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German spy law infringing privacy rights: Expert

A pole with an artificial palm stands on the grounds of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in Berlin during the German government's open day on August 28, 2016. (AFP photo)

The German parliament has approved a controversial legislation to tighten the oversight of the BND spy agency amid criticism that the law violates the privacy rights of people.

Under the law, which was voted for on Friday, the BND will be permitted to monitor communications of foreign entities and individuals on the German territory and abroad. People held a protest rally in Berlin on the same day, holding signs that read, “The NSA scandal is meant to be a lesson, not a role model.”  

Scott Rickard, a former American intelligence linguist from Tampa, Florida, condemned the spying methods, which are being used by the BND and the NSA, describing spying on people as “infringing on privacy.”

Rickard added that the US, Germany and their other allies which are called the Five Eyes, have worked very closely together to monitor everything from phone calls to emails and any of internet activities of people.

Western governments claim that they spy on individuals to fight terrorism and national security threats but in fact certain individuals benefit from the espionage methods in the West, he said.

“It (the espionage) is actually being used to the benefit of selected individuals who have access to this system and can manipulate the system to meet their agendas and the needs of their cohort in crime,” Rickard said.

“In order to maintain their regime, they will go to any extent including using intelligence collection capabilities to actually manipulate and ‘rig’ the system,” he added.

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