Germany high court rejects disclosure of NSA spy targets
Germany high court rejects disclosure of NSA spy targets

[JURIST] The German Federal Constitutional Court [official website] on Tuesday rejected [press release] a request by the Bundestag Committee of Inquiry into NSA Activities that the German government release the US National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] Selector List of spy targets in Germany. The NSA and the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) [official website, in German] had been working together for various intelligence endeavors when claims arose in 2015 that the NSA’s investigations may have violated the rights of some German citizens. However, the court declined to grant the request, because the lists also concern security interests of the US meaning they are not subject to Germany’s “exclusive power of disposal.” The government’s interest in non-disclosure, particularly with regard to its international and intelligence reputation with the US, outweighed the parliamentary interest in obtaining the information.

Data collection and government surveillance continues to be a contentious issue world wide. In February the US Department of Justice filed a motion to compel [JURIST report] Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Earlier that month, the Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK Parliament released a report [JURIST report] outlining its concerns with the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill than plans to expand data collection and Internet spying. In January the Ontario Superior Court ruled [JURIST report] that police orders requiring telecommunications companies to hand over cellphone user data breached the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Last November the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order allowing the NSA to continue compiling telephone records of a California-based law firm, just one week after a federal judge ruled [JURIST reports] against the part of the agency’s surveillance program involving the bulk collection of domestic phone records.