Worldwide mass surveillance by Germany’s intelligence service declared unconstitutional in landmark ruling on press freedom in the digital age

first_img News Help by sharing this information News RSF_en The German Act on Signal Intelligence of Foreigners Abroad governing the practices of the BND legalized pre-existing practices of international mass surveillance uncovered by Edward Snowden in 2013. Journalists and civil society organisations were alarmed at its potentially chilling impact on whistle-blowing and investigative journalism at a time when most communication takes place online. It was precisely the commitment to fundamental rights, rejected by the BND, which motivated the foreign journalists to lodge their constitutional complaint. The mere possibility of permanent surveillance hinders their work because they are unable to build up trusting relationships with their sources. They now hope that the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court will set standards for the activities of other states’ intelligence services as well. In a much-anticipated verdict issued this morning, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has put an end to the groundless mass surveillance of global internet traffic by Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The ruling, the most far-reaching in this field in the past 20 years, sends an important signal for the protection of press freedom in the digital age. “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says Six international journalists, including renowned investigative reporters Khadija Ismajilova and Blaz Zgaga, had filed the constitutional complaint against the current BND law in cooperation with Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the civil rights NGO Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte, and four German media organisations. June 7, 2021 Find out more Additional Background: “The Federal Constitutional Court has once again underlined the importance of press freedom,  said Christian Mihr, Executive Director of RSF Germany. We are delighted that Karlsruhe is putting a stop to the escalating surveillance practices of the Federal Intelligence Service abroad”, Mihr added. The plaintiffs argued that Article 1 of Germany’s Basic Law obliges the government to respect basic rights – irrespective of whether it is acting within Germany or abroad. Citizens of foreign states also have a right to privacy, the plaintiffs asserted, meaning that the BND may not intercept the communications and internet traffic of foreigners outside Germany without restrictions, as the BND law currently allows it to do. The Federal Constitutional Court has now unequivocally affirmed that this applies regarding Article 10 of the Basic Law guaranteeing the privacy of online communications. More than seven years after Edward Snowden exposed a global system of mass intelligence surveillance, the Federal Constitutional Court has ruled on the legality of Germany’s participation in these activities in the highest court. In the wake of the NSA scandal, a parliamentary investigative committee had brought to light the deep links between the US intelligence service and Germany’s BND, whereupon the then ruling coalition government passed a new BND law. However, instead of setting clear limits for the foreign intelligence service, the German government simply legalized the latter’s practically unlimited foreign surveillance – despite massive protests from civil society. to go further Related documents Читать на русском / Read in RussianPDF – 115.2 KB200519_analysis_of_new_bnd-ruling_en.pdfPDF – 89.7 KB GermanyAzerbaijanSloveniaRussiaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence WhistleblowersFreedom of expression June 4, 2021 Find out more Читать на русском / Read in RussianThe court ruled that the BND law disregards both the freedom of the press guaranteed in article 5 and the freedom of telecommunications guaranteed in Article 10 of the Basic Law as it does not recognise that foreign surveillance must be conducted in conformity with the Basic Law. When revising the BND law, the legislature will have to take into account that foreign surveillance without cause is only possible in very few cases. Vulnerable groups of persons such as journalists must be granted special protection. Tighter criteria must also apply to the targeted surveillance of individuals. Furthermore, international surveillance must be controlled much more effectively by independent bodies with their own budgetary sovereignty. The ruling thus sets new standards in international human rights protection and for freedom of the press. News News May 19, 2020 – Updated on May 25, 2020 Worldwide mass surveillance by Germany’s intelligence service declared unconstitutional in landmark ruling on press freedom in the digital age RSF and the Society for Civil Liberties (GFF) then coordinated an alliance of internationally renowned journalists and media organizations. Together they filed a constitutional complaint against the BND law at the end of 2017. Among other things, the plaintiffs feared that the protection of sources was being undermined: If secret services were able to store and evaluate every communication, contact persons all over the world would gradually lose confidence in the media – and in the worst case no longer turn to the press with information on sensitive issues. Through this back door, the BND was also undermining German “editorial secrecy” or source protection, for example when intercepting the communications of foreign partner media of German media outlets collaborating on major international research projects such as the Panama Papers.Germany is ranked on 11th place out of 180 in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index. Receive email alerts RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan GermanyAzerbaijanSloveniaRussiaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence WhistleblowersFreedom of expression June 8, 2021 Find out more Organisation Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia Le service de renseignement extérieur allemand BND à Berlin / AFP Photo last_img read more

