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German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the no-i-in-team dept.

United States 103

An anonymous reader writes Der Spiegel has written a piece on the extent of collaboration between Germany's intelligence agency, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), and the U.S.'s National Security Agency (NSA). The sources cited in the piece do reveal BND's enthusiastic collusion in enabling the NSA to tap fiber optic cables in Germany, but they seem inconclusive as to how much information from the NSA's collection activity in the country is actually shared between the NSA and BND. Of note is evidence that the NSA's collection methods do not automatically exclude German companies and organizations from their data sweep; intelligence personnel have to rectro-actively do so on an individual basis when they realize that they are surveilling German targets. Germany's constitution protects against un-warranted surveillance of correspondence, either by post or telecommunications, of German citizens in Germany or abroad and foreigners on German soil.

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Oblig german spy humour (0)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 months ago | (#47279477)

"Have you seen any suspicious Germans around here?"

Nein!

Re:Oblig german spy humour (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47279585)

Indeed. Simply because

"Die Deutschen Buerger sind alle verdaechtig! Wir mussen sie alle bespitzeln!"

I thought they ***HATE*** the Stasi !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279651)

My German friends always told me how they hate the Stasi, they always told me of the horror story of friends selling out friends back in the Eastern Germany

Looks like my German friends are all blowing smokes after all ...

The truth is them Germans simply can't get enough of the Stasi so much so that they let their own spies to help NSA to spy on themselves !!!

Re:I thought they ***HATE*** the Stasi !! (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 5 months ago | (#47280409)

We love to paint ourselves as modern and tech-savvy, but only ~10% voted for parties opposed to government spying in the last election. The others act outraged when foreign governments or Facebook spy on them but are a-ok with our own government doing it.

I can only hope this latest revelation shakes them up a bit.

Broken electoral systems (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 5 months ago | (#47280915)

The others act outraged when foreign governments or Facebook spy on them but are a-ok with our own government doing it.

Why would you think that? Just because a majority of people voted for a certain political party, it certainly doesn't mean they necessarily support all of that party's policies. If you only get one vote every few years at a general election, then it is almost certain that you will have bigger concerns than "mere" spying activity that is potentially going to be harmful to you if abused or if someone makes a mistake. For example, you might be concerned about your child's education, or having a roof over your family's head tonight, or being able to afford to buy food without working three jobs at once.

The curse of modern party politics is that it reduces a very complicated issue (national government) to a single decision between a small number of often similar choices. Elections are dominated by a very small number of very high profile issues, even though the people elected will be responsible for a very large number of issues that can still affect many people during their term in office.

This is why I am increasingly in favour of a power of recall (where any individual elected office holder who isn't doing a satisfactory job can be kicked out by the same electorate) and of an overriding power of referendum (where a sensibly large proportion of the population can force a national vote on any single issue they want, and the result is then binding on the government).

Re:Oblig german spy humour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280675)

Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

Re:Oblig german spy humour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281063)

laughs

dies

Re:Oblig german spy humour (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | about 6 months ago | (#47286073)

Nine? Where?

Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279495)

BND are small time wannabes. No question about that.

Re:Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279513)

Pussies. They wouldn't be so eager to collude if Hitler were still alive.

Re:Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47279579)

If Hitler was still alive, the NSA would probably try to get advice from the GeStaPo on how to spy on people and deal with anybody that has an undesirable attitude. The 3rd Reich was the very first real surveillance state, even if mostly non-technical.

The US already has copied the idea of secret laws and secret courts that the 3rd Reich pioneered. Cannot have oversight by the very people these courts and laws are targeted against, now can we? Also makes it far simpler to remove people from society that have actually done nothing wrong.

Re:Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (0)

gtall (79522) | about 5 months ago | (#47279943)

Not really. If you are referring to the FISA court, they only "oversee requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States by federal law enforcement agencies". The law enforcement agencies in question are the NSA and FBI. Both have other court and congressional oversight.

Stop inventing shit.

Re:Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (3, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47280113)

Stop lying. Or at least have the decency to lie only to yourself and do that in private.

Re:Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 5 months ago | (#47280353)

Oversight which they manage to pretty much completely evade if said parties aren't already conspirators.

