German Spy Agency is in on mass surveillance metadata

The Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, Germany's foreign intelligence agency, collects metadata on 220 million calls every day, with at least some of this data passed onto the NSA.

BND carries out surveillance of international communications sent by both satellites and Internet cables that pass through one of several key locations, Die Zeit Online reports. Metadata vacuumed up across the world (220 million pieces a day) flows into BND branch offices in the German towns of Schöningen, Reinhausen, Bad Aibling and Gablingen. There, they are stored for between a week and six months and sorted according to still-unknown criteria.

But the data aren't just collected; they are also used to keep tabs on, and track of, suspects. The collection of telecoms traffic of German citizens would breach national data protection laws. The "classified files" omit a full explanation of either how this data is collected or how the call records of German citizens are filtered off before this information is stored.

Privacy group Access Now, which according to its website "defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world", called on the BND to curtail its NSA-style "collect-it-all" programme, with Germany being one of the most vocal international critics of NSA surveillance.
Peter Micek, a policy counsel and telecoms expert at Access, said the revelations about German spying showed the importance of getting international safeguards and agreements about online privacy rights.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/04/germany

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