“The increasing surveillance capabilities on journalists is a clear threat to media freedom. This draft law runs counter to the very core of fundamental freedoms such as media freedom and freedom of expression.”
Dunja Mijatovic — OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
The draft law makes distinctions between journalists from EU countries and journalists from non-EU countries.
According to the draft law which was debated in the Bundestag, journalists who are citizens of non-EU countries can be subjected to surveillance by the BND [*] — without a court order– if it is in the “interests of Germany.”
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media has voiced concern about the proposed law.
Vaarious Human Rights groups have called on parliament to revise the draft law and ensure the protection of journalists independently from their nationality.
[*] The BND –Bundesnachrichtendienst — is the foreign intelligence agency of Germany, directly subordinated to the Chancellor’s Office.
The BND acts as an early warning system to alert the German government to threats to German interests from abroad.
It depends heavily on wiretapping and electronic surveillance of international communications.
It collects and evaluates information on a variety of areas such as international non-state terrorism, weapons of mass destruction proliferation and illegal transfer of technology, organized crime, weapons and drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal migration and information warfare.
As Germany’s only overseas intelligence service, the BND gathers both military and civil intelligence. [WIKIPEDIA]