Friday, July 31, 2009

Germany Federal Constitutional Court ruled that Federal Intelligence Service (BND) may not be withheld information from Parliament

Friday, July 31, 2009
Matt Glenn at 8:49 AM ET

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] ruled Thursday that the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) [official website, in German] may not withhold information from parliament without good cause. The case began in 2006 when the BND refused to tell Germany's Green Party whether it was spying on members of parliament. Thursday's ruling requires that the government present a detailed explanation [Tagesschau report, in German] of its reasoning when it refuses to divulge information to parliament. Some members of parliament said they expect currently classified information to become declassified as a result of the the ruling.

Intelligence services of a number of countries have come under government scrutiny in the past month. Earlier this month the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was criticized [JURIST report] by Canada's Security Intelligence Review Committee for its role in interrogating a Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee. Also this month, the UK Metropolitan Police Service announced it was looking into [JURIST report] allegations that British intelligence officers mistreated former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed [JURIST news archive]. The United States House of Representatives Intelligence Committe announced earlier this month that it would open a formal investigation [JURIST report HERE] into a plan to assassinate al Qaeda members that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) failed to disclose to Congress.

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