German migration office to check asylum seekers' phones in identity crackdown
Under a proposed law, Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) would be allowed to examine refugees' mobiles to establish their identity. The bill aims to prevent refugees from giving false identities.
According to information published by three German media outlets on Sunday, new draft legislation could see German authorities circumventing the consent of refugees and checking their cellphones in order to establish their identity.
Regional German broadcasters WDR and NDR, and the Munich-based daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reported that the proposed law seeks to "improve the enforcement of the obligation to leave the country."
Germany's Interior Ministry has declined to disclose any further details until a final decision has be made on what should be included in the bill - or even if it will be submitted to parliament.
n principle, access to mobile phones and other data carriers has been permissible since the amendment of the 2015 residence law. However, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) currently needs the consent of asylum seekers, without which authorities are only able to see the contents of a phone with a court order - which is only granted if there is a suspicion of a criminal offense. - Read More, DW