Re:Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279951)

The Nazis also "pioneered" propaganda to the point of brainwashing in media outlets (even TV which was new back then was used, there had been viewing rooms in various towns that had a TV set, but more often radio). US media often seem very propaganda driven, it was like a shock to me when I visited the US. Here in Germany, nowadays, it is much less overt, but also still present. We've been trained as kids on how to read and watch media outlets properly. "Who owns what?", "What political bias is there and why?" -- that's why we question every radio station, every TV program, and every newspaper. Because the media cannot be fully trusted with being 4th column of democracy. There's always groups that try to influence public opinion in a specific direction. For instance, when our former president Christian Wulff had been suspected of being corrupt, the media responded with ONE VOICE, which is suspicious all by itself. Later, a court found no proof of (significant) corruption. So it looks like the media collaborated to throw down this guy regardless if it was justified. That being a president is a special position within the government is obvious, but does this justify such a "witch hunt" in the press? Not to mention that journalists can be bribed, threatened, blackmailed like everybody else and hence, people need to watch what the press and the media are doing, and why.

Re:Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279981)

For instance, many public service radio stations in Germany nowadays are almost exclusively reporting about the World Cup in Brazil, a multi-billion enterprise controlled by the FIFA, a corrupt organization. They don't report about important stuff. They play a few songs, then some comical remark of some sort, then more songs, and so on. Interviews are extremely short and broadcast in tiny bites over the course of an hour, sometimes two. A short news report every full hour, sometimes every half hour. People are listening to these stations most of the time. You can even hear songs like Frank Zappa's "Bobby Brown" completely uncut on radio in Germany, b/c nobody even cares about the music. Record companies purchase their playlist share. HOWEVER: Public service stations in Germany have an obligation to contribute to education of the people, which most of them do not fulfill, not even the TV stations anymore. Quality has suffered a lot in the past 40-50 years. The only radio station with serious reporting (and almost zero music) is Deutschlandfunk.

Re: Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280773)

Most traditional news outlets have failed. They are more in the business of entertaining and reinforcing peoples opinions.

Re: Little Brother Looking Up to Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281121)

Yes, that's what CBS management (Paley?) told Murrow: we have to put on this sh*t to have enough money to do the in-depth and indepent news that you want to present. Then later sport-king Roone Arledge and Dan Rather presided over the evisceration of CBS as a news organization and turned it into happy talk. NBC and ABC news are now much the same, and all of them are cutting back on investigative and overseas reporting. Too expensive, you see...

Then there's outlets like Fox News that were designed specifically to promote an agenda (by Murdoch and Ailes, in the case of Fox) and not to present data on the news for people to analyze on their own. That's wrong, too. Especially when Fox goes to court to defend it's right to knowingly broadcase falsehoods as truth because the law doesn't say they can't. Yes, that was Fox's defense, and they won. Hell of an attitude for a "news" organization, yes?

End-run around everyone's rights (3, Insightful)

sir-gold (949031) | about 5 months ago | (#47279509)

Wow, this is an impressive loophole that the NSA and BND have found. The BND can't spy on Germans, and the NSA can't spy on Americans, but they CAN spy on each other, and then share whatever they find.

The sharing doesn't even have to be official, the BND and NSA could just claim that the information was "leaked" to them by some anonymous 3rd party, allowing them to gain all the intelligence they wanted on their own citizens without actually spying on them directly.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 months ago | (#47279577)

Except for the little detail about the NSA not being allowed to spy Americans indirectly either.

The problem is not that they find creative ways to bend the law, it's that they didn't really need to. It's been proven over and over again that even in the cases where they did break the law without any loophole or excuse, nothing happened anyway.

The problem is reality itself. The reality that since the beginning of times governing people requires spying that same people. We've gotten much more civilized in that now we make an effort of keeping that people in ignorance, so they are a bit happier; but the spying continues.

The government needs spies as it needs assassins and torturers and all kinds of evil agents. If the people keep pushing to reveal the truth, the result won't be the disappearance of evil agents but the removal of the pink veil.

At some point, if the kid insists enough, the parent's patience ends and he replies "because I say so, now shut up."

