By Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2020

BERLIN (AP) - The German parliament on Friday approved legislation that will allow investigators to use computer-generated child pornography to gain access to suspect internet portals.

The Justice Ministry said that investigators will need a court’s approval to use the technique and will only be allowed to use it if there is little or no prospect of investigating by other means.

Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said such portals increasingly demand that prospective users upload pictures and videos themselves to gain access, and she wants to give investigators all the legal tools possible to track down the people behind child porn sites.

“It is clear to me that police officials must not use real recordings,” she said.

The bill approved Friday also tightens rules against so-called “cybergrooming.” Contacting children for sexual purposes can be punished in Germany with a sentence of up to five years in prison.

However, that was not the case so far if an offender believed he was contacting a child but in fact was in touch with an adult, such as a parent or a police officer. Such attempts also will be criminalized now.

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