Hacking for the government: Germany opens ZITiS cyber surveillance agency

DW – September 14, 2017

The German Interior Ministry has officially opened ZITiS, a surveillance agency independent of both the police and the secret service. Critics say anyone with a smartphone is now vulnerable to state snooping.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere opened a new cybersecurity agency in Munich on Thursday as part of a centralized attempt to tackle cybercrime and digital espionage via mass telecommunication surveillance, data encryption and mass data collection.

However, the German government’s own data protection commissioner has complained publicly that she was not consulted as promised about the new “central office for information technology in the security sphere” (ZITiS).

Data protection commissioner Andrea Vosshoff told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper that she was unable to offer a “serious or valid assessment or evaluation of this project” even though the government had promised “official participation” last summer.