Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and other social networks will be tracked in real time by a German spy agency that has begun a 300 million euro project, according to documents obtained by local media. A project named “Real time analysis of streaming data” will be a part of the Strategic Technology Initiative and will be completed by 2020.
Facebook, Twitter to be used
German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung said that the German foreign intelligence agency BND is enhancing its technological methods to examine blogs, online forums and portals such as Flickr, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) messages, pictures and also data exchanged among members. Broadcasters NDR and WDR also had a similar report, according to RT.com.
The BND wants to extract more information on the scenario abroad and understand the political and social development in a better way by collecting online communication, reported the German media sources. The BND is also planning to enhance technology for automatic face image and biometric recognition. The agency will partially use the methods the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters used.
Also the analysis of metadata, a method revealed by Snowden and practiced by the NSA, will be used in the BND project.
Project to be presented in German parliament
The reports also noted that Germany’s Parliament, the Bundestag, will approve the budget of 300 million euro in the coming weeks. The surveillance agency has conveyed to lawmakers that if they fail to approve the budget for this project, then the country’s surveillance program will lag behind that of other countries, including Italy and Spain.
“We do not comment on questions regarding our operations except to the Federal Government and the responsible secret parliamentary committees,” the BND’s spokesperson told the DPA news agency.
Jan Korte, a member of Germany’s Left party, said that it will do its best to stop this. Korte added that almost a year back, the fact of NSA spying on Germany was unearthed, and now Germany is trying to do the same. Germany’s Left Party has gained support from German’s Green Party.
Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele, a member of the German parliament’s intelligence oversight committee, said that before new technical possibilities are looked at, the BND’s international work should mainly be considered.