After the State Security and Intelligence Unit’s statement that the terrorist attack planned by radical groups against the LGBT march on 17 June in the capital Vienna was prevented, the issue of controlling messaging applications in the country was brought to the agenda.
In a statement on the subject, Minister of Interior Karner said that the country’s intelligence is not sufficiently equipped against the said applications, and messaging applications such as WhatsApp and Telegram cannot be audited.
“Police need appropriate powers and competencies to do this”
Noting that there is no mass monitoring of commonly used practices, Karner said, “(Monitoring) is about disabling individual threats whose existence is not suspected. Police need appropriate powers and competencies to do this.”
Meanwhile, the junior partner of the government, the Green Party, opposed Karner’s proposal.
The Constitutional Court also stated that the Ministry of Interior of the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), the major partner of the government, opposes the inspection of the said practices.
It was announced that three radical youths aged 14, 17 and 20 were preparing to carry out a terrorist attack against the LGBT march held on Saturday in Vienna, and the said attack was prevented by the intelligence unit.
Austrian State Security and Intelligence Unit (DSN) Head Omar Haijawi-Pirchner said in February 2023 that they wanted to audit messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, citing security concerns.