The interior ministers of Germany’s 16 regional states will meet this week to decide on the roll-out of a Shazam-like smartphone app that is able to identify far-right rock songs, in the hopes that it will curb the ability of neo-Nazis to lure under-18s, using music as a “gateway drug.”
According to a report by German newspaper Spiegel, the app was developed by the German police and can identify within seconds, the 79 pieces of music indexed by the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors last year, for “espousing neo-Nazi ideology or having racist lyrics.”
Dubbed “Nazi Shazam” and prototyped by the regional police office in the eastern state of Saxony, the audio fingerprint indentification system has the advantage of “sparing resources and enabling very quick investigations,” according to an internal government assessment.
It’s hoped police will be able to use it to recognise neo-Nazi music being played on Internet radio or during public gatherings, allowing them to intervene quickly. The 79 pieces of indexed music have sales restrictions placed on them, forbidding them from being made accessible to minors.
According to the Spiegel report, a number of legal issues will need to be addressed before a roll-out occurs, including determining whether the “automatic identification of music being played in a hall” would constitute audio surveillance.