Internet node: Court approves data access by the BND

The Federal Intelligence Ministry may continue to access data from the Frankfurt Internet node de-Cix. A lawsuit by the operator was rejected by the federal administrative Court.

Internet node: Court approves data access by the BND

The federal intelligence (BND) can continue to read on a large scale data at Internet Node de-Cix from Frankfurt am Main. The federal administrative court in Leipzig rejected an action by operator of de-Cix against BND. The operator could be obliged to participate in strategic telecommunication monitoring by BND, emphasised sixth Senate in its statement of reasons. The Secret Service is entitled to monitor and record international telecommunications on Order of Federal Ministry.

For years, intelligence service has been accessing data from largest Internet hub in world for reconnaissance purposes on a large scale. The agents receive data not only on basis of a concrete Tatverdachts, but also in course of so-called strategic telecommunication monitoring, i.e. unreasonable.

"The BND has chosen largest pond in which it can fish," said lawyer Sven-Erik Heun from plaintiffs ' side in approximately three-hour hearing. And if you turn to de-Cix, you get a huge data set that also includes national telecommunications traffic. "That is illegal in our view," Heun stressed. In addition, BND will complete traffic of a given protocol completely, without quantitative limit provided by law to 20 percent.

Data may have been sent to NSA

From point of view of de-Cix, orders from Federal Ministry also did not indicate wher y had even passed through competent control body of Bundestag. In wake of NSA investigation committee, it was discovered that de-Cix's data on BND may have reached NSA.

In contrast, lawyer Wolfgang Roth argued for federal government that government has installed G-10 commission of Bundestag as a protection for those affected by surveillance. This Commission must allow interference in secrecy of telecommunications. A more detailed arrangement, however, could not be given due to secrecy, said Roth.

This argument was followed by federal administrative Court. According to sixth Senate, Federal Ministry establishes transmission routes and scope of monitoring material and can oblige an operator of telecommunications services, such as de-Cix, to support BND in its monitoring. The liability and responsibility refore lies not with operator, but at Federal Ministry. For this reason, operators of de-Cix could not rely on protection of telecommunications secrecy eir.

Neir applicant nor defendant were present at time of sentencing at 22:30 p.m. The federal administrative Court had no appeal against decision.

The abbreviation de-Cix hides world's largest internet node according to operator data. The abbreviation stands for German commercial Internet exchange. With at times more than six terabytes per second, it has highest data throughput worldwide. Much of German Internet traffic is also running through re.

The 1995-based node is now distributed on 19 data centers in Frankfurt am Main. The operator is company de-Cix, headquartered in Cologne, a subsidiary of Association of Internet Economy (ECO). More than 700 Internet service providers and or organisations from more than 60 countries are currently connected to de-Cix.

Date Of Update: 31 May 2018, 12:02

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