German Court Prohibits Government Surveillance of PCs

Government surveillance of personal computers violates the individual right to privacy, Germany’s highest court found Wednesday, in a ruling that German investigators say will restrict their ability to pursue terrorists.In the ruling, Germany’s Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, established the privacy of data stored or exchanged on personal computers as a basic right protected by the nation’s constitution.”Collecting such data directly encroaches on a citizen’s rights, given that fear of being observed … can prevent unselfconscious personal communication,” presiding judge Hans-Juergen Papier said in his ruling.
http://ecommercetimes.com/story/61852.htmlGerman Court Endorses Online Privacy Rights [IDG]
Privacy activists hail a ruling that restricts secret collection of customer data.Digital rights activists Wednesday celebrated reports of a decision by Germany’s Constitutional Court that limits authorities’ ability to secretly collect data from individuals’ personal computers.The ruling allows security authorities to use techniques such as spy software only in certain cases, and only with judicial permission. The decision, by Germany’s highest court, is widely seen as establishing a right to privacy.”The ruling is a great success for digital rights and civil liberties in Germany,” said Markus Beckedahl, blogger at Netzpolitik.org, which deals Internet-users’ rights.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,142905-c,onlineprivacy/article.htmlGerman high court throttles government net snooping
Germany’s highest court set tough new restrictions on the government’s ability to intercept internet communications in a landmark ruling that said data stored on computers was covered under constitutional guarantees to personal privacy.”Collecting such data directly encroaches on a citizen’s rights, given that fear of being observed … can prevent unselfconscious personal communication,” presiding judge Hans-Juergen Papier said, according to the Associated Press.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/27/german_privacy_ruling/

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