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279689)

The problem is reality itself. The reality that since the beginning of times governing people requires spying that same people. We've gotten much more civilized in that now we make an effort of keeping that people in ignorance, so they are a bit happier; but the spying continues.

The government needs spies as it needs assassins and torturers and all kinds of evil agents. If the people keep pushing to reveal the truth, the result won't be the disappearance of evil agents but the removal of the pink veil.

At some point, if the kid insists enough, the parent's patience ends and he replies "because I say so, now shut up."

Yes, look how well that turned out for East Germany and the Stasi.

The only reason to spy on your own citizens is to take advantage of them - benefit for a few in power at the expense of the many.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280029)

Are you suggesting this is where the US of A is heading to (/already is)?
Oh noes... but ... but... we are the stallwarth of freedom, liberty and errr... stuff US-A, US-A, US-A! We're number one! ...and all that

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282803)

The GDR collapsed because the USSR withdrew its support (Perestroika put East Berlin at odds with Moscow), not because their surveillance backfired.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (2)

Warbothong (905464) | about 5 months ago | (#47280315)

The reality that since the beginning of times governing people requires spying that same people.

The government needs spies as it needs assassins and torturers and all kinds of evil agents. If the people keep pushing to reveal the truth, the result won't be the disappearance of evil agents but the removal of the pink veil.

At some point, if the kid insists enough, the parent's patience ends and he replies "because I say so, now shut up."

At "the beginning of times" governments used targetted spying. They couldn't tap intercontinental fibreoptic communication cables, run the output through face recognition algorithms and automatically build huge databases of everyone's correspondance.

As an analogy, I accept that police and handcuffs are necessary evils. What I don't accept is that we may as well have everyone wear electromagnetic bracelets, which police can remotely switch into a pair of handcuffs.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 5 months ago | (#47279611)

What you call an impressive loophole seems to be modus operandi for these allied intel agencies. How is this any different than what has been revealed about cooperation revealed in the last year between the British GCHQ and the NSA?

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#47279693)

The main difference is that the "Five Eyes" 'intelligence cooperation' between the US and its Freedom Friends in Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand wasn't really news (though the extent of its activities, the fact that it wasn't only for spying on wicked commies, and the fact that what had previously been ECHELON conspiracy kook stuff was now stuffy official newspaper material was); but Germany made a big show of being Shocked, Shocked, and horribly wounded by the revelations that the NSA had been spying on them. Amazingly, this outrage appears to have been less that totally sincere.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279767)

From the Spiegel article, it seems that the official deal was that the NSA wouldn't spy on German citizens or companies without permission of the BND. I'm pretty sure the BND didn't authorize the NSA to tap Frau Merkel's phone, so it seems the NSA didn't abide by the agreement (not that this should come as a surprise to anybody, as the U.S. has a long and illustrious history of signing agreements it has no intention of abiding by), which is where the official German outrage comes from.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#47286929)

Germany traditionally did not get the data product back from the USA vs UK (GCHQ ) and USA share their data. Germany allows the NSA to fully tap all of Germany in any way they like and expects/asks for nothing back in return.
Over time the German gov or mil will get a good deal on US export grade mil equipment or US mil signals hardware as a thank you from the US gov.
Cooperation with the NSA comes in stages from a full two way sharing (rare) to a massive data dump for the USA without sharing (more common and global now) from helpful nations and their tame telcos.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279639)

I am going to call my Bundestagsabgeordneten and call him names as he surely deserves. Not much more can be done anyway.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47279841)

I'm not sure it is a loophole. Sigint has been participating in schemes like this since the cold war. I think project echelon and project magic lantern grew out of one of these efforts.

When you hear about inteligence communities cooperating and that's how we found a bad guy or foiled some sinister plot, it was likely something like this. The real difference is the scope and the ability to process the communications.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279905)

Wow, this is an impressive loophole that the NSA and BND have found. The BND can't spy on Germans, and the NSA can't spy on Americans, but they CAN spy on each other, and then share whatever they find.

There is no loophole there, it is strictly illegal for both parties to participate in this. The means used to acquire the information is irrelevant.
Legally there is no difference between NSA planting a bug in your house or having someone else to do it for them.