It’s boom time, but life’s not always a beach for holiday home owners

first_imgDecember and January are usually busy times of the year for holiday home buyers. Picture: iStock.December and January are usually busy times of the year for holiday home buyers who combine their annual leave with securing a new property.According to LJ Hooker research, affordability is the main priority when it comes to choosing a holiday rental.But holiday homes can bring headaches such as ongoing cleaning and maintenance costs, management fees and the volatility that comes with investing in coastal markets.Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia QLD representative Zoran Solano warned buyers not to get caught up in the holiday hype.“It’s definitely a phenomenon we see influencing the market while people are on holiday,” Mr Solano said.“Try and maintain that enthusiasm, but maybe not do it at that time of year — head back there in winter.”THE ICONIC QUEENSLANDER IN DANGERSurfers Paradise on the Gold Coast is a popular holiday destination. Picture: Mike Batterham.Mr Solano, who is a buyer’s agent with Hot Property Buyers Agency, said coastal property markets were notoriously volatile.“Although we are seeing a lot of positivity around the Gold and Sunshine Coast markets, historically those markets do ebb and flow a lot more than capital city markets,” he said.“I do still think certain investments in those coastal areas are speculative and higher risk.”Mr Solano said beachside homes often required more maintenance and there was a risk of other holiday makers’ bookings dashing hopes of a spontaneous weekend away for the property’s owners.But if your heart is set on a holiday home by the water, he advises buying a property in a complex with plenty of amenities and which will generate a consistent rental return.Mr Solano suggested looking in areas that had a life outside of tourism, such as Main Beach and Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, and Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.“We’re seeing a lot of activity in Broadbeach and seeing a bit of a decline in the appeal of Surfers Paradise,” he said.“On the Sunny Coast, you can’t go past Noosa. It’s an area where we’re seeing a lot of opportunity.“It’s somewhere that’s always top of mind for interstate visitors and internationally has a profile as well.”Kollosche Prestige Agents managing director Jordan Williams said the holiday letting business on the Gold Coast was going gangbusters.Mr Williams said demand for rentals from high profile, high net worth individuals was particularly strong, prompting he and his business partner to set up a boutique holiday rental division this year for exclusive, high-end homes and apartments. Jordan Williams of Kollosche Prestige Agents in Surfers Paradise. Picture: Mike Batterham.“We have people contacting us willing to pay $50,000 a week for some residences,” Mr Williams said.“We find a lot of our high net worth clients who are looking for executive holiday rentals are from Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore.”Mr Williams said Broadbeach Waters, Mermaid Beach, Isle of Capri and Paradise Waters were popular destinations. Broadbeach Waters is a good place to invest in a holiday rental. Photo: Chris Bashall.He advised investors considering buying a holiday home on the Gold Coast to look for something brand new, facing north or east to the water and with an occupancy rate of around 80 per cent.“You also need to have the kayaks and other little bits and pieces for guests.”Sydney-based property investor John Collis owns a number of holiday units on the Gold Coast and is about to settle on another five units in a block of eight apartments in Surfers Paradise.Mr Collis said he did his research before buying the properties and made sure they could generate returns of between six and eight per cent.GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HEREMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoHe rents them out himself via or Airbnb, including a unit with water views in the Chevron Renaissance building at“The aim is for me to buy two or three apartments per annum for the next five to six years so that way when I relocate from Sydney when I eventually retire, I’ll have a great rental return,” Mr Collis said.“With Sydney, you’re paying triple the price for the same returns, and while you don’t get the capital growth on the Gold Coast that you do in Sydney, the market there is starting to ease up so I think investing on the Gold Coast and getting an eight per cent return is pretty good.” John Collis, a Sydney based investor, who has bought a number of apartments on the Gold Coast because of the good rental returns. Picture: NIGEL HALLETTINVESTORS who own holiday homes in Queensland are tipped to reap the financial rewards this summer with new figures revealing strong demand for the prized beach shack.Lured by the promise of capital gains and a steady income stream via the share economy, agents are seeing an increase in investors looking to the coast as occupancy rates rise during the peak period — and sellers are also looking to cash in on the rise in inquiries.LJ Hooker holiday managers in Currumbin on the Gold Coast reported an occupancy rate of 98 per cent over the Christmas/New Year peak, with nine out of 10 bookings coming from domestic travellers.“We already have 85 per cent of our holiday rentals booked out for the next Christmas and New Year season,” LJ Hooker Currumbin principal Alex Passos said.BRISBANE SET FOR FIRST $20M HOME SALEIt’s even better just south of the border in Byron Bay and Kingscliff, where 100 per cent of houses and apartments the group manages are rented for the holiday break.“Depending on where you live in Brisbane, you can be at Kingscliff within an hour, which is why it’s such a popular option for purchasing a holiday investment,” according to LJ Hooker Kingscliff principal Paul McMahon.“For most holiday home purchasers, it’s a serious investment.“They want to optimise the returns around the Easter and Christmas period, when you can make half your yearly income, so they avoid staying there at those peak periods, and instead choose to visit and enjoy their investments outside of those periods.“Averaged over a year, we aim for 65 per cent occupancy.”center_img The view from the unit at 3346 Chevron Renaissance, which has just been bought as an investment property.At a time when family members take advantage of jointly owned holiday homes, buyers are also being warned to establish the rules of engagement for the use, management and maintenance of a shared investment property.Raine & Horne executive chairman Angus Raine said it was important for all parties to agree to an accommodation schedule for the holiday home to manage peak periods, as well as responsibilities for cleaning and maintenance.“Some weeks such as Christmas and Easter, which is just 12 weeks away, are more prized than others, but by taking a common-sense approach, it’s possible to come to a solution that’s suitable to all parties,” he said.HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS FOR UNITSSuburb Median Asking Rent 12 month changeBROADBEACH WATERS $450 15.4%BILINGA $450 12.5%SUNRISE BEACH $450 12.5%PALM BEACH $400 11.1%TUGUN $418 9.9%PORT DOUGLAS $360 9.1%CURRIMUNDI $420 9.1%MERMAID BEACH $430 7.5%SUNRISE BEACH $430 7.5%GOLDEN BEACH $363 6.6%(Source: LJ Hooker Research / CoreLogic)HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS FOR HOUSESSuburb Median Asking Rent 12 month changePORT DOUGLAS $550 22.2%MAPLETON $450 21.6%SUNRISE BEACH $573 19.9%DOONAN $750 17.2%SURFERS PARADISE $700 16.7%CURRUMBIN $670 14.5%MAIN BEACH $698 14.3%TUGUN $570 14.0%AIRLIE BEACH $430 13.2%PEREGIAN BEACH $600 9.1%(Source: LJ Hooker Research / CoreLogic)last_img read more

