Germany 'challenges Britain' over GCHQ monitoring

Germany has challenged Britain over GCHQ's reported mass monitoring of global phone and internet traffic, according to the Guardian.

David Cameron with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Credit: Fabrizio Bensch/DPA

German justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger wrote to her British counterpart Chris Grayling and Home Secretary Theresa May questioning the legal basis for the programme code-named Project Tempora.

In her letter she questions whether the collection of data, which is held for up to 30 days, is triggered by "concrete suspicions" or part of a general trawl.

Ms Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger also warned that she will raise the issue at next month's meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Brussels

The Ministry of Justice confirmed it had received her letter and would respond "in due course", while a Home Office spokesman said: "We do not routinely comment on private correspondence."