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FTR #765 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 10: Shearing the Piglet (“They’re Shocked, Shocked!”)


Inspector Renault (Claude Rains)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

Listen: MP3

Side 1 [2]  Side 2 [3]

NB: This description contains information not contained in the original broadcast.

Introduction: This program highlights the stunning hypocrisy of European critics of the NSA. Echoing Claude Rains’ character Louis Reynaud from the film Casablanca they are “shocked, shocked”! As it turns out, the critics are as hypocritical as Reynaud, who’s surprise and outrage at the fact that there was gambling going on in Rick’s Cafe was tempered by the croupier’s rendering of his own winnings to him.

We note that many of the critics used the exact verbiage–“shocked” in response to the Snowden material.

Former French spymaster Bernard Squarcini laid it on the line [4], when he noted that not only do the French intelligence services [5] do the same thing, but it was common knowledge that ALL major powers (and some minor ones) do the same thing. Squarcini skewered the critics on their hypocrisy and expressed “shock” of his own that the politicians didn’t seem to read the reports they were given.

In addition to the French intelligence service [6], the BND–Germany’s foreign intelligence service and the successor to the Reinhard Gehlen spy outfit–does exactly the same thing [7].

Like the French service [6], the BND is actually accelerating [8] its internet and electronic surveillance capabilities.

Revealing the EU’s extreme hypocrisy is the disclosure that that body is going to form its own military intelligence unit to do exactly the same things as the NSA [9], in response to European “shock” over the Snowden material.

We conclude with a story that has profound implications.

In FTR #761 [10], we noted that Ernst Uhlrau had an interesting curriculum vitae. Chief of the Hamburg police during a period in which German intelligence had members of the Hamburg cell of 9/11 hijackers under surveillance, Uhrlau was appointed special adviser to the Chancellor on intelligence matters in 1998. He became head of the BND in 2005.

During Uhrlau’s tenure as BND director, files on BND officials with SS and Gestapo backgrounds were shredded [11]. Note that the individuals whose files were destroyed were BND executives, not field agents, and that they has held “sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.”

According to Der Spiegel, BND officers were recruited from the families of BND operatives, permitting a perpetuation of Nazi ideology and methodology from the original Gehlen S [12]S [12] and Gestapo recruits!

A very important update is included in this description. It was not in the original broadcast. A revealing article in Der Spiegel [13] notes two critical details: the very same Angela Merkel who is “shocked, shocked” at what the NSA is doing has not only put roadblocks in European data privacy rules to guard against unwarranted government surveillance but is actively seeking admittance to the “Five Eyes” club, which dates to World War II! Neither Merkel, nor Germany, nor the Underground Reich is “shocked, shocked” at all! They want IN!

Pray tell, if it’s wrong when they are NOT included, why is it “right” when they are, hmmmm?

Program Highlights Include:

1a. Beginning with review of material covered years ago on For The Record, the program notes that the information about NSA and GCHQ hoovering up electronic communications is not new. (Mr. Emory has been discussing this for years, referencing the analysis from open sources.) A New York Times [14] article from 9/6/2001 highlights a European Parliament report that was compiled over the course of a year. The report notes, among other things, that several European countries were doing similar things.

“World Brief­ing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy Sys­tem” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001. [14]

[Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The United States-led spy­ing sys­tem known as Ech­e­lon can mon­i­tor vir­tu­ally every com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the world — by e-mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satel­lite, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment was told. But in report­ing on a year­long study of the sys­tem that was prompted by con­cern that Amer­i­can com­pa­nies were using data from the sys­tem to gain a com­pet­i­tive edge, Ger­hard Schmid, a Ger­man mem­ber of the Par­lia­ment, said that many Euro­pean coun­tries had sim­i­lar abil­i­ties . . .

1b. Russian president Vladimir Putin summed up the nature of the public disclosures of Snowden.

“Putin Defends Snowden’s Stopover, Rejects U.S. ‘Drivel’” by Anton Doroshev, Nicole Gaouette & Nathan Gill;  bloomberg.com; 6/25/2013.  [23]

. . . .“Personally I’d prefer to keep out of such questions,” he said. “It’s like shearing a piglet: all squealing and no wool.” . . . .

