Hundreds of the radical Nazis and right-wing extremists online are actually German domestic intelligence agents, and many of them may even responsible for “inciting hatred” and even violence. These agents, who once needed to drink and directly socialize with members of the extreme right, are now running right-wing extremist accounts online in Germany.
Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) argues that these accounts are needed to gather information, but critics say that they may also be promoting and actively encouraging radicalism, according to a report from German newspaper Süddeutshce Zeitung.
“This is the future of information gathering,” an unnamed head of a relevant state office told Süddeutsche Zeitung.
According to research by the newspaper, the authority has invested heavily in “virtual agents” since 2019, which it finances with taxpayers’ money. Both the federal office and the federal states employ spies, who besides right-wing extremists, are also tasked with keeping an eye on the left-wing extremists, Islamists, and the “conspiracy-ideological” scene.