The problem lies in the way the judiciary sees itself and its work, and not just in Berlin. Every time you come to the judges and prosecutors with the subject of IT security and the associated user care obligations, they wave the Constitution and refer to the judiciary independence. Every time you point out that old applications have to be replaced, it is pointed out that changes in form and procedures can neither be desired nor tolerated by the employees.
IT is not a core competence of the administration, and especially not the judiciary with its absolutely obsolete professional mindset. In particular, one does not really understand that as a part of an integrated system in which the user and the applications work together, they also have duties that they must perform. They always point at the IT or IT service providers, and shy away from responsibility.
AULAK is not the only critical specialist procedure in the Berlin judiciary that needs to be renewed. However, the judiciary shies away from the costs and expenses that one would have to invest here. In particular, in such projects, any judges and prosecutors are "voluntarily" ordered as project managers, and staff who have no idea or real interest in the subject would just like to implement existing paper-based processes 1:1 in software. That the IT offers other possibilities is then always dismissed with the reference to the "laws".
Smentek and the ITDZ are not collecting any prestige from their role in the process, but the plight of the Supreme Court is homemade and is mainly due to the inability of the judiciary to renew.
It matters not whether their tool is a feather pen or IT infrastructure, they must master and maintain the tools they select. Imagine if a carpenter did not think sharpening their chisels was something they needed to worry about. Or perhaps more relevant, maintaining their table saw.
However, it is perfectly valid to pick a simpler tool that does the job, and mechanical typewriters are definitely simpler than a network of computers and printers.
This is the cost of the tech industry’s obsession with constantly fiddling with the UI.
Yes, there is too much fiddling with the UI in the industry, but continuing to use 1990's operating systems without updates, just because people don't want to change their ways of working... that is not sensible.
- Berlin (city/state) court was running on Win 95.
- Trojan infected their whole network. Now they disconnected all PC’s from the internet. They run on phones and faxes now.
- Various consultancies (Accenture e.a.) warned them the situation was critical in 2017.
The ol' Galactica strategy
Summary: Berlins Court of Appeals (Kammergericht) kept using Windows 95, even though the maintenance of this OS ended in 2001.
Elsewhere, it is mentioned, that the court was hit by Emotet malware.
Some judges have stored all their documents in the official system and have now lost them, and they have literally no access to their past work except on paper printouts, if they have any. Some other judges did not obey rules and stored their documents also on USB sticks; they now do have some back-ups.
(Google Translate works reasonably well for German-English.)
It's also suspected that the infection of malware came via a private computer handling the files.
Again, Google Translate does a decent job:
Infection may be through private computers
Many of them have in the past, also because of the often outdated service computers, taken office data on storage media such as USB sticks home and worked there in the home office. The fear of having infected the private computer with the virus is great - and apparently justified. The Federal Office for Information Security advises in case of infection with the Emotet virus to a reorganization of the affected computer. Current information about the virus further states: "Emotet is considered one of the biggest threats of malware worldwide."
Then the ECG was interrupted by Windows Update.
E.g. when you can't do administrative tasks online or have to fetch and send some info from and to four different government agencies because they're not allowed to pass it among each other.
But who knows, maybe I'll be thankful for the extra work one day when other societies are wholly ruled by brainwave scanners and social credit systems.
Stupid question maybe, but do Germans actually comply with that law? Even the ostensible justification seems weird; why should religious beliefs be relevant to taxes owed?
Same arrangement in Nordics (dk, fi, is, no, se). Church membership is not mandatory, but membership of the national church or churches comes with a tax.
Is that a coincidence? I think it is not, although it is obvious that the mechanism doesn't work like "start collecting membership dues for Lutherans and you'll have a great welfare state". Rather, it's the current outcome of a long historical development.
WW2 guilt did not stop Austria from applying this law for collecting church dues (for the Catholic church) after WW2, even if the practice was in fact brought to statute books by Adolf Hitler in 1939.
Berlin court used typewriters & fax, hit by rust and lack of paper, now uses cuneiform & clay tablets.
We simply didn't know what dangers lie in connected computers back then, so it's no wonder it would be vulnerable to attack. Still, you'd think the sheer age of it would protect it (who's still attacking Windows 95?) and it probably did keep them safe for some time.
Win95 = Mac '84
If Steve Jobs didn't come back and throw away MacOS to make a new one based on NeXT, they would have been quite dead today.
Where does this headline come from?
Also, by removing digital docs, you make it much harder for those with visual impairments to access such documents.