New Research Paper: Caught in the Act? An analysis of Germany’s new SIGINT reform

A newly published research report analysing democratic governance of foreign intelligence collection in Germany calls for comprehensive rights-based intelligence reform.

The report commissioned by the HRBDT Project and co-authored by Kilian Vieth-Ditlmann and Dr. Thorsten Wetzling of non-profit think tank Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, examines the German parliament’s BND Act reforms of March 2021 against the backdrop of recent European court rulings which provide momentum to the international quest for better legal standards on proportionate government access to data and the protection of fundamental rights.

The authors conclude the BND Act reforms did not go far enough and that there is a pressing need for future legislative work to align the German legal framework on foreign intelligence collection with international standards to better meet the German Constitutional Court’s minimal requirements.  The report therefore calls for a comprehensive intelligence reform to improve the quality of the legal framework and to guarantee more robust fundamental rights protection and to overcome the undue fragmentation of oversight and authorization processes.

The full report can be downloaded here.