German opposition criticizes BND′s illegal espionage | News | DW | 02.09.2016
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German opposition criticizes BND's illegal espionage

Green and left-wing politicians have reacted to the latest report condemning the spy agency for illegally gathering personal data. The lawmakers demanded that the BND restrict its surveillance to criminal suspects.

Greens leader Konstantin von Notz told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that the latest revelations justified his party's misgivings about the intelligence agency's activities. The channel tweeted a link to the interview.

Von Notz accused the federal government of sweeping Federal Data Protection Commissioner Andrea Vosshoff's report "under the carpet." Von Notz, who is also part of the parliamentary commission looking into revelations from the US spy agency NSA, said it was common for the BND and the federal government to hinder the commission's monitoring work.

The politician said less than 10 percent of the BND's surveillance work had to do with terrorism. The spy agency, therefore, needed to stop monitoring all citizens and concentrate only on potential criminal suspects. The BND carries out its telecom surveillance activities from its headquarters in Bad Aibling, in southern Germany.

Martina Renner, a member of the Left party, also commented on the latest report. "The findings are shocking and make the draft laws of the coalition appear absurd and misleading," public broadcaster NDR quoted her as saying.

The Vosshoff report accuses the German spy agency of systematically undermining German law. In the document, dated March 2016, Vosshoff said the agency had "without any legal basis, collected personal data and systematically used it." The information was not deleted, in violation of current laws. Vosshoff alleged that the BND had restricted her monitoring massively and that it was impossible for her to evaluate the agency's work "comprehensively and efficiently."

mg/sms (dpa, AFP)

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