In a guest post for OJB, Christian Mihr explains how German plans to allow surveillance of foreign journalists represent a threat to reporters all over the world.
There is perhaps no author more quoted when it comes to surveillance than George Orwell, and his book 1984. The recently proposed reforms to Germany‘s Foreign Intelligence Service, BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst), however, bear more resemblance to Orwell’s novel Animal Farm.
In the novel, farm animals drive their human masters away in hope of achieving democracy. But once the pigs of the farm seize power they become as tyrannical as the humans that came before them, proclaiming:
“All animals are equal – but some animals are more equal than others.”
Some journalists are more equal than others
Politicians are of course not pigs; however, this single principle of the pigs in Animal Farm seems to be the underlying assumption which led the German-ruling parties SPD and CDU/CSU (Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats and Christian Socialists) to draft the new BND law, proposed at the end of June to the German public.
In the law, those more equal than others are not pigs, but rather German journalists. Continue reading