14 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 08 Jul 2016 n° 70/2016 Germany

New Proposed Law Set to Increase the Power to Surveil Foreign Journalists

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
A prospective draft was signed off by the Government on 28 June 2016 and will be read in Parliament on 8 July 2016. The new proposed legislation could allow the foreign intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) to increase their power to surveil foreign journalists abroad.

According to the German branch of Reporters without Borders (Reporter ohne Grenzen), the law makes protection from surveillance dependent upon nationality. German citizens would not be subject to surveillance, EU citizens could be to some extent, but citizens from other countries would be at risk whenever Germany’s “capacity to act” needs to be safeguarded or if “insights into foreign and security policy may be of relevance”.

Managing director of Reporter ohne Grenzen, Christian Mihr, said “up until now, each BND law contains an explicit exception for journalists from surveillance regulations. The new BND law, however, does not include any such provisions.”
03 Feb 2019
A similar constitutional complaint lodged by Humanistische Union against the disclosure of personal data by the BND to the Länders’ internal intelligence services (1 BvR 2354/13), is on the role of the First Chamber of the Federal Constitutional Court for 2019.
14 Feb 2018
Journalists, trade unions and rights groups have lodged a constitutional complaint against the BND law arguing that it is unconstitutional as it allows for the "virtually unrestricted" monitoring of foreign reporters.
21 Oct 2016
On 21 October 2016, Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, approved the reform bill on the country’s main intelligence agency (BND).
State replies
12 Jul 2016
Surveillance amendments in new law in Germany pose a threat to media freedom, OSCE Representative says. She asks Bundestag to reconsider bill.
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