Plans for a thorough investigation of the Bundestag complex were originally put forward by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday. And those plans have now been backed by the parliamentary commission for ICT (IuK).
The office wants to probe parliament buildings to make sure that supposedly secure rooms have not been bugged, following revelations that Chancellor Angela Merkel and other government officials had been under surveillance by foreign security services in Berlin.
An investigation would also cover whether landline phones were being used for eavesdropping on rooms, as well as evaluating the security threat posed to MPs and their aides using conventional, unsecured mobile phones.
Up to now, many MPs have seen secure, encrypted handsets as cumbersome and the majority refused to have theirs protected, Der Spiegel reported.
Questioned by Die Linke MP Jan Korte at the end of February, parliamentary president Norbert Lammert said he saw no cause for such “defensive measures" or investigations in response to supposed surveillance of German politicians by the US National Security Service (NSA).
But Korte said he found Lammert’s response disconcerting and hoped the IuK's recommendation would be taken up.
"Just because the government has resigned itself to eavesdropping by "friendly" agencies in order to avoid a conflict with its allies, doesn't mean this parliament or the opposition has to do the same," he said.
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