Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Spies Win Right to Keep Monitoring All Traffic at the World’s Largest Internet Hub, at Least for Now

The largest Internet hub in the world is in Frankfurt, Germany. Not only does much of the European data flow through that facility but so does a lot of the Internet traffic destined for North America and many other countries. The German Federal Intelligence Service, Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND, is able to sift through the floods of digital data that traverse its facilities.

Of course, the BND shares the information found with other governments that are friendly to Germany. The BND shares its findings with the US National Security Agency, or NSA, under a scheme that was at the time codenamed Operation Eikonal.

Reporters Without Borders then took the case to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, complaining about the breaking of the G10 telecom secrecy law, infringement of free expression and freedom of profession, and its lack of effective legal recourse. However, the constitutional court rejected the complaint, again arguing that there was insufficient evidence of the BND monitoring journalists.

Reporters Without Borders then asked the European Court of Human Rights to prohibit the invasion of personal privacy conducted daily by the BND. That case is still pending.

You can read more in an article by David Meyer in the ZDNet web site at

Categories: Legal Affairs

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