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Erik Tuchtfeld

LL.M. (Glasgow), Research Fellow

Main Fields of Research:

Platform Regulation; Data Protection Law; Comparative Constitutional Law; International Human Rights Law

Academic Career:

since 08/2020: Research Fellow at the MPIL

since 09/2020: Associated Editor at the Verfassungsblog

since 04/2019: Editor at the Völkerrechtsblog

12/2020 - 12/2022: Legal clerk at the Higher Regional Court, Celle, inter alia as trainee at the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information and at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Lower Saxony

10/2020 - 04/2022: LL.M. by research-student at the Glasgow Centre for International Law and Security (title of the thesis: "Publicizing the global town-square: social media platforms as addressees of public obligations in the United States and Germany")

10/2014 to 07/2020: Legal Studies at the University of Heidelberg with a special focus on Public International Law

  • Internships at the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) and the Hamburg Office of Hogan Lovells International LLP (Practice Group: Data Protection Law)
  • European Law Moot Court 2016 (2nd place at the Regional Final in Maastricht)

10/2017 to 07/2020: Student Research Assistant at the MPIL in the Ius Publicum Europaeum-project

08/2016 to 07/2017: Exchange Year at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Recent Publications

  • Case law on content moderation and freedom of expression. Global Freedom of Expression, Special Collection of the Case Law on Freedom of Expression, 2023. Open Access
  • Quasi-Judicial Oversight Mechanisms for Social Platforms – A Conversation with Catalina Botero Marino, Co-Chair of the Oversight Board. In: RuZ - Recht und Zugang 3, 254-262 (2021). doi: 10.5771/2699-1284-2021-3-254. Open Access
  • ÖR-Examensklausur zum Versammlungsrecht und Grundrechten: Mit Megaphon und Namensschild. In: JURA - Juristische Ausbildung 2, 229-241 (2022). doi: 10.1515/jura-2020-2593 (with Laura Hering).
  • Referendarexamensklausur – Öffentliches Recht: Verfassungsrecht und Verwaltungsrecht – Das virtuelle Hausrecht. In: Juristische Schulung 1, 55-60 (2022) (with Laura Hering). beck-online
  • To Break Up or Regulate Big Tech? Avenues to Constrain Private Power in the DSA/DMA Package. Verfassungsblog (Symposium), Berlin/München/Heidelberg, 2021, 112 p. (editor with Heiko Richter, Marlene Straub). Open Access
  • Keine Pflicht zur Drohne. In: FAZ Einspruch, 20.08.2020. (with Florian Kriener) Open Access-Link
  • Das Recht auf Schutz der Privatsphäre im Cyberspace. In: StudZR WissOn 2, 389-419 (2018). doi: 10.11588/srzwo.2018.2.63027. Open Access
  • Zur Notwendigkeit einer Verbandsklage im AGG. In: Zeitschrift für Rechtspolitik (ZRP) 5, 139-141 (2018) (with Sarah Ponti). beck-online


  • No Backdoor for Mass Surveillance: The European Court of Human Rights Protects the Right to Encrypted Communication. Verfassungsblog, 29 February 2024. doi: 10.59704/8939c7915eda51dc. Open Access
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Problematic Desires of the European Court of Human Rights for Upload Filters in Content Moderation. Verfassungsblog, 23 September 2023. doi: 10.17176/20230923-103502-0. Open Access
  • „Vielen Dank, Ihre Post ist unbedenklich“: Wie die Europäische Kommission das digitale Briefgeheimnis abschaffen möchte. Verfassungsblog, 25 May 2022. doi: 10.17176/20220525-182426-0. Open Access
  • Don’t shoot the Messenger: Von Telegrammen und öffentlicher Kommunikation. Verfassungsblog, 21 December 2021. Open Access
  • Doppelt zitierfähig: Ein Workflow zur persistenten Referenzierung von Wissenschaftsblogs. Verfassungsblog und Völkerrechtsblog, 10 June 2021. doi: 10.17176/20210610-192900-0 (with Evin Dalkilic, Maximilian Steinbeis, Raffaela Kunz, Christian Mathieu, Kathleen Neumann, Sebastian Hofmann). Open Access
  • Towards a European Court of Fundamental Rights: How the European Court of Justice Becomes the Last Instance of Fundamental Rights Adjudication in Europe. Verfassungsblog, 19 October 2020. doi: 10.17176/20201019-233346-0. Open Access
  • Introducing Völkerrechtsblog 3.0. Völkerrechtsblog, 14 September 2020. doi: 10.17176/20210107-184735-0 (with Raffaela Kunz, Christian Pogies). Open Access
  • Grundrechte schützen – eine grenzenlose Verpflichtung?. Völkerrechtsblog, 23 January 2020. doi: 10.17176/20200124-061640-0. Open Access
  • Marktplätze, soziale Netzwerke und die BVerfG-Entscheidung zum "III. Weg". Verfassungsblog, 26 May 2019. doi: 10.17176/20190529-122246-0. Open Access
  • Filtering fundamental rights. Völkerrechtsblog, 25 March 2019. doi: 10.17176/20190325-151801-0. Open Access
  • There is no such thing as a German ISIS fighter?. JuWiss, 06 March 2019. Open Access
  • Why International Investment Law is not violated by the GDPR. Völkerrechtsblog, 05 November 2018. doi: 10.17176/20181106-100851-0 (with Lars Borchardt). Open Access