The loophole is in that not everyone gets punished when they break the law.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47279989)

Wow, this is an impressive loophole that the NSA and BND have found. The BND can't spy on Germans, and the NSA can't spy on Americans, but they CAN spy on each other, and then share whatever they find.

That is supposed to no longer be the case [intelnews.org] , but you know how that goes

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47280683)

Its not really as big a problem as you're making it, though. Everyone already knows that foreign agencies will try to spy on us, and honestly I'd rather the NSA have that info than not, if someone else already has it. At least the NSA is more "on our side" than the BND is.

The reason domestic spying is such a problem is because the NSA has huge leverage and access that the BND does not. A US company is going to have a pretty easy time securing itself from foreign agencies if it uses a bit of common sense and proper security. That is not the case vs the NSA, as they have access to do things like install taps at ISP levels.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281305)

Everyone already knows that foreign agencies will try to spy on us, and honestly I'd rather the NSA have that info than not

Then you are free to willingly supply that information to them, but don't you dare rope the rest of us into your lunatic ideas. That's anti-American.

At least the NSA is more "on our side" than the BND is.

Really? You believe they are on your side? After they've quite literally attacked you and made you out to be a criminal, you think they are your friends? I'm pretty sure that's classified as a psychological disorder.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (3, Interesting)

zedaroca (3630525) | about 5 months ago | (#47281239)

The BND can't spy on Germans, and the NSA can't spy on Americans, but they CAN spy on each other

Except that it is illegal for anyone to spy on Germans, the NSA CAN'T do that from anywhere in the world without violating the German constitution. When they do it on German soil the Germans have the legal authority to arrest the criminals and they should do so. Not doing so is to disobey their laws and law enforcement duties. When the crimes against their citizens are committed from other countries, the appropriate thing to do would be to ask for the criminals extradition.

It is the BND's job to keep their people safe from foreign criminals who violate their constitution, specially on their own territory. They are not doing their job properly and even if they claimed it as "leaked" information, they still would have to investigate if there are indications that the constitution is being violated.

Re:End-run around everyone's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281907)

In the US, we thought we had made it easy: anyone who is assisting a foreign country in spying on America is "levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid"

no surprise (2)

Tom (822) | about 5 months ago | (#47279511)

Sadly, this kind of stuff has been modus operandi for Germany for two decades now. You see, there's a whole generation that was raised on the concept of "our american friends". And that generation is in power now.

You see it in Merkel, who is basically a lapdog to America.

You see it in our financial industry, which was basically sold bridges by "our american friends" - guess who sent 400 million to Lehman Brothers literally (not metaphorically, literally) the day before they collapsed? Correct, a german bank.

And you see it in your secret services, which are basically a laughing stock the world over, but try to pretend they can play with the big boys. When in fact they can't even convince our own government members to actually use the cryptophones that they developed for them. *facepalm*

We are doing some really cool stuff over here, but our people in charge are idiots.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279653)

Suggest you read "The Baader Meinhof Complex" if you think it has only been going on for a couple of decades!

Re:no surprise (1)

Tom (822) | about 5 months ago | (#47281491)

Sorry, I think the RAF people are largely fanatical assholes. Doesn't mean everything they thought was bullshit, but there's enough bullshit in it that I'd rather make up my own mind.

Re:no surprise (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 months ago | (#47279697)

By two decades, don't you mean six? It's not like it started recently; what do you think Adenauer was doing?

Re:no surprise (1)

Tom (822) | about 5 months ago | (#47281471)

No, I mean 2 decades. Adenauer was before my time, what I know about him is from history books and I don't trust them on the details.

But we also had Brand and Schmidt, for example. We had Kohl who, even though I massively disliked him, cannot be said to have been anyones pet. And SchrÃder was... not exactly great, but he did have the guts to stand up to Bush and tell him that his war in Iraq is stupid and we will have no part in it.

You've forgotten 1 thing Tom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280317)

That big money runs governments all over the planet (not elected political representatives & officials): Once you get THAT through your head, you see the REAL picture, and what's really going on.

Re:You've forgotten 1 thing Tom (1)

Tom (822) | about 5 months ago | (#47281541)

The real world is not that simple.

