“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.Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
UPDATE — Earlier this year, we learned that the BND — Germany’s foreign intelligence service — has long spied on global media’s journalists.
When confronted with the news, Bruno Kahl — the current boss of the BND — provided the following explanation:
“That’s not so easy to answer from where we sit. But we have no interest in investigating journalists on the whole. Neither domestically nor abroad. We are searching for information that is relevant to our security and looking for people who are planning evil deeds. It can’t be avoided that these people sometimes communicate with others who are less suspicious.”
The surveillance program of journalists by the BND began in 1999.
The BND monitored journalists from the BBC, Reuters news agency and the New York Times as well as many others around the world. — END of UPDATE
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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.
Various Human Rights groups have called on parliament to revise the draft law and ensure the protection of journalists independently from their nationality.
About the BND
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]
Germany’s BND spied on major media — (February 2017)
Der Spiegel reported that BND had listed at least 50 telephone and fax numbers and email addresses of journalists or newsrooms on its list for surveillance since 1999.
The list includes journalists from BBC, The New York Times, and Reuters. According to the magazine, it is unknown if the surveillance is still ongoing or not.
The list is believed to have covered only part of the Federal Intelligence Service’s international media targets at the time.
Media rights group, Reporters Without Borders, labeled the alleged surveillance a monstrous attack on press freedom. The group says it is planning legal action.
German Bill will allow BND to Spy on Foreign Journalists
One Year Ago — German Bill will allow BND to Spy on Foreign Journalists