    • Co-Host of the German Völkerrechtspodcast, in charge of the following episodes:

      • #1 Das Interventionsverbot – with Florian Kriener, January 08, 2021. Open Access

      • #4 Das Gewaltverbot – with Paulina Starski, April 09, 2021. Open Access

      • #7 Völkerrechtssubjektivität – with Andreas Zimmermann, July 02, 2021. Open Access

      • #10 Kritische Perspektiven auf das Völkerrecht – with Sigrid Boysen, October 01, 2021. Open Access

      • #13 Regionaler Menschenrechtsschutz – with Ximena Soley, January 07, 2022. Open Access

      • #16 Krieg in der Ukraine – with Christian Marxsen & Julia Emtseva, April 01, 2022. Open Access

      • #18 Völkerrecht und Verfassung - with Mehrdad Payandeh, June 03, 2022. Open Access

      • #21 Terrorismus - with Nahed Samour, October 07, 2022. Open Access

      • #24 Das Recht auf Privatsphäre im Digitalen Zeitalter - with Kristina Hatas, February 03, 2023. Open Access

      • #27 Völkergewohnheitsrecht: Viel Meinung, wenig Übung - with Niels Petersen, May 05, 2023. Open Access

      • #31 UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention: Ableismus und Recht(-swissenschaft) - with Lys Kulamadayil, November 10, 2023. Open Access

    • Corona Constitutional

      • #49: Vom Sinn und Zweck des Datenschutzes – with Ralf Poscher, October 23, 2020. Open Access

      • #53: Ein Recht auf Anonymität im Internet – with Johannes Caspar, December 18, 2020. Open Access

    TV Appearances

    • Bericht aus Berlin Extra: Chatkontrolle: Warum die EU eure Messenger überwachen möchte, ARD, May 29, 2022. Open Access

    • DW Nachrichten: Meta-Konzern erlaubt Hate Speech gegen Putins Krieg, Deutsche Welle, March 21, 2022. Open Access

    • Der Tag vom 13. Dezember 2021, Deutsche Welle. Open Access (Segment at 14:55 min)

    • zoomIN: Wird das iPhone zum spyPhone?, ZDF, September 24, 2021. Open Access


    • Ars Boni Podcast, #450: Content Moderation, Upload Filters and Freedom of Speech, November 03, 2023. Open Access
    • F.A.Z. Podcast Einspruch, #210: Kollektiver Aufschrei gegen die Chatkontrolle, May 25, 2022. Open Access
    • IT-Experte Erik Tuchtfeld zu eVoting: Zu komplex für die Berliner Verwaltung (Interview), Berliner Zeitung, September 29, 2021. Berliner Zeitung


01 Dec 2023

The Regulation of Social Media Platforms: Safety or Censorship?

Presentation at the seminar ""Cultural change through social media" organized by the Theodor Heuss Academy of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom on current developments and challenges in the regulation of the digital public sphere.

21 Nov 2023

Case Law on Content Moderation and Freedom of Expression

Presentation on judicial decisions in the area of freedom of expression and content moderation on social platforms at a seminar of the São Paulo School of Judges. Event Page

09 Nov 2023

Moderación de contenidos en redes sociales: ¿Quién decide qué debe estar en el Internet?

Presentation at a joint online seminar of the Global Freedom of Expression Project of Columbia University and the Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP) on court interventions regarding content moderation on major social platforms, in particular with regard to Germany and the US. Open Access

09 Oct 2023

Regulating the New Magic: Promises and Pitfalls of the EU's AI Act

In the MPIL's Monday Meeting (the former "Referentenbesprechung"), the challenges for the regulation of artificial intelligence as well as the current draft of the European Union's AI Act were presented.


06 Jun 2023

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear: Year 1 of the political discussion concerning chat control

A recap on the discussion of the last 12 months about the introduction of a "chat control" by the CSA regulation as proposed by the European Commission. Together with khaleesi (Chaos Computer Club).


re:publica 2023

21 Apr 2023

Conflicts in the Digital Realm: Democracy & Human Rights

Presentation at the annual conference of the German "Platform Civil Conflict Resolution" ("Plattform Zivile Konfliktbearbeitung") concerning "Digital Peace: How do conflict resolution and digitization influence each other?"


Conference Program

13 Jun 2022

The Regulation Laying Down Rules to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse: A Fundamental Rights Assessment with Special Focus on the "Chat Control" Measure

As part of a background discussion held by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on the topic of "Digital Youth Protection and Chat Control" with interested decision-makers from politics, the European Commission's "Chat Control" proposal was introduced and assessed from a fundamental rights perspective.

