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Iran Press TV

Germany’s spy service plans to expand online surveillance: Report

Iran Press TV

Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:59AM GMT

Germany's Federal Intelligence Service has a multi-million-euro plan to expand its Internet surveillance, a new report says.

German news weekly Der Spiegel said in a Sunday report that the intelligence agency -- known by its German acronym, BND -- has planned a 100-million-euro ($130 million) program over the next five years to expand web monitoring.

The program requires up to 100 new staff members on a “technical reconnaissance” team, the report said, adding that it will cover 20 percent of all communications between Germany and foreign countries.

The weekly magazine noted that due to technical limitations, the BND currently monitors only five percent of emails, Internet calls, and online chats.

Meanwhile, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Der Spiegel that “Of course our intelligence services must have an Internet presence,”.

“We have to balance out a loss of control over the communication of criminals through new legal and technological means,” he added in an effort to justify the Internet surveillance by intelligence agencies.

On June 6, The Guardian revealed a top secret US court order that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect data on millions of Americans who are customers of the major US phone company, Verizon. Edward Snowden, a former technical worker for the CIA, has been revealed as the source of the leaks about US phone and internet surveillance.

According to the order, Verizon should “on a daily basis” give the NSA data, including phone numbers, location, and duration of all phone calls in its systems, both in the US and between the US and other countries.

The German weekly’s report comes ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama to Berlin during which Germany intends to take up the controversy over Washington’s surveillance programs.


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