There are some psychopaths, especially in politics, who are not driven by money but by power and control. They've intentionally moved into politics because of that. Merkel is actually a good example of that, she spends considerable amounts of her efforts on getting rid of every potential rival around her, and she's quite good at it. She's the most popular politician in Germany largely because she's made sure all the others woke up to a knife in the back one day.

These kinds of people are not looking for big money, and are not easily bought, because they're looking for a different drug.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280427)

Be thankful they're idiots. Be very very afraid when they get smart, efficient and organized.

Re:no surprise (1)

Tom (822) | about 5 months ago | (#47281459)

Since they are at least allegedly on my side, I'd rather have them be competent.

Even if they were my enemies, I'd rather have that. I've been in competitive environments professional, and I don't mean trying to look better than your co-workers, I mean negotiations and court cases. I would choose a competent, professional enemy over a bumbling idiot every day. Maybe I can't fool him as easily, but I will get more, faster and better results. The idiot is only good when you want a quick win. If you're shooting for the long term, take a competent enemy, it'll be less trouble and you can focus more on your actual goals.

Re:no surprise (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47280695)

In what way exactly is Merkel an american lapdog? Or is that just a fancy way of saying "you dont like her"?

Re:no surprise (1)

Tom (822) | about 5 months ago | (#47281443)

No, if I want to say I don't like her, I will say I don't like her.

I don't like her.

She is an american lapdog in many ways. In her entire time as chancellor, I cannot remember one time where she stood up for the interest of her country (that she swore an oath to protect) when it was in opposition to american interests. When it was discovered that the NSA had tapped her phone, which quite frankly should be a major diplomatic incident, her reaction was a stern phone call with Obama. She has brought the IWF into inner-european issues (I hope I don't have to explain that the IWF is about as pro-american as it gets). She is either incredibly incompetent or willingly accepted CIA activities such as abductions and what the media calls "torture transports". When a german national was caught in that net, and released after 3 years of Gitmo with no charges, her government did everything it could to obstruct justice.

Do I need to go on or is that enough?

Are the Stasi already forgotten? (1)

decaffeinated (70626) | about 5 months ago | (#47279543)

It seems inconceivable that a country where half the citizens cowered under the Stasi, would ever consider rolling over and asking the NSA for a tummy rub.

Worldwide cooperation with NSA seems rather extensive, does it not?

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279573)

That was last century. Get with the times, gramps. Kids these days love to kiss the boot while it stomps on their faces.

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279649)

The German spy organization BND isn't so much related to the Stasi as it is a descendant of the Nazi regime and grandfathered in by the US: The predecessor of the BND was called "Organisation Gehlen" [wikipedia.org] , named after Reinhard Gehlen [wikipedia.org] , later the first president of the BND.

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (1)

stooo (2202012) | about 5 months ago | (#47281917)

Yep. Even worse, the Verfassungsschutz (interior "security" agency, created by the USA after the war by recruiting former nazis) is even more implied in (neo)nazi affairs from '45 until today. They basically fund the neonazi party by having half the party being "undercover agents" (thus paid by the government) ....

There's only one way to deal with it : close the BND and the Verfassungsschutz.

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (1)

fazig (2909523) | about 5 months ago | (#47279839)

From the perspective of a citizen it seems inconceivable, yes, but from the point of view of certain politicians and organizations not so much.
In 2009 there were controversial laws and actions within Germany concerning privacy and surveillance, that prompted videos like this [youtube.com] , which was then adopted as a campaign commercial for the Pirate Party in the same year.
The "Vorratsdatenspeicherung", for example, was actually implemented and had to be ruled as unconstitutional by the Bundesverfassungsgericht in 2010 before it could be abolished.
For me as a Germany citizen it was inconceivable that the BND couldn't possibly be involved. As long as they don't have to spent a lot more money on their part, get some benefit from direct cooperation, and on top of that keep up good relations with a US intelligence agency, why would they refuse?

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 5 months ago | (#47279853)

East Germany had about 16 million citizen, West Germany about 70.
So it's more like 20% who had experience with the Stasi.

Just saying.

