Intelligence Oversight Index: Surveys for journalists and activists start

There are many ways for civil society and media to scrutinise surveillance by intelligence agencies. They can, for example, investigate intelligence policy, draw attention to surveillance practices or initiate litigation against surveillance laws. The Intelligence Oversight Index (IOI) takes this into account and depicts civic intelligence oversight as one set of democratic practices to scrutinise surveillance by intelligence agencies.

Pilot study on civic oversight in France, Germany and the UK

The GUARDINT research team, led by Stiftung Neue Verantwortung and the WZB, has developed two different surveys for different target groups to assess different components of civic intelligence oversight activities. One survey gathers information from journalists and a second one collects data from members of civil society organisations (CSOs) about their work on intelligence-related topics. Multiple workshops with researchers, journalists and members of CSOs as well as legal experts have helped us to conceptualise and refine the surveys. As a pilot study, we conduct the surveys in France, Germany and the United Kingdom to test the methodology and collect first hand empirical data.

The web-based surveys query journalists about their reporting and investigative research and CSO representatives about their public campaigning, policy advocacy and strategic litigation. The questions cover, for instance, the scope of activities, the specific legal context in which civil society and media actors operate, their available resources, and the specific constraints that civil society actors and journalists face when they work on surveillance by intelligence agencies.

Call for survey participants

If you work on intelligence-related topics – either as a journalist or for a civil society organisation – please reach out to us. You can contact the research team via or write to individual members of the research team at SNV and WZB. You can also write to us with recommendations about relevant individuals or organisations that work on intelligence-related issues in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.