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German secret services snooping over 37 million e-mails

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Feb 25, IRNA -- German intelligence agencies have accessed 37 million e-mails and data connections in 2010 - five times as many as in 2009, the daily Bild reported Saturday.

Keywords like “bomb,” “nuclear” and “rocket” were used by Germany's secret service to pry open and control 37,292,862 e-mails and data connections, Bild quoted statistics from a report released by the Parliamentary Control Commission, which oversees activities the nation's intelligence apparatus.

Germany's domestic intelligence agency Verfassungsschutz, its foreign counterpart BND and the military counter-intelligence MAD have access to online communications data in order to identify terrorists, arms dealers or human traffickers.

German intelligence agencies have plugged into around 2,000 keywords last year, related to terrorism, 13,000 weapons dealing terms and 300 on human trafficking.

Despite this large scale mass surveillance, the operation only led to valuable information in just 213 cases.

Germans have been concerned by the stepped up online surveillance by the country's secret services in recent years, especially in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80005797

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