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#47279937)

He's an American. Just knowing that there used to be two Germanies puts him in the top 5%.

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (1)

stooo (2202012) | about 5 months ago | (#47281937)

The other 60M experienced the Verfassungsschutz, which had (has) the same practices, but on a "smaller" scale

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280419)

Remember the Stasi?
Pepperidge farm remembers...

Re:Are the Stasi already forgotten? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281177)

>Remember the Stasi?

DIE MAUER MUSS WEG!!!!

I
I can remember
Standing
By the wall
And the guns
Shot above our heads
And we kissed
As though nothing could fall
And the shame
Was on the other side
Oh we can beat them
For ever and ever
Then we can be Heroes
Just for one day

rectro-actively? (1)

RuffMasterD (3398975) | about 5 months ago | (#47279555)

I don't like the sound of that at all...

Bundesnachrichtendienst (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about 5 months ago | (#47279559)

Try to say that repeatedly:

Bundesnachrichtendienst
Bundesnachrichtendienst
Bundesnachrichtendienst

Now, have a few beers, and try it again.

Re:Bundesnachrichtendienst (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 5 months ago | (#47279835)

Now try to say Federal Intelligence Service. In German they drop the spaces between nouns that form a new whole, but you have similar syntax in spoken English, you just put spaces between the nouns when you write them.

Re:Bundesnachrichtendienst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279979)

YesWeCan
YesWeCan
YesWeCan
Oh, I see what you mean. Still, my favorite is:
If we don't (insert nonsensical, groupthink, pig-fodder phrase),... Then the terrorists have won.
Germany may have lost WWI, and WWII, but they successfully exported Fascism. It's the uniforms mostly. I mean, you ever see how Mao dressed up his puppets?
Sorry folks, Obama is date raping you. You should always ask where you're going before the date, otherwise your vote might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

Re:Bundesnachrichtendienst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280509)

Polenfeldzug
Polenfeldzug
Polenfeldzug

Now, wait ten years, and try it again.

Just like the DDR or the 3rd Reich never happened (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47279561)

These people are doing the same things that were the very basis of oppression of any and all freedoms on German soil in these two regimes. It is like these cretins _want_ that state of affairs back.

Re:Just like the DDR or the 3rd Reich never happen (1)

jovius (974690) | about 5 months ago | (#47279827)

The traumas are still unhealed and they are passed on to the next generations, so the world has become a giant festival of self whipping. To avoid talking about the issues huge defenses are erected along with complex system of hierarchy. The totality is nonetheless based on a fragile illusion of power, which can be penetrated by anyone regardless of the applied conditioning - like what Snowden did for example. As long as people believe the illusion it stays together, but it's also possible to voluntarily change one's path and actions. The sum is less than the value of the parts.

Because ultimately it's impossible to have a complete control of a human being the mechanism needs to be paranoid to the infinity, and everybody is treated as a suspect. The problem is not however the humanity but the mechanism, which is in denial. For sure the ones in the core understand this, but the reward system in the brain can be really tricky...

Re:Just like the DDR or the 3rd Reich never happen (1)

jeti (105266) | about 5 months ago | (#47279907)

The terms were dictated by the US. They are part of the agreements that regulate(d) the occupation of Germany (see Truppenstationierungsabkommen).

Re:Just like the DDR or the 3rd Reich never happen (3, Insightful)

Warbothong (905464) | about 5 months ago | (#47280329)

These people are doing the same things that were the very basis of oppression of any and all freedoms on German soil in these two regimes. It is like these cretins _want_ that state of affairs back.

They want that level of power, but since it's *them* this time, they'll only use it for "good" (ie. what *they* want).

Of course, they neglect to realise that's exactly what the Nazi's thought.

Re:Just like the DDR or the 3rd Reich never happen (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47284251)

Indeed. "Am Deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen" (roughly: "German nature will cure the ills of the world"). The Nazis though that the wold was corrupt and weak, and that they were doing something to fix that because they believed they had found out how to be better human beings. Kind of like the US portrays itself these days. Of course, the Nazis also though that some could not be "cured" and should therefore be just exterminated. But this feeling of ultimate superiority is a slippery slope and Gitmo, murder-by-drone, global surveillance, etc. may just ultimately end in something just as catastrophic.

