Tasks and methods

Surveillance in order to inform

The "Verfassungsschutz" (Agency for the Protection of the Constitution) has the responsibility to protect the free and democratic Constitution and the security and existence of the Federal Republic of Germany and its Länder. This is why it keeps activities against the Constitution and national security as well as the activities of foreign intelligence services under surveillance.

Verfassungsschutz may only be involved once actual findings of such activities are at hand.Verfassungsschutz makes its findings available to the politically responsible authorities and other institutions like the prosecuting attorney´s office, the Police or other intelligence services, and the public. This is how approaching dangers can be efficiently met.

To do the job, The Verfassungsschutz needs good information. This is why it gathers information from many different sources and then thoroughly analyzes the information.

Open and secret sources

For the most part, the information gathered by the Verfassungsschutz comes from sources open to everyone: newspapers and other periodicals, pamphlets, programs, brochures, radio and television and electronic media.Relying on open sources is not always possible or effective. In some cases, the Verfassungsschutz may – under strict legal constraints – use other means of intelligence.