Update: International repository of legal safeguards and oversight innovation
The international online repository of legal safeguards and oversight innovation regarding bulk surveillance intelligence-oversight.org has been updated. The repository was launched in March 2021 and presents good practices that, by comparison, stand out as being more balanced or more innovative responses to the many thorny challenges in democratic intelligence oversight. It features a wide range of high-water marks from different national surveillance regimes that, we believe, should be widely promoted, for they increase the legitimacy and effectiveness of a controversial practice that is here to stay.
The repository is now complemented with new good practices from different democratic countries. A major part of the added good practices concerns Germany, where the amended BND Act was adopted in April 2021 and will bring some significant change when it is going to enter into force on January 1, 2022.
The website aims to provide a public good and hopes to provide a service to a wide range of actors, including oversight professionals, subject matter experts in parliament, and various ministries, journalists, scientists, as well as the interested public. It intendeds to make intelligence oversight, bulk surveillance mandates, and ways to write safeguards and restrictions into the law more accessible and transparent. The easy juxtaposition between the different countries and the highlighted good practices will provide advocates of more effective oversight with good arguments to consolidate intelligence accountability in Europe and render it more professional.