Caught in the Act? An analysis of Germany’s new SIGINT reform

In May 2020, the German Constitutional Court obliged the Bundestag to reform the current legal framework for foreign intelligence collection. It held that future legislation must extend key fundamental rights protections under the Basic Law to non-nationals. It also called an end to Germany’s evasion of independent judicial oversight.

The Bundestag responded to the clear call for constitutionality in March 2021. Yet, instead of seizing the moment to align the German legal framework on foreign intelligence collection with international standards and European jurisprudence on proportionate government access to personal data, the reform of the BND Act added deficits to the democratic governance of foreign intelligence.

The new research report authored by Kilian Vieth-Ditlmann and Thorsten Wetzling analyses the new legislation and calls upon the next government to prepare a more comprehensive and rights-based intelligence reform.Read More »Caught in the Act? An analysis of Germany’s new SIGINT reform