10 Jun 2022

#Chat Control: How the European Commission wants to read your messages - and what we could do against it

With its proposal of a "regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse" the EU Commission is planning the de facto abolition of the right to privacy in online communication, effective encryption and introduces monitoring obligations for webhosting companies.


re:publica 2022

25 Apr 2022

Machtkritik, Meinungsfreiheit und Beleidigungen

At MPIL's Monday Meeting, the decision of the German Constitutional Court regarding the "Künast" case was presented and its effects with regard to the former jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights on freedom of speech, defamation and the critique of power were outlined.


Open Access

10 Feb 2022

Who is the Guardian of Free Speech? - Heidelberg Salon

Together with Oversight Board’s Co-Chair and former Inter-American Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Professor Catalina Botero Marino (Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University), Professor Martin Eifert (Humboldt University Berlin) and Professor Matthias Kettemann (University of Innsbruck / Hans Bredow Institute, Hamburg) the relationship between State courts and emerging private dispute resolution mechanisms in the realm of content moderation, their effect on freedom of speech on the internet and new regulatory proposals in instruments such as “Europe’s Constitution for Internet Platforms”, the Digital Services Act, were discussed. Open Access

01 Mar 2021

Powerful Platforms: When the President is silenced

On January 08, 2021, in the aftermath of the Capital attack, Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies shut down the accounts of then-president Trump. In the “Referentenbesprechung” at the MPIL, the differing approaches by legislation and jurisprudence towards social media regulation, in particular content moderation, in the United States and in Germany were presented.


Open Access

12 Oct 2020

Schrems II and the Level of Protection of the Right to Privacy outside of the European Union

In the "Referentenbesprechung", the Schrems II-decision by the ECJ was presented with regard to its legal basis, the critique of the judgment and possible perspectives for the transfer of personal data from Europe to the United States. [German]


Open Access

07 May 2020

Protection of Fundamental Rights - a Borderless Obligation?

Talk at the "Heidelberger Kreis", a student platform in Heidelberg organizing academic talks, about Germany's obligation to respect fundamental rights guaranteed in the German constitution in its global surveillance program. [German] Open Access


Wintersemester 2023/24

Digital Policy

Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Free University Berlin

Wintersemester 2021/22

Preparational Course for the State Exam: Public Law I

Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg

Sommersemester 2021

Public International Law Working Group (Modules: International Organizations; Relationship between National Constitutional Law and Public International Law)

Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg

Sommersemester 2021

Preparational Course for the State Exam: Public Law I

Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg

Wintersemester 2020/21

Public International Law Working Group (Modules: International Organizations; Relationship between National Constitutional Law and Public International Law)

Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg

Wintersemester 2020/21

Preparational Course for the State Exam: Public Law I

Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg

Participation in Conferences at Home and Abroad

Participation in two panels and two two-day workshops on "Alternative Futures" for the digital space with Indian academics and civil society in New Delhi and Kolkata on the invitation of the two Goethe-Institutes., New-Delhi/Kolkata, India, 24.11.2023 - 30.12.2023

Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law (ESIL), Aix-en-Provence, France, 30.08.2023 - 02.09.2023

Workshop on Global Corporations and International Law, organized by the Laureate Program in Global Corporations and International Law (Sundhya Pahuja) and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Anne Peters and Alexandra Kemmerer), 13.07.2023 - 14.07.2023

Max Planck Masterclass in International Law by Prof. Daniel Halberstam: The Construction and De(con)struction of Rights in America: Practice and Anti-Practice from Madison to Trump, Heidelberg, 24.04.2023 - 27.04.2023

Transatlantic Dialogue on Surveillance Standards and Safeguards, organized by Stiftung Neue Verantwortung und Open Technology Institute, 17.05.2021 - 25.05.2021

Two-year college in social sciences by the German Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), member of the working group „Völkerrecht in der Krise?“ (Public International Law in Crisis), organized by Prof. Sigrid Boysen and Prof. Andreas von Arnauld, 15.09.2019 - 30.09.2021

Academy of the German Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), member of the working group „Zukunft der Europäischen Union“ (Future of the European Union), organized by Dr. Daniel Schade and Sophie Pornschlegel, Koppelsberg, Germany, 19.08.2018 - 25.08.2018

Academy of the German Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), member of the working group „Recht und Terrorismus“ (Law and Terrorism), organized by the former Judge of the ECJ, Prof. Ninon Colneric, and Prof. Sebastian Scheerer, La Colle-sur-Loup, France, 20.09.2015 - 03.10.2015


04/2015 to 09/2021: Fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)

10/2014 to 03/2015: Fellow of the Foundation of the Germany Economy (Stiftung der deutschen Wirtschaft (sdw))


Since 12/2020: Board Member, since November 2022 Co-Chair of D64 - Center for Digital Progress

Since 09/2020: Associated Editor at the Verfassungsblog

Since 04/2019: Editor at the Völkerrechtsblog



German, English, Spanish

Sonstiges Engagement

12/2019 - 09/2022: Open Access Ambassador

Social Media