New standards for intelligence service

by Thorsten Koch

Patrick Sensburg (CDU), a member of parliament and security expert, supports the SPD’s demands to appoint a Bundestag Federal Commissioner for intelligence matters. According to a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court, the intelligence services need to be controlled more closely. A terrorism expert at King’s College in London, Peter Neumann, criticized the court decision. It “unnecessary weakened” the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), he said. Neumann added that the BND will now have to “become even more dependent on partner services in the United States and the United Kingdom and ask for information that it can no longer obtain on its own”.

Andreas Schmidt (CDU), the chairman of the G-10 commission in the Bundestag, which is responsible for approving surveillance measures by the security authorities, emphasized that secret services had an “important task”, namely to ensure Germany’s security. Now the legislator must guarantee that the BND’s work can continue abroad, Schmidt said.

According to the constitutional court, the BND must comply with the articles of the Basic Law even for its worldwide electronic surveillance. The fundamental rights include telecommunications secrecy and freedom of the press. In its strategic telecommunications investigation, the BND searches large data streams.

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