Paul J. Ernstes

first_imgPaul J. Ernstes, 93, passed away on August 16, 2018 at his home in Greensburg, Indiana surrounded by his family.He was born on March 28, 1925 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Harry and Anna (Leising) Ernstes and was a lifelong resident of Decatur County.Paul married Barbara Walsman in January of 1949 in Batesville, Indiana and they enjoyed almost 70 years of marriage together.Paul grew up on East Base Road and graduated from Greensburg High School in 1943.  His father died when he was seven years old, but he was mentored by many kind neighbors and friends throughout his youth and his early years as a farmer.  He always had many great stories to tell his family about those years.  His family encouraged him to write a book about those stories which he completed in time to be published for his 90th birthday.  The book was titled; “Sentimental Journey”, which was the song he sang to his young daughters as he milked the cows.Farming was what Paul loved to do.  He raised hogs, fed cattle, grew corn and soybeans, and in his later farming years he grew seed corn for Pioneer.  He loved tractors, and, in his retirement, he collected two-cylinder John Deere and other brands as well as models for each of the tractors he owned.  As an active member of the Power of the Past, he showed many of those tractors at the Decatur County show every year.From 1974 to 1986 Paul was Decatur County Commissioner.  Some of the accomplishments in that time included renovation of the courthouse, a new jail, the animal shelter, and county-wide free library.  He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus, the Lucky Investment Club, the Cattleman’s Club, and the Decatur County Drug and Alcohol Beverage Board.Paul is survived by his spouse, Barbara Ernstes, Greensburg, four daughters, Paula (Jon) Fox, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Marilyn (David) Ebbinghouse, Bloomington, IN, Nancy (Herm Waltemate) Ernstes, Cleveland, OH, Kathy (David) Henry, Springfield, OH, 6 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Marcia Berg.A rosary service will start at 12:30 pm on Sunday at Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home with visitation to follow until 5 pm.Visitation will also be held on Monday, August 20, 2018 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church from 9-10 am followed by a Funeral Mass at 10 am with Rev. John Meyer officiating.Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in Paul’s name to Oldenburg Academy, Decatur County Animal Control, or a charity of your choice.Online condolences can be made at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more

FIFA Gives Lazio Deadline to Pay Onazi

first_imgWorld football governing body FIFA have now given Serie A side Lazio till December 9 to pay Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi his outstanding wages or face their wrath, the player has revealed.FIFA earlier gave Lazio till November 29 to pay up, but the Serie A team asked the football governing body to send the letter in Italian.“Lazio have now been given till December 9 by FIFA to respond to my letter asking for my wages,” Onazi disclosed according to MTNfootball. “This was because Lazio said they need to translate the letter forwarded to them in English to Italian.”Lazio did not pay the midfielder for the last two months of his contract before he moved to Turkey in the summer.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img