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World News

Germany mulls new panel of judges to oversee intelligence agency BND - Sueddeutsche Zeitung

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s intelligence agency BND should be held accountable by a new oversight panel of six judges, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Saturday, citing a proposal for a draft law from the chancellor’s office.

Four judges will have the rank of Federal Judge, and have the power to challenge the legality of BND’s activities, Sueddeutsche said, citing the contents of a 111-page document.

In May, Germany’s Constitutional Court said some of the intelligence agency’s practices were unconstitutional.

The ruling had said that telephone and internet surveillance of foreigners abroad by the BND violated freedom of the press and right to privacy in telecommunications enshrined in the constitution, or Basic Law.

The complainants were mostly journalists reporting on human rights violations in conflict zones and in authoritarian states who were concerned about legal provisions allowing the BND to collect, store and analyse data via telecoms monitoring abroad.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Grant McCool

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