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Germany constitutional court overturns Internet surveillance law

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website] ruled Wednesday that a 2006 North-Rhine Westphalia [state government website, in German] law authorizing intelligence agents to search personal computers, networks, and Internet communications was unconstitutional. The court ruled [text, in German; press release, in German] that the law violates privacy rights, but said similar methods might be appropriate in limited, compelling circumstances, such as if a life was in danger or to prevent an immediate terrorist attack. Bloomberg has more. AFP has additional coverage.

Last year, the German Federal Court of Justice [official website, in German] ruled [text, in German, JURIST report] that police in Germany were not permitted to secretly access computer and Internet data stored on suspects' computers without proper authorization.

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