During next week’s Interior Ministry conference in Leipzig, the German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, is reported to be preparing to introduce new legislation in favour of “allowing third parties to hold the legal duty of surveillance”. According to a report by Redaktions Netzwerk Deutschland (RND), this bill will dramatically increase the jurisdiction of the state to perform mass surveillance on its citizens.
The legislation that De Maiziere plans to introduce will provide the German authorities with the ability to create a backdoor into digital devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and laptops, etc. The bill would also allow the authorities to spy on any device connected to the internet, as well as to compel tech companies to provide further access to the Government for surveillance of consumers.
“The Interior Minister’s plans sound like an Orwellian nightmare. Soon all flats in Germany will be equipped with devices which are potential wiretaps,” Konstantin von Notz, deputy leader of the Green Party said.
“We need to think really hard about the fact that we are a country with two dictatorships in its recent history. Do we want to live in a land where there is no privacy and where the state can interfere wherever it is technologically possible?” he asked.
In June of this year, the government in Germany passed a controversial law that expanded the ability of the state to monitor data sent via services such as WhatsApp and Skype.
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