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Rapporteur on mass surveillance reacts to revelations of collusion between NSA and BND

“The BND/NSA scandal breaking in Berlin is a case in point that an “Intelligence Codex” laying down the rules of fair play applicable to the secret services of like-minded countries is urgently needed, Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s (PACE) Rapporteur on mass surveillance, Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), stressed today.

“Allies should not spy on each other, nor abuse their access to certain data for spying on each other’s citizens and companies. This scandal also demonstrates the need for an inquiry by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the manner in which the right to privacy is implemented in our member states. Last but not least, the situation in Germany shows that parliamentary surveillance of the secret services must be strengthened. In particular, it is unacceptable that the “originator control principle” is used by the executive to withhold crucial information from the German parliament as long as the NSA does not agree with making it available,” he said.

Mr. Omtzigt, author of the Assembly’s report on mass surveillance adopted by an overwhelming majority on 21 April 2015 recalls that “all these issues urgently need to be clarified in the future ‘Intelligence Codex’ called for by the Council of Europe. Serious negotiations should start as soon as possible. Parliaments should take the lead and ensure proper oversight - in Germany, in Europe and across the Atlantic.”