MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, October 26th 2021 - 09:03 UTC

 

 

Der Spiegel exposes US and German spy agencies work hand in hand

Friday, August 9th 2013 - 04:06 UTC
Full article 8 comments
Not easy times for Chancellor Merkel that faces elections next September 22 Not easy times for Chancellor Merkel that faces elections next September 22
Hans-Christian Stroebele of Germany’s Green party has demanded an “immediate investigation” of allegations in the report Hans-Christian Stroebele of Germany’s Green party has demanded an “immediate investigation” of allegations in the report

Code name Bad Aibling. The US spy agency according to US whistle blower Snowden, worked hand in hand with Germans spy agency BND (BundesNachrichtenDiens) This is the result of an investigation by one of Germany's oldest and most established magazine “Der Spiegel”

Germany’s BND intelligence service sends “massive amounts” of intercepts to the NSA daily, according to a report based on Edward Snowden’s leaks. It suggests a tight relationship has been developed between the two agencies – which the BND claims is legal.

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Snowden and obtained by Der Spiegel revealed that the 500 million pieces of phone and email communications metadata collected by the NSA in Germany last December were “apparently” provided with the BND’s approval.

The data was allegedly handed over at two collection sites as part of the operation titled “Germany – Last 30 days.” One of those collection sites has been identified as the Bavarian BND facility at Bad Aibling, which the NSA is said to have officially left back in 2004.

Officially, however, Berlin is still waiting for an answer from Washington as to where in Germany the metadata documented in the NSA files was obtained, according to Der Spiegel. The clarification of what and who are behind the so-called SIGADs, and what sort of information was passed on, is an extremely delicate matter for both the BND and the Chancellery - with Angela Merkel’s chief of staff Ronald Pofalla being nominally in charge of coordinating the country’s intelligence agencies.

The details in the recent report have sparked more uneasy questions to be fired at Merkel’s government. Hans-Christian Stroebele of Germany’s Green party has demanded an “immediate investigation” of allegations, reminding that it has been claimed up to now that the Americans had abandoned Bad Aibling years ago and transferred control to Germany.

“Now we are reading that the NSA expanded their facility there, received data on site and also analyzed it there. That is a completely new development; that’s news that we have to follow up on,” said Stroebele, who is also a member of the German parliament’s intelligence oversight committee.

Frustrated that he and other committee members learned about the BND data transfers to the NSA from a media report, Stroebele stressed that “the government is playing the wrong game there.”

But officials from the German foreign intelligence service responded by saying the practice is completely legal, adding that the two agencies have been closely working together for decades.

“The BND has worked for over 50 years together with the NSA, particularly when it comes to intelligence on the situation in crisis zones. The cooperation with the NSA in Bad Aibling serves exactly these goals and it has taken place in this form for over ten years, based on an agreement made in the year 2002,” the BND said, as quoted by Deutsche Welle.

According to Snowden’s leaks, not only have the German agents enjoyed access to the NSA’s latest tools, such as XKeyscore, but the US agents have also shown a keen interest in several BND programs – which, according to the report, were deemed even more effective than those of the NSA.

But the BND has assured that no data transferred to the NSA contains information on German citizens – which, according to the German agency’s chief Wolfgang Bosbach, would explain why the government never mentioned the vast data transfers during the testimony they gave to parliamentary committees after the NSA scandal was unveiled.

“The transfer of data clearly did not involve German citizens but rather data that the BND had collected in accordance with its statutory mission,” Bosbach said.

“Before metadata relating to other countries is passed on, it is purged, in a multistep process, of any personal data about German citizens it may contain,” the BND said in response to inquiries, as quoted by Deutsche Welle. The agency added that there is currently “no reason” to believe that “the NSA gathers personal data on German citizens in Germany.”

The BND is strictly forbidden from monitoring the communications of German citizens by the G-10 law, a regulation anchored in the country’s constitution that limits the powers of the intelligence agencies.

However, it does not concern foreign intelligence, which, according to the report, includes hundreds of thousands of records from Middle Eastern satellite telephone providers, thousands of mobile communications, and daily eavesdropping on some 62,000 emails.

“The NSA benefits from this collection, especially the…intercepts from Afghanistan, which the BND shares on a daily basis,” the report underlines.
 

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Condorito

    Oh dear Merkel, you give too much money to the Euro periphery and too much info to the Amerikans...better find your Teutonic testicles quick, there's an election coming up.

    Aug 09th, 2013 - 09:30 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    '.. the BND has assured that no data transferred to the NSA contains information on German citizens ..'
    OK, the BND is strictly forbidden from monitoring the communications of German citizens by the G-10 law, but there is an absolute need to monitor for terrorist activity in Germany, as elsewhere.
    The G-10 law is almost certainly over-ridden, whatever the public pronouncements say. Even in England, Cameron says the GNVQ collection and transfer of our information is entirely 'within the law'!

    The Yemen is not the only place where terrorism plans are afoot - hence the 'evacuations'. Working with other nations is necessary to curtail *international* terrorism.
    I don't like it - nobody likes it - but sharing this sort of info is necessary.

    Industrial spying (etc) for commercial advantage is an entirely other matter.

    Aug 09th, 2013 - 10:55 am 0
  • Fido Dido

    Merkel was but never left the stasi,..do homework.

    “but there is an absolute need to monitor for terrorist activity in Germany, as elsewhere.”

    Good lord, a grown up and old man that still believes that's it's okay to monitor the people in the name of security from those “terrorist”, while ignoring the facts he can read in some mainstream news papers who are really creating and funding those so called “terrorists” (freedom fighters / rebels).

    A quote for you Geofff: “If you want total security, go to prison. The only thing lacking... is freedom.”

    “Even in England, Cameron says the GNVQ collection and transfer of our information is entirely 'within the law'!”
    Camoron is LAUGHING his ass off, while the dummies keep believing this nonsense without questioning..who's law????? unbelievable.

    Aug 09th, 2013 - 11:16 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!