Old Hat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279595)

Joint NSA + BND operations have been known about since the Cold War, and the white "Radomes" in Bad Aibling and elsewhere in Germany have been well-known surveillance sites since at least the 1980ies. Also, the ECHELON program has been known about since at least those days. Numerous newspaper articles appeared back then, and The Spiegel seems to have forgotten about its own articles from that time. With ECHELON, it was possible to monitor the entire radio and phone communication of Europe and especially, Eastern Europe. The West relied on these facilities for intelligence about the Eastern Bloc (COMINTERN states). Everybody knew about it. During the Cold War, it was pretty obvious where everybody's surveillance sites were. When the German Telecommunication Law was reformed in the 1990ies to include tap provisions for intelligence agencies (every German Internet provider must provide a tap interface for intelligence agencies), it was clear back then that they would introduce automated surveillance facilities. There was even activism and protest trying to prevent that law reform, to no avail. Also, the US export restrictions for encryption during those days made it clear just how good the decryption facilities of the NSA were. When that limitation was lifted, everybody knew the NSA can now decrypt all standard encryption algorithms. Plus, occasionally, the press released information about new kinds of software the NSA was working on. So, all of these were indicators that there is an automated surveillance facility used by the NSA and probably other intelligence agencies (like the BND). Intelligence agencies are all about spying, and they do it all day, every day. No surprises here...

Re:Old Hat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279701)

When that limitation was lifted, everybody knew the NSA can now decrypt all standard encryption algorithms

That has never been substantiated. Everything released by Snowden so far heavily suggests that the NSA focuses a lot on things like implants, software vulnerabilities, and other forms of endpoint attacking so that the data can be seen before it is encrypted or after it is decrypted.

The reason why strong encryption is exportable is because it became a moot point as the knowledge and technology existed and was being developed outside of America too.

Re:Old Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279877)

Ah, ok. And certainly, it is easier to get at the data before it is encrypted, rather than bruteforcing to decrypt it.

Re:Old Hat (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#47286967)

ECHELON was super fast voice to text and then working of key phrases and words from known and new phone calls, faxes world wide.
The limitations of ECHELON was you had to have a telephone number to watch or hope the 'bad' people used the correct word in a random call.
Storage was then for the calls known or new calls to known numbers. Later voice prints where used to pick up known people using new/random phone system.
The NSA now keeps aspects of all calls, data and then looks back in its own time. The need to drop a call and move to the next or not keep details has been solved.
The same storage methods now work for computer networking - dont just look in real time, just keep all data and sort as needed.

Germany is America's lapdog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279617)

The German constitution does not protect against un-warranted surveillance of correspondence. It explicitly states that exceptions can be made by law, and there are indeed sweeping exceptions. Oversight is almost non-existent. Every German government has entered into or upheld secret treaties with America to allow US spying. "Transatlantikbrücke" is the euphemism under which influential positions are filled with US-friendly people.

Re:Germany is America's lapdog (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 5 months ago | (#47279679)

germans love to be abused obviously.

Re:Germany is America's lapdog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280001)

Yes, but Americans love to be told freedom is worth dieing for. That way, any other abuse the government heaps on them looks like a good deal.

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279669)

the so called conspiracy theorists were right again - what's that 20 times this year?

idiots

Reject! Story does not fit narrative! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279685)

This story is not true, because we all know that America is the worst. NSA spies on people because America is bad, and nobody else spies on anybody because they are not America.

Re:Reject! Story does not fit narrative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279753)

It wouldn't be far-fetched to say that Germany doesn't have its own spy organization, but is instead "serviced" by a branch office of the US spy organizations. Germany has only relatively recently become formally independent of the foreign "oversight" which had been a kind of meta-government since WW2. The BND in particular was founded with the support and guidance of the US and operates almost entirely outside the democratic framework. The German people have only miniscule control over the BND, by means of a small, indirectly elected and nearly completely impotent oversight committee which cannot even publicly disclose anything. The BND could not be less under the control of the German people if it were a hostile foreign organization, hence the distinction is moot.

