As it turned out, the German secret service kept under surveillance not only the largest media Germany, great Britain, the United States and Belgium. “Reporters without borders” has called these actions “terrible”, Union of journalists of Germany – “a massive attack on freedom of speech”. However, the German government, which likes to teach other countries about democracy, on this occasion somehow remained silent.
The Federal intelligence service of Germany BND is once again in the center of the scandal. As reported on Saturday, the VZGLYAD citing leaked to Spiegel documents, the service followed the journalists of Bi-bi-si, New York Times, Reuters.
“Our journalists must be able to operate freely and without risk, ensuring full protection of their sources. We call on all governments to respect the work of the free press”
Since 1999, under the hood was at least 50 phone numbers and tracked e-mail addresses of journalists and newsrooms around the world with the so-called selector channels. For example, in Afghanistan, wiretapped phones Bureau Reuters, The New York Times. BND followed the office of Reuters in Pakistan and Nigeria.
In the list of objects of espionage were journalists from around the world. For example, in September 2006, the foreign intelligence service of Germany is interested in the activities of the Belgian journalist Arno Zeitman, who worked first for the BBC, and then on France 24, and tapped his phones. At the same time he about it knew nothing, says Russia Today. The journalist worked for 10 years in the zones of conflict in Africa, as a correspondent for the BBC and France 24 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2006, when the DRC elections were held, the Germans joined his two phones. “It was disgusting to know that I listened, because I spoke with very sensitive sources,” he complained now, Zitman.
Under surveillance and got the editors of the world service Bi-bi-si and its affiliates in Afghanistan and the UK. Broadcasting Corporation have already expressed concern in this regard. “The mission of Bi-bi-si – to provide people around the world with accurate information and news, and our journalists should be able to operate freely and without risk, ensuring full protection of their sources. We call on all governments to respect the work of the free press”, – said guide Bi-bi-si, which also appealed to BND for clarification. But neither she nor other editions of a reply from the intelligence agencies or from the government of Germany has not received.
The Union of journalists of Germany has demanded from the authorities to check the information about “a massive attack on media freedom”. International non-governmental organization “reporters without borders” called actionable intelligence “monstrous” and “an unprecedented breach of the Constitution.” Head of the German branch of the Christian World is reminded that freedom of the press – “it is not right to pardon from the German authorities, and the inalienable right of man, which, of course, applies to foreign journalists.”
BND is not the first time in the midst of a scandal over spying on journalists. In 2006 of the parliamentary control Commission of the Bundestag was leaked to the press the information that it was not only about surveillance, but also on the recruitment of journalists. Five of them were called by name. Special activity of the BND allegedly showed against the editors of Spiegel magazine.
Recently the BND was at the center of another scandal in connection with the cooperation with the national security Agency U.S. (NSA), that mass spying on residents and leaders of countries around the world.
Documents on cooperation of the BND with the NSA were published by WikiLeaks in December. Moreover, these data were not obtained from “Russian hackers” (this version immediately rushed to push the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), and from a source in the German Parliament.
All were released almost 2.5 thousand documents of various government services was transferred to the investigation Committee of the Bundestag. Selection includes early agreements (since 2004) between the BND and the NSA and sheds light on details, close cooperation between agencies, as well as internal processes in the German intelligence service.
The report of the BND in Europe and the United States were represented in the Bundestag in 2015. It featured the facts of spying for the German diplomats and even the foreign Minister of France Laurent Fabius. In may of the same year, the BND announced the reduction of data transmission subcontractors to the NSA. Appeared unofficial information about the fact that watching them was even the President of France, not only the head of the foreign Ministry. As lamented by the head of the BND Gerhard Schindler, his service is technically not able to restore information as to what data was transferred to the NSA in 2004 because it did not conduct any accounting.
Last year, the magazine Spiegel reported that the BND and the Federal office for the protection of the Constitution Germany from 2000 to 2013 used refugees as informants. Even after the closing of the intelligence Department on work with refugees in 2014, the government continued to attract migrants to work. In exchange, the migrants were granted asylum in Germany.
In October last year the Bundestag passed a law that allowed the BND to monitor the information passing through the largest German Internet servers, and control the exchange of information between aliens. Critics argued that this will allow you to listen to of almost any.
We will add that in the spying on journalists participated the intelligence of other Western European countries. Two years ago, the Guardian reported that the British electronic intelligence “government communications Centre” read the correspondence of journalists from leading international media. Data about this managed to get from the documents, disclosed by former CIA and NSA Edward Snowden granted asylum in Russia.
Under the scrutiny of the British security services were the same edition of the bi-Bi-si, Reuters and The New York Times and The Washington Post, the French Le Monde, The British The Sun itself The Guardian and the American TV channel NBC. Angry British journalists wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister David Cameron. They called “totally inadequate” the law that allows the wiretapping of journalists by the security services. However, the secret service responded that the interception of communications “not contrary to the European Convention on human rights”.