Just a week ago, we discussed the German Government is preparing a law that will force hardware vendors to include a backdoor in their products and to allow its unit to hack back, now German court rules against foreign intelligence mass communication surveillance.
According to the court, the German foreign intelligence agency (BND) must not store the metadata of international phone calls for the purpose of intelligence analysis.
In April 2016, the German government replaced the head of the external intelligence service after a barrage of criticism over the support offered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) to the NSA in spying activities on European targets.
In June 2016, the government of Berlin approved new measures to rein in the activities of BND agency after its scandalous support to NSA surveillance activity.
In June 2015, Wikileaks released another collection of documents on the extended economic espionage activity conducted by the NSA in Germany. The cyber the spies were particularly interested in the Greek debt crisis. The US intelligence targeted German government representatives due to their privileged position in the negotiations between Greece and the UE.
Germany had reacted with outrage when Snowden leaked documents that demonstrate the surveillance activity, in response, the Chancellor Merkel proposed the establishment of an external watchdog panel of jurists in order to evaluate the activities of the intelligence agency.
“Spying on friends is not on at all” said the Chancellor Merkel at the time.
“Surveillance is a sensitive issue in Germany after the abuses by the Gestapo during the Nazi era and the Stasi in Communist East Germany during the Cold War. Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the United States spying on Germany also caused upset.” reports the Reuters Agency.
In 2015, the Media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders filed a lawsuit against the BND accusing it to have breached the organization’s secrecy and harmed the partners and reporters it worked with.
“The verdict shows that it pays off when human rights organizations defend themselves against the mass storage of data by the BND,” said Christian Mihr, Reporters Without Borders director in Berlin.
The Reuters agency asked about the ruling and the BND said it would wait for the final verdict’s legal justification.
(Security Affairs – BND, surveillance)