1c. Former French Spymaster Bernard Squarcini noted the fact that all countries, including France, engage in the same kind of activity that NSA does. He found it remarkable that officials could react with the feigned astonishment that they displayed.

“Paris Also Snoops on US, Says ex-French Spy Boss [4]by Tony Todd; France24; 10/24/2013. [4]
Spy­ing on allies is all in a day’s work, the for­mer head of France’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency (pic­tured) said on Thurs­day, fol­low­ing reports that the US National Secu­rity Agency recorded mil­lions of French phone calls.
France spies on the US just as the US spies on France, the for­mer head of France’s counter-espionage and counter-terrorism agency said Fri­day, com­ment­ing on reports that the US National Secu­rity Agency (NSA) recorded mil­lions of French tele­phone calls.

Bernard Squarcini, head of the Direc­tion Cen­trale du Ren­seigne­ment Intérieur (DCRI) intel­li­gence ser­vice until last year, told French daily Le Figaro [24] he was “aston­ished” when Prime Min­is­ter Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was “deeply shocked” by the claims.

“I am amazed by such dis­con­cert­ing naiveté,” he said in the inter­view. “You’d almost think our politi­cians don’t bother to read the reports they get from the intel­li­gence services.”

On Mon­day, French daily Le Monde [25] pub­lished a story based on leaks from NSA whistle­blower Edward Snow­den, alleg­ing that the NSA had recorded 70 mil­lion phone calls in France in a 30-day period from Decem­ber 10 to Jan­u­ary 8 this year.

‘Deep dis­ap­proval’

The fol­low­ing day French Pres­i­dent Franços Hol­lande called his US coun­ter­part Barack Obama to express “deep dis­ap­proval of these prac­tices, which are unac­cept­able between friends and allies because they infringe on the pri­vacy of French citizens”.

But for Squarcini, who was ques­tioned in 2011 [26] over sur­veil­lance of jour­nal­ists inves­ti­gat­ing alleged ille­gal cam­paign fund­ing for for­mer pres­i­dent Nico­las Sarkozy, spy­ing on allies is all in a day’s work.

“The French intel­li­gence ser­vices know full well that all coun­tries, whether or not they are allies in the fight against ter­ror­ism, spy on each other all the time,” he said.

“The Amer­i­cans spy on French com­mer­cial and indus­trial inter­ests, and we do the same to them because it’s in the national inter­est to pro­tect our companies.”

“There was noth­ing of any real sur­prise in this report,” he added. “No one is fooled.” . . . .

2a. Le Monde reported on the French spying program cited above:

“France ‘Has Vast Data Sur­veil­lance’ — Le Monde Report”; BBC; 7/4/2013. [5]

France’s for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vice inter­cepts com­puter and tele­phone data on a vast scale, like the con­tro­ver­sial US Prism pro­gramme, accord­ing to the French daily Le Monde.

The data is stored on a super­com­puter at the head­quar­ters of the DGSE intel­li­gence ser­vice, the paper says.

The oper­a­tion is “out­side the law, and beyond any proper super­vi­sion”, Le Monde says.

Other French intel­li­gence agen­cies allegedly access the data secretly.

It is not clear how­ever whether the DGSE sur­veil­lance goes as far as Prism. So far French offi­cials have not com­mented on Le Monde’s alle­ga­tions.

The DGSE allegedly analy­ses the “meta­data” — not the con­tents of e-mails and other com­mu­ni­ca­tions, but the data reveal­ing who is speak­ing to whom, when and where.

Con­nec­tions inside France and between France and other coun­tries are all mon­i­tored, Le Monde reports.

The paper alleges the data is being stored on three base­ment floors of the DGSE build­ing in Paris. The secret ser­vice is the French equiv­a­lent of Britain’s MI6. . . .

The oper­a­tion is designed, say experts, to uncover ter­ror­ist cells. But the scale of it means that “any­one can be spied on, any time”, Le Monde says. . . .

2b. A story that broke the day the program was recorded and is not in the original broadcast informs us that France is expanding its surveillance effort, without substantive oversight!

