German intelligence service gets sweeping powers


SITUATION

The German national parliament Bundestag, recently passed a comprehensive reform of its main intelligence service, Bundesnachrichtendienst. The new legislation gives BND more sweeping powers but subjects it to tighter judiciary. The reform came a result of Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelation on BND spying on German citizens on NSA’s behalf and also the evolving threat of terrorism across Europe.

The significant BND new powers allows BND to carry out espionage operations towards EU institutions and other members states of the EU in order to seek “information of significance for Germany’s foreign policy and national security. BND can also cooperate with foreign intelligence agencies like the NSA, provided that such is limited to specific needs as fighting terrorism, supporting German missions abroad and information on safety of German citizens living in foreign counties. Homeland Security Newswire.

However, the new BND mandate is subject to monitoring by an “independent panel”, consisting of two judges, a federal prosecutor and a Permanent Commissioner from the Interior Ministry. Furthermore, monitoring of international communications network will require an authorization at the Chancellors office as opposed to the BND having that authority as was the case before the new legislation.

CHALLENGE

This new legislation recently enacted was not without harsh criticisms from both public and private domain. The BND reform bill was fluidly passed by the current coalition parties (Christian Democrats and Social Democrats) led by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the opposition (Left Party and the Greens) voted against and vowed to petition the legislation in Germany’s highest court.

Amnesty international criticizing the new laws, as it violates people’s rights. “It is nothing but a free pass to intrude into people’s private spheres, as Lena Rohrbach told DW.

The operator of the world's largest internet exchange point DE-CIX based in Frankfurt, in September filed a suit at a court in Leipzig against the government, branding the legislation illegal.

The German media did not hold back their dismay about the new laws as well. It appears there is a general consensus of ill will for this new legislation.

WHY BRAIN FINGERPRINTING

Brain Fingerprinting is a technology that can be used to solve this great divide on perceived blanket intelligence subjectivity and privacy intrusion in Germany when used as an investigative and intelligence gathering tool to help solve or thwart complex crimes or terror plots.

According to Green lawmaker Konstantin von Notz, "our constitution, basic and human rights laws are not an obstacle to the fight against terrorism." Reuters Oct, 21st.

German government could deploy the use of Brain Fingerprinting technology to help bring some level of confidence among its population as it not a mass surveillance tool, it is case or event specific. The technology is non-intrusive and does not violate human rights. Being system driven makes it highly accurate with only one of two simple yet highly accurate results; “Information present or absent.”

Brain Fingerprinting can help German authority bring some resolve and equitable reference to solved cases, investigations and intelligence gathering in a bid to at the same time restore public confidence and achieve national security.

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