German intelligence officers monitor the media?

For almost three years, a special Commission of the Bundestag on investigation of cases of spying by the national security Agency USA (NSA) in Germany. Last week at a meeting of the Commission even invited as a witness Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel). Poll Frau Merkel lasted several hours and was held behind closed doors. However, it seems that MPs have been unable to obtain from the head of government is no new information on the activities of the NSA in Germany and the cooperation of Americans with the German intelligence services. In any case, MS state Chancellor continues to stick to its line that was informed about the whole situation, when the scandalous revelations have appeared in the press. It is curious that at the meeting with Angela Merkel for the first time the question was raised about the surveillance of foreign media, which, with the help of the Americans was conducted by the staff of the Federal foreign intelligence service (BND). The members of the parliamentary Commission has not yet proceeded to a detailed consideration of this situation. But the journalists of the newspaper Spiegel, referring to the available documents, clearly state that such surveillance was carried out at least since 1999.

It turns out that the employees of the BND monitored at least 50 phone numbers, email addresses, and Fax numbers used by the journalists and editors of major international publications by the so-called selector channels. Among the objects of surveillance are called, in particular, the offices of the BBC in the UK and Afghanistan, the Bureau of the newspaper The New York Times in Kabul, branch of Reuters news Agency in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. It is known that the wiretapped communications, the Belgian journalist for nearly twenty years working in Africa, who has worked for a decade as a correspondent for the BBC and France 24 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So, in 2006, when the DRC held elections, the German intelligence service was connected to two phones for wiretapping.

Of course, the BND employees shall conduct intelligence work abroad, because this activity is their direct responsibility. But the problem is that promulgated by the journalists Spiegel cases, the surveillance was carried out not just against journalists but against the “friendly” German States and citizens of these countries. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel famously that spying between friends is unacceptable. However, this statement is the head of the German government did to the American special services.

International non-governmental organization “reporters without borders” has called the German intelligence “an outrageous attack on press freedom” and “new level of violation of the Constitution.” Human rights activists fear that BND will continue to work on the wiretapping of foreign journalists. The more that this possibility is indeed provided for in the new Law on BND, which is now being developed by the German legislators. In turn, the Union of German journalists (DJV) has demanded the Federal government conduct a comprehensive investigation. “If suspicions are confirmed, then we are dealing with a massive attack on media freedom”, — said the Chairman of the Union of journalists Frank Uberall (Frank Überall).

Itself German intelligence service has not commented on the situation and the possible exchange of information obtained through the monitoring of journalists, with us intelligence agencies. A few weeks ago the head of the BND Gerhard Schindler (Gerhard Schindler), said the parliamentary Commission of Bundestag that his Agency technically cannot recover information about what data was transferred to the NSA since 2004, because such records were not kept.