“France Broadens Its Surveillance Power” by Scott Sayare; The New York Times; 12/15/2013. [6]

For all their indignation last summer, when the scope of the United States’ mass data collection began to be made public, the French are hardly innocents in the realm of electronic surveillance. Within days of the reports about the National Security Agency’s activities, it was revealed that French intelligence services operated a similar system, with similarly minimal oversight.

And last week, with little public debate, the legislature approved a law that critics feared would markedly expand electronic surveillance of French residents and businesses.

The provision, quietly passed as part of a routine military spending bill, defines the conditions under which intelligence agencies may gain access to, or record telephone conversations, e-mails, Internet activity, personal location data and other electronic communications.

The law provides for no judicial oversight and allows electronic surveillance for a broad range of purposes, including “national security,” the protection of France’s “scientific and economic potential” and prevention of “terrorism” or “criminality.” . . . .

2c. A former French Foreign Minister said he was “shocked,” but then went on to admit that all countries did this and confessed to jealousy over the extent of the NSA surveillance. A British diplomat notes that telephonic communications are assumed by the diplomatic community to be monitored.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright relates the French ambassador querying her about the nature of a private communication, apparently intercepted by French intelligence.

“NSA Spying Threatens to Hamper US Foreign Policy” by Deb Riechmann; Associated Press; 10/26/2011. [15]

. . . . “The magnitude of the eavesdropping is what shocked us,” former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a radio interview. “Let’s be honest, we eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don’t have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous.”

So where in the world isn’t the NSA? That’s one big question raised by the disclosures. Whether the tapping of allies is a step too far might be moot.

The British ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, tweeted this past week: “I work on assumption that 6+ countries tap my phone. Increasingly rare that diplomats say anything sensitive on calls.” . . . .

. . . . Madeleine Albright, secretary of state during the Clinton administration, recalled being at the United Nations and having the French ambassador ask her why she said something in a private conversation apparently intercepted by the French. . . .

3. Europe’s electronic surveillance capability is formidable and more than comparable to the NSA. Note that James Clapper testified that electronic surveillance given to other countries for surveillance of terrorists was being used against the United States.

 “Europe’s Spy­ing Busi­nesses Thrive Amid Sur­veil­lance Uproar” by Chris Bryant;  Finan­cial Times; 7/1/2013. [16]

Europe’s politi­cians are out­raged about alleged US mon­i­tor­ing of EU tele­phone and com­puter com­mu­ni­ca­tions. But when it comes to build­ing and export­ing spy equip­ment, few are as capa­ble as Europe.

That much was evi­dent last month when the world’s lead­ing sell­ers of elec­tronic sur­veil­lance tech­nol­ogy gath­ered in Prague at the ISS World trade show.

Police and spy agency offi­cials lis­tened to closed-door pre­sen­ta­tions by a suc­ces­sion of Euro­pean com­pa­nies about their highly sophis­ti­cated inter­net and tele­phone com­mu­ni­ca­tion inter­cep­tion wares.

Hack­ing Team, a Milan-based maker of eaves­drop­ping soft­ware, demon­strated in Prague its remotely con­trolled spy­ware that can tap encrypted com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Skype calls and instant mes­sen­ger chats. The sys­tem also has audio and video capa­bil­ity, which allows police to spy using the target’s own webcam.

Munich-based Tro­vi­cor schooled agents on its “cell-based mon­i­tor­ing solu­tion” to han­dle mass record­ings while Gamma Inter­na­tional, a UK-German com­pany, demon­strated its con­tro­ver­sial “Fin­Fisher” spy­ware tool for remotely mon­i­tor­ing mobile phone communications.

At a time when Euro­pean coun­tries are loudly con­demn­ing the US and UK’s spy­ing activ­i­ties, Europe’s spy tech­nol­ogy exper­tise is a poten­tial source of embarrassment.

Pri­vacy activists and politi­cians fear that, if left unreg­u­lated, sales of Euro­pean sur­veil­lance tech­nol­ogy could infringe human rights over­seas, as well as dam­ag­ing the cyber secu­rity of peo­ple in Europe. . . .

. . . .This means that more than 50 per cent of the almost $6bn a year mar­ket for off-the-shelf sur­veil­lance equip­ment – the kind favoured by nearly all gov­ern­ments except the US – is con­trolled by west­ern Euro­pean com­pa­nies, accord­ing to Mr Lucas. . . .