Re:Reject! Story does not fit narrative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280041)

What about the Constitution Protection (Verfassungsschutz), the Military Shielding Service (Militärischer Abschirmdienst, MAD), the Espionage Deflection Service (Spionageabwehrdienst), the Federal Data Protection Agent (Bundesdatenschutzbeauftragter) and Land Data Protection Agents (Landesdatenschutzbeauftragte)?

Re:Reject! Story does not fit narrative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280101)

What about them?

Re:Reject! Story does not fit narrative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282639)

How independent are they?

Fuck Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279733)

This is exactly why you should buy AMD.

Say what! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279777)

Rectro-actively ? Does that involve a rectroscope or some kind of rectal probe ? :S

Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279805)

There is no doubt that these activities of the BND constitute treason and it they violated some other laws in the process. When will those responsible be tried before the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe?

Industrial espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279821)

It is funny and sad that the Germans are helping their 'allies' commit industrial espionage on their own companies on a massive scale. They are probably even paying for it.

Re:Industrial espionage (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#47286981)

Thats what so many Germans just dont seem to get.
This is all banking data, legal data, gov databases, cryptography, trade negotiations, science funding, export opportunities, advanced aerospace, computer support is just gifted to the USA for free.
Everything Germany is considering internally on its own networks is been given to the US military industrial complex with the help of German telcos and a select few German gov staff.

So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47279837)

what?

Merkel is a hypocrite (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | about 5 months ago | (#47280069)

She was so mad about her phone being wiretapped. And yet, she was playing along with the American surveillance machine the whole time. Serves her right.

Re:Merkel is a hypocrite (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 5 months ago | (#47280119)

As the joke goes: Merkel was mad about her phone being tapped, then our prime minister Rutte (in NL) got mad about his phone not being tapped, as if he's not important enough...

What I find interesting is that she's mad about her phone being tapped (and others are mad about it too, I heard they're launching an official investigation now). So tapping phones of all other Germans, from fry cook to captain of industry, apparently doesn't merit any outrage. I'd argue that it's the other way around: if there's any phone that the US has any business listening in on, it's hers.

Re:Merkel is a hypocrite (2)

stooo (2202012) | about 5 months ago | (#47282003)

>> our prime minister Rutte (in NL) got mad about his phone not being tapped ...

That, sir, is impossible. We monitor everything ! We record every phone call !
An official not being listened to ? I call BS.

Re:Merkel is a hypocrite (1)

Warbothong (905464) | about 5 months ago | (#47280331)

Serves her right.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

NSA and BND (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#47280073)

The missing manual.

Huh? (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about 5 months ago | (#47280087)

I thought the chancellor was mad about NSA spying in Germany?

THE REAL QUESTION IS ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280093)

Do NSA, BND & Co. give companies like Google access to their surveillance databases to improve targeted advertising? Try making a phone call to someone and chat about some topics you don't normally talk about. Then visit a site with Google ads, and look at the ads. Anything suspicious? Now try that again and write e-mail to someone using a not-so-obvious e-mail account (that isn't already in possession of one of the big players). What ads to do you get now? Recently, I wrote to someone I'm going to buy a French car, and bam I'm getting ads for French champagne. Coincidence? Never noticed any ads for French products before.

Re:THE REAL QUESTION IS ... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#47286995)

Think of it more as US staff moving between gov jobs and the US private sector.
Think of it more as German crypto staff enjoying US mil methods, hardware, software and shared sites.
Generations have long friendships and private jobs waiting.
From big brands to startups, front companies to open source :)

I have beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280207)

Its so poofi

They (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 5 months ago | (#47280215)

They always return to their true nature.

It is left to the reader to define who 'they' are.

Eye Vass Only Following Ordersss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281025)

erschossen auf der Flucht

ah, the gold old days...it's nice to have them back.

not

Constitutional rights or bust!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47281543)

Germany's constitution protects against un-warranted surveillance of correspondence, either by post or telecommunications, of German citizens in Germany or abroad and foreigners on German soil.

Gee Whiz! I wish we had a constitution like that here in the United States!

Calling nurse Merkel (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47281859)

Bring 800ccs of faux outrage, stat!

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