Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has put an end to the groundless mass surveillance of global internet traffic by Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The ruling sends an important signal for the protection of press freedom in the digital age. The court ruled that the BND law disregards both the freedom of the press guaranteed in article 5 and the freedom of telecommunications guaranteed in Article 10 of the Basic Law as it does not recognise that foreign surveillance must be conducted in conformity with the Basic Law. This threatens the trust between journalists and their sources especially in the case of investigative journalism. Therefore, several international journalists and human rights activists filed a lawsuit against the BND law. An alliance of journalists‘ associations and NGOs supported them.
Paul van Gageldonk
Reporters sans Frontières
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