. . . . In fact, it was James Clap­per, US direc­tor of national intel­li­gence, who told the US Sen­ate in March that for­eign gov­ern­ments had begun using sur­veil­lance tech­nolo­gies orig­i­nally mar­keted for “law­ful inter­cep­tion” to tar­get US systems. . . .

4.  Citizen [Glenn] Greenwald has also misrepresented alleged NSA hoovering-up of communications of Norwegian citizens. The head of Norwegian intelligence has contradicted Greenwald [17], indicating that it was Norwegian operatives who gleaned the information.

“Norway’s Intel Chief Exposes Yet Another Greenwald Distortion” by Charles Johnson; Little Green Footballs; 11/19/2013. [17]

Glenn Greenwald’s latest story extracted from the NSA documents stolen by Edward Snowden is yet another example of how he distorts the information to smear the US — every time.

His article [27] for Dagbladet claims that the NSA spied on “33 million” Norwegian telephone calls, but Norway’s chief of military intelligence says the claim is totally false. In fact, the telephone metadata discussed in Greenwald’s story was collected by Norwegian intelligence and shared with the NSA — and it was not even collected in Norway [28].

OSLO, Norway — Norway’s military intelligence chief said Tuesday his country carries out surveillance on millions of phone calls in conflict areas around the world and shares that data with allies, including the United States.

Lt. Gen. Kjell Grandhagen made the statement at a hastily organized news conference called in response to a story in the tabloid Dagbladet, which reported that 33 million Norwegian phone calls had been monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Grandhagen vigorously denied the story.

We had to correct that picture because we know that this in fact is not about surveillance in Norway or against Norway, but it is about the Norwegian intelligence effort abroad,” he told The Associated Press.

He stressed that his agency’s actions were legal under Norwegian law since the surveillance was based on suspicions of terrorism-related activity and that potential targets could include Norwegian citizens abroad.

Grandhagen said his intelligence agency had “absolutely no indication” that the NSA was spying on Norwegians.

Not only has Greenwald been shown — again — to be distorting and exaggerating the facts, this also strongly refutes his claim that there’s something uniquely evil about USA intelligence activities. Even Norway has a mass metadata collection program going on. If anything is clear by now from all this, it’s that every country in the world that has the capability to do this kind of surveillance is doing it. And they’re doing it to protect their citizens from terrorism, not for some nefarious evil privacy-destroying agenda.

5. Not only is the BND involved with doing the same thing as NSA, they partner with NSA on some of the programs inside Germany. The German outrage is, as an observer noted “feigned.”

Allied Services (I); german-foreign-policy.com; 7/2/2013.  [18]

. . . . From the very beginning, the claims by the government and the BND of having had no idea about these NSA activities have only provoked a bored smile from specialists. “Experts have known that for a long time,” insists BND expert, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom. “The German government must long since have also known about it through BND evaluations and Studies by the Federal Office of Information Security (BSI).” The “uproar” in Berlin is, “feigned, in this question.”[2] . . .

. . . . He [historian Joseph Foschepoth] has found that in 1968, Bonn concluded a secret administrative agreement, which, based on agreements of the 1950s, had obligated the German government “to carry out surveillance of post and telecommunication for the Western victorious powers, or to allow them to carry out this surveillance themselves.” According to Foschepoth, this administrative agreement “remains unaltered in force, today.” This provides the legal basis for US military intelligence agencies to autonomously execute “surveillance of the post and telecommunication traffic” in Germany.[10] . . .

6. Ironically, in the dust-up following disclosure of NSA spying on European Union offices, it was revealed that the phone system that was tapped was run by Siemens. Siemens is inextricably linked with German intelligence which can be safely assumed to have been tapping the calls as well.

“Attacks from Amer­ica: NSA Spied on Euro­pean Union Offices” by Laura Poitras, Mar­cel Rosen­bach, Fidelius Schmid and Hol­ger Stark; Der Spiegel; 6/29/2013. [19]

. . . A little over five years ago, security experts discovered that a number of odd, aborted phone calls had been made around a certain extension within the Justus Lipsius building, the headquarters of the European Council, the powerful body representing the leaders of the EU’s 27 member states. The calls were all made to numbers close to the one used as the remote servicing line of the Siemens telephone system used in the building. . . .

