Legal loophole lets Germany spy on own citizens

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Legal loophole lets Germany spy on own citizens
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 02: A woman rides a bicycle past the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture on July 2, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The online whistleblower platform Wikileaks claims to have documents showing the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spied on German government ministries, including the ministries of finance, economy and agriculture, in the period from 2010 to 2012. The NSA has come under repeated criticism for supposedly spying on European government and political leaders. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 02: Signs are seen on the wall of the Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy at dusk on July 1, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The online whistleblower platform Wikileaks claims to have documents showing the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spied on German government ministries, including the ministries of finance, economy and agriculture, in the period from 2010 to 2012. The NSA has come under repeated criticism for supposedly spying on European government and political leaders. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
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BERLIN (AP) - German lawmakers probing the surveillance activities of the U.S. National Security Agency have uncovered a legal loophole that allows the country's foreign intelligence agency to spy on its own citizens.

The agency, known by its German acronym BND, is normally forbidden from eavesdropping on Germans or German companies.

But a former BND lawyer told Parliament this week that Germans aren't protected while working abroad for foreign companies.

The government confirmed Saturday to The Associated Press that work-related calls or emails are attributed to the employer. If the employer is foreign, the BND can intercept them.

Opposition lawmakers have accused Germany's government of feigning outrage over alleged NSA spying while condoning illegal surveillance itself.


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