are discussed and worked out.  Days pass....maybe even a week or two.

By this point, the Interior minister is aware of the search, and knows the person that it is aimed against.  The Interior minister is Hans-Peter Friedrich....a CSU guy (from Bavaria).  He's a mixed bag.  Down in Bavaria....they like the guy.  At the national level....he's an acceptable pain.

Hans now realizes that it's a SPD guy who is the target of this.  Naturally, he decides to tell the head of the SPD party, and at least one other individual.  Legally, he probably violated a couple of ethical rules....but in terms of being honest within the government and the SPD party....maybe this was a wise idea.

Cops finally get some details of the download, and go to the SPD guy's house or apartment.  For some reason.....he doesn't have any IT equipment around, and there's a strong suggestion that he got notified by someone.  The German news media won't admit this....but since the later part of October....they've been in this investigative mode and simply haven't found anything of great substance to arrest this with.  Over a hundred arrest.

In the world of kid only takes the cops a couple of days get enough evidence to arrest someone.  We are way past that point, and I suspect....without any hardware or hard drive....there's no real way to connect the dots on this guy except this download activity noted on the Bundestag server and the address business back in Canada.  In court, this would be a weak case.....without any further evidence.

All of this was kept quiet....up until two weeks ago.  Things went into the toilet at that the Chancellor called Friedrich into her office.  He's moved from the Interior minister job months the Agricultural Ministry today.  Well....she's angry about him telling the SPD leadership about the details early on.  Friedrich was directed (or says he voluntarily did it) resign.

As Friedrich went out the door....the head of the Bavarian CSU party is peeved over the whole business of the affair....noting their guy was legit, and other members of the SPD are at some fault, and they ought to resign.  There's some unhappiness right now at the top of the German government.

Last night.....all of this got featured on the Gunther Jauch 9:45 show.....which is usually political chat and such.

There are several mystery items left in this episode.  Who warned this SPD guy of the pending search?  Did the cops alert the some episodes in Belgium that got everyone all disturbed that cops were part of the problem (not the solution)?  How many people knew about this stuff?  A dozen, a hundred, or a thousand?

As scandals go....this is a two-star episode that is evolving itself into a four-star mess.  You'd think Germans would be more worried about taxes, pension reform, or the NSA stuff....but no....this is topic number one.

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