7. BND has utilized Deutsche Telekom to conduct the same type of surveillance in which the NSA engages. Deutsche Telekom is the parent company of T-Mobile and recently acquired Metro PCS. It is a safe bet that Americans using either T-Mobile or Metro PCS are being spied on by BND. (Deutsche Telekom is controlled by the German government.)

“German Intelligence Scrubs Euroean Records after WikiLeaks Exposure” by WikiLeaks staff; wikileaks.org; 11/16/2008. [20]

Between Friday night and Sunday morning, a massive deletion operation took place at the European Internet address register (RIPE) to scrub references to a cover used by Germany’s premier spy agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND.

The cleanup operation comes the night after Wikileaks revealed over two dozen covert BND networks provided by T-Systems (Deutsche Telekom). The IP addresses were assigned to an unregistered company at a Munich-based PO box linked to T-Systems.

T-Systems purged the RIPE database of all addresses exposed by Wikileaks, moving the addresses into a several giant anonymous “Class B” address pools.

The move comes just a few hours after T-Systems Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) contacted Wikileaks to demand removal of an internal T-Systems memo listing the BND cover addresses. Wikileaks refused and T-System did not respond to requests for further detail by the time of writing.

Yet an investigation into the addresses over the weekend reveals key information about the BND’s Internet activities. . . . .

Website references reveal that in 2006 numerous hosters of Internet websites complained about out of control “data mining” robots from two of the BND-linked IP addresses. One of the hosters ran a popular discussion forum on counter-terrorism operations.

The integrity and transparency of the RIPE system is not assisted by the T-Systems deletion. German citizens may wonder at the double standard. At a time when the population’s Internet addresses are being recorded by ISPs under laws derisively referred to as “Stasi 2.0”, the “real Stasi”—the BND, has had the largest telco in Germany scrub its addresses from the European record within 24 hours of their exposure.

8. A recent Guardian story takes stock of the fact that the BND–German foreign intelligence–is “as bad as the NSA.”

“German Intelligence Service Is as Bad as the NSA” by Kai Biermann; The Guardian; 10/4/2013. [7]

In recent weeks there has been much criticism of the US National Security Agency. It spies on people indiscriminately – even the citizens of its European allies – goes the furious and clearly justified accusation. Politicians in Germany and the EU have repeatedly criticised the US. Yet it seems they themselves are sitting in a rather large glass house.

The German intelligence service – the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) – to name an example close to home, does exactly the same thing as the NSA abroad and it does so within a similar legal framework. “The differences between the BND and the NSA are much smaller than is generally accepted by the public,” write Stefan Heumann and Ben Scott in their study on the legal foundations of internet surveillance programmes in the US, the UK and Germany. . . .

. . . . Heumann works at the German thinktank Neue Verantwortung (New Responsibility), Scott was an adviser to the former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and is now a policy adviser at the Open Technology Institute, part of the New America Foundation thinktank. In their study, the analysts compared the legal foundations, focus and parliamentary oversight of spying programmes in three countries.

Their findings: the NSA runs the biggest spying programme and has the advantage that its targets – the internet providers – are mainly based in the US. Yet at its core the NSA’s surveillance is no different from that of the British GCHQ and the BND in Germany. The underlying laws have the same structure, write Heumann and Scott, even if “their interpretation can differ”.

Heumann and Scott are not the first to say this. The Berlin-based lawyer Niko Härting, for example, has compared the legal foundations for the work of the NSA and the BND. He also found that both agencies are essentially doing the same thing in that they consider everyone living outside their territory to be “without rights”. In short: intelligence services are allowed to spy on foreigners completely unimpeded. Härting points out that it is, after all, the job of foreign intelligence services to watch everybody else. . . . .

9. Like the French intelligence service, BND is expanding its internet surveillance capabilities.

“Ger­many to Spend Mil­lions to Expand Inter­net Sur­veil­lance — Report” by Uta Winkhaus; Europe Online Magazine; 6/16/2013. [8]

Germany‘s main intel­li­gence agency plans to expand inter­net sur­veil­lance by launch­ing a five-year pro­gramme that will cost 100 mil­lion euros (133 mil­lion dol­lars), Der Spiegel mag­a­zine reported Sunday.

