Germany mulls new move to improve snooping on cars and apartments


The German government is considering legal changes that would oblige operators of car and house alarm systems to help law enforcement in their efforts to spy on potential terrorists or criminals, a spokesman for the interior ministry said on Friday.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, a conservative, plans to discuss the issue with security officials across the country next week in a bid to remove what he sees as hurdles to better surveillance, the spokesman said.

But those plans have already sparked criticism from Social Democrats (SPD), who are partners in the current German caretaker government and are under pressure to renew the “grand coalition” that ruled Germany for the past four years.

Surveillance is a sensitive issue in Germany given its legacy of spying by East Germany’s Stasi secret police and the Nazi era Gestapo.

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