Data protection officer criticizes monitoring plans

Data protection officer criticizes monitoring plans

The federal data protection commissioner, ulrich kelber, has sharply criticized the grand coalition’s plans to expand the surveillance powers of the german intelligence services.

"The level of state surveillance now exceeds that which is sustainable for a democracy," said kelber in an interview with the "spiegel" newspaper.



The federal government wants to allow intelligence services to read communications via whatsapp and other encrypted messenger services in the future. The cabinet recently decided that the constitutional protection service, the federal intelligence service and the military counterintelligence service (MAD) should in future be allowed to monitor not only ongoing speech via messenger, but also messages sent via messenger. This telecoms surveillance involves spamming software onto suspects’ devices.

"The intelligence services should not be given such additional, massive powers of intervention in private spheres," kelber emphasized. This means that potentially all areas of life are subject to surveillance. Germany has so far been justifiably proud of the security and reliability of its IT infrastructure, kelber said.

Supporters of the bill say it would return domestic intelligence to the level it was at before the invention of the internet and mobile communications. At the time, tapping landline phones was enough.

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