The report about the fed­eral intel­li­gence service‘s (BND) plans comes days after whistle­blower Edward Snow­den revealed details of top-secret US gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance pro­grammes that gath­ered vast tele­phone records and inter­net data.

With the addi­tional fund­ing, the BND will add 100 new employ­ees to its tech­ni­cal intel­li­gence depart­ment and bol­ster its com­put­ing and server capac­i­ties, the report said.

The gov­ern­ment has already released a first tranche of 5 mil­lion euros, accord­ing to Der Spiegel.

To fight ter­ror­ism and orga­nized crime, the BND is per­mit­ted by law to mon­i­tor 20 per cent of all com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Ger­many and for­eign nations. Until now, it only had the capac­ity to check on 5 per cent of traf­fic — emails, tele­phone calls, Face­book and Skype chats — because of tech­ni­cal issues.

With the new capa­bil­i­ties, the BND wants to ensure that cross-border traf­fic can be mon­i­tored as com­pre­hen­sively as pos­si­ble, just as is done in the United States by the National Secu­rity Agency (NSA), which spe­cial­izes in elec­tronic intelligence. . . .

10. A story from the fall of 2011 notes that the BND is operating in violation of German law. (A tip of the hat to the Chaos Computer Club for their work on this one.)

“The World from Berlin: Elec­tronic Sur­veil­lance Scan­dal Hits Germany” by David Gor­don Smith and Kris­ten Allen;  Der Spiegel; 10/10/2011. [29]

A Ger­man hacker orga­ni­za­tion claims to have cracked spy­ing soft­ware allegedly used by Ger­man author­i­ties. The Tro­jan horse has func­tions which go way beyond those allowed by Ger­man law. The news has sparked a wave of out­rage among politi­cians and media com­men­ta­tors.

It sounds like some­thing out of George Orwell’s novel “1984” — a com­puter pro­gram that can remotely con­trol someone’s com­puter with­out their knowl­edge, search its com­plete con­tents and use it to con­duct audio-visual sur­veil­lance via the micro­phone or webcam.

But the spy soft­ware that the famous Ger­man hacker orga­ni­za­tion Chaos Com­puter Club has obtained is not used by crim­i­nals look­ing to steal credit-card data or send spam e-mails. If the CCC is to be believed, the so-called “Tro­jan horse” soft­ware was used by Ger­man author­i­ties. The case has already trig­gered a polit­i­cal shock­wave in the coun­try and could have far-reaching con­se­quences.

On Sat­ur­day, the CCC announced that it had been given hard dri­ves con­tain­ing a “state spy­ing soft­ware” which had allegedly been used by Ger­man inves­ti­ga­tors to carry out sur­veil­lance of Inter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The orga­ni­za­tion had ana­lyzed the soft­ware and found it to be full of defects. They also found that it trans­mit­ted infor­ma­tion via a server located in the US. As well as its sur­veil­lance func­tions, it could be used to plant files on an individual’s com­puter. It was also not suf­fi­ciently pro­tected, so that third par­ties with the nec­es­sary tech­ni­cal skills could hijack the Tro­jan horse’s func­tions for their own ends. The soft­ware pos­si­bly vio­lated Ger­man law, the orga­ni­za­tion said.

So-called Tro­jan horse soft­ware can be sur­rep­ti­tiously deliv­ered by a harmless-looking e-mail and installed on a user’s com­puter with­out their knowl­edge, where it can be used to, for exam­ple, scan the con­tents of a hard drive. In 2007, the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­istry announced it had designed a Tro­jan horse that could be used to search the hard dri­ves of ter­ror suspects.

Beyond the Limits

The hard dri­ves that the CCC ana­lyzed came from at least two dif­fer­ent Ger­man states. It was unclear whether the soft­ware, which is said to be at least three years old, had been used by state-level or national author­i­ties. In a Sun­day state­ment, the Inte­rior Min­istry denied that the soft­ware had been used by the Fed­eral Crim­i­nal Police Office (BKA), which is sim­i­lar to the Amer­i­can FBI. The state­ment did not explic­itly rule out the pos­si­bil­ity that the soft­ware could have been used by state-level police forces.

