German Police Create App That Finds Nazi Music

It is illegal to espouse neo-Nazi messages in Germany.  Neo-Nazi/white power-style music is often used by far-right groups as a way to recruit new members.  Now, to help police detect and prosecute such evil propaganda, they’ve created a Shazam-like app for smartphones.

Introduced this week, the new app will undergo a testing phase.  If it works, it may be rolled out across the country.

Der Spiegel reports that it seems to be able to sense Nazi bands and song titles when a short sample is detected by the phone’s built-in microphone.

It apparently works both in a live setting and to recognize songs played on Internet radio stations using a database compiled by whomever is in charge of the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors. 

The main issue to rolling out the app is whether or not this constitutes illegal surveillance under German law.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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