Police wiretapping surveillance surges

Police wiretapping surveillance surges
Photo: DPA
German authorities are resorting to more controversial telephone surveillance in their investigations, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

According to statistics from the Federal Justice Office, in 2008 the number of cases that included telephone or computer surveillance rose by 11 percent, the paper said. The number was up from 4,806 in 2007 to 5,348 in 2008.

In the southern state of Bavaria surveillance increased drastically by 30 percent – up from 782 in 2007 to 1,023 in 2008.

These cases apply only to surveillance conducted during investigations and criminal proceedings where there is concrete suspicion of a crime, the paper said. Wiretapping as a preventative measure was not included in the statistics.

The Federal Office of Justice also does not track secret service surveillance of private correspondence to and from foreign sources. These are monitored by the so-called G10 commission in parliament.

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