In reality, the number of telephone surveillance cases is going down, director of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Hans-Jörg Albrecht, told daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.
“Mobile telephones have spread like an explosion in Germany over recent years,” Albrecht said. “The number of telephones has grown significantly stronger than the amount of surveillance.“
On Wednesday, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung cited statistics from the Federal Justice Office that said the number of cases of telephone or computer surveillance rose by 11 percent in 2008. The report alarmed data protection groups and opposition politicians, who warned of a police state.
Meanwhile police unions rejected the criticism, referring to the Justice Ministry's report that there are six million criminal proceedings each year, making just a few thousand instances of telephone surveillance relatively low.