Heiko Maas (born 19 September 1966) is a German SPD politician. He is Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection since 17 December 2013. Before he has been the leader of the SPD group in the Saarland regional parliament since 1999.


Early life and education

Maas was born in Saarlouis on 19 September 1966. He studied law at Saarland University.


Political career

Maas was first appointed to the Saarland Parliament in 1996, under the mentorship of Oskar Lafontaine who would later leave the Social Democrats to found his own party.

Leading the SPD into the 2009 state election only months before the federal elections that year, Maas announced he would form a coalition with Lafontaine’s Left Party should the two obtain a majority, suggesting that the party could become a potential ally for the SPD at federal level in the 2013 election. At the time, any such coalition in Saarland was widely seen as undermining the pledge made by the Social Democrat’s candidate for the federal elections, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, not to rule with the Left Party. Eventually, the SPD only gained 24.5 percent, making it the party’s worst election result in the state.

After the 2012 state election, the SPD went into coalition with the CDU, which before that election had been governing the state in coalition with the Green Party and the Liberals. While the Social Democrats and Left had won enough seats to form a coalition, Maas ruled out such an alliance in favor of a coalition with the CDU led by incumbent Minister-President Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. As deputy minister-president, he took over responsibility for the economy, transport, and employment.

Following the 2013 federal elections, Maas was part of the SPD team in the negotiations with the CDU/CSU on a coalition agreement; he was a member of the energy policy working group led by Peter Altmaier and Hannelore Kraft. On 17 December 2013, he was sworn in as the minister of justice and consumer protection in the third cabinet ofChancellor Angela Merkel, succeeding Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.


Political positions

Homeland security

Following the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in December 2014, Maas told German newspaper Bild: "The CIA's practice of torture is gruesome Everybody involved must be legally prosecuted."

In early 2015, Maas successfully introduced a new law meant to mitigate radical Islamist attacks, by making it a criminal offence to travel abroad to receive military training. Shortly after, he and Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) jointly submitted a draft law permitting the temporary retention of internet and telefone data – excluding e-mail traffic – to aid criminal investigations.


Crime and prosecutions

In July 2015, Maas announced plans to amend Germany's penal code on sexual assault in accordance with the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe; the reform is to punish abuse which exploits a victim's fear of a "perceived menace" and tighten sentences in rape cases.

In August 2015, Maas initiated the dismissal and retirement of chief federal prosecutor Harald Range; his ministry had questioned Range's decision to open a much-criticized treason investigation against journalists of netzpolitik.org who had reported about plans of Germany's domestic spy agency – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – to expand surveillance of online communication. Range, meanwhile, had accused the government of interfering in the investigation.


Digital policy

In a 2014 interview with the Financial Times, Maas called it "not acceptable" that Google "dominates the search engine world, and is able to rank its search results in a manner apt to promote its own business interests." In 2015, he endorsed criticsm expressed by Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VzBz) which held that Facebook’s data protection terms were too vague. Later that year, he publicly accused Facebook of doing too little to thwart racist posts and hate comments on the social media platform.

The object of mass VOTE: Heiko Maas.  
German political

Rate the damage it causes (does not cause) the object of VOTE to the European Commonwealth.

Method of ethical VOTE is to choose one of the following  values:

 0 - moral, there is no prejudice to the European community;
-1, -2, -3 - minor damage, harm to the European community;
-4, -5, -6 - damage of medium gravity for the European community;
-7, -8, -9, -10 - substantial damage, harm to the European community.


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