If the CCC’s claims are true, then the soft­ware has func­tions which were expressly for­bid­den by Germany’s high­est court, the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tional Court, in a land­mark 2008 rul­ing which sig­nif­i­cantly restricted what was allowed in terms of online sur­veil­lance. The court also spec­i­fied that online spy­ing was only per­mis­si­ble if there was con­crete evi­dence of dan­ger to indi­vid­u­als or society. . . .

11. The BKA (German equivalent of the FBI) is using the FinFisher spyware touched on in the Financial Times story above.

“Secret Government Document Reveals: German Federal Police Plans To Use Gamma FinFisher Spyware” by Andre Meister; Netzpolitik.org; 1/16/2013. [21]

The German Federal Police office has purchased the commercial Spyware toolkit FinFisher of Elaman/Gamma Group. This is revealed by a secret document of the Ministry of the Interior, which we are publishing exclusively. Instead of legitimizing products used by authoritarian regimes for the violation of human rights, the German state should restrict the export of such state malware.

In October 2011, German hacker organization Chaos Computer Club (CCC) analyzed a malware used by German government authorities. The product of the German company DigiTask was not just programmed badly and lacking elementary security, it was in breach of German law. In a landmark case, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled in 2008 that surveillance software targeting telecommunications must be technologically limited to a specific task. Instead, the CCC found that the DigiTask software took over the entire computer and included the option to remotely add features, thereby clearly violating the court ruling.

Since then, many German authorities have stopped using DigiTask spyware and started to create their own state malware. For this task, a “Center of Competence for Information Technology Surveillance (CC ITÜ)” was established, sporting a three million Euro budget and a team of 30 people. Today, the Federal Ministry of the Interior is informing the Federal Parliament Bundestag about the center’s progress and work. Members of the Finance Committee of the German Parliament are receiving a classified document, that we are now publishing. . . .

12. Next, we visit a VERY revealing story. In response to the Snowden material, the EU is so “shocked, shocked” that its leaders have resolved to create their own military intelligence capability to do EXACTLY what they are criticizing. This presumably is in addition to the fact that European intelligence agencies already to the same thing for which NSA is being criticized.

Critics

“EU Planning to ‘Own and Operate’ Spy Drones and an Air Force” by Bruno Waterfield; The Telegraph [UK]; 7/26/2013. [9]

The European Union is planning to “own and operate” spy drones, surveillance satellites and aircraft as part of a new intelligence and security agency under the control of Baroness Ashton.

The controversial proposals are a major move towards creating an independent EU military body with its own equipment and operations, and will be strongly opposed by Britain.

Officials told the Daily Telegraph that the European Commission and Lady Ashton’s European External Action Service want to create military command and communication systems to be used by the EU for internal security and defence purposes. Under the proposals, purchasing plans will be drawn up by autumn.

The use of the new spy drones and satellites for “internal and external security policies”, which will include police intelligence, the internet, protection of external borders and maritime surveillance, will raise concerns that the EU is creating its own version of the US National Security Agency.

Senior European officials regard the plan as an urgent response to the recent scandal over American and British communications surveillance by creating EU’s own security and spying agency.

“The Edward Snowden scandal shows us that Europe needs its own autonomous security capabilities, this proposal is one step further towards European defence integration,” said a senior EU official. . . .

13. Baroness Ashton is viewed as weak and subject to being a German pawn.

“Assertiveness”; German-Foreign-Policy.com; 8/12/2009. [30]

Berlin is insisting on access to essential posts in the European External Action Service (EEAS). According to news reports, the German government is demanding that the post of EEAS General Secretary be given to a German. Leading personnel from the Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry are being suggested. The general secretary heads the administration and is second only to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, who is considered to be very weak, meaning that a German EEAS general secretary would have a free hand. The structuring of the EEAS is one of Berlin’s most essential objectives since the Lisbon Treaty took effect, reinforcing the EU on its path toward becoming a world power. As was expressed in Berlin’s foreign ministry, the basic features of the new administration must be institutionalized by April 2010, so that the British Conservatives, expected to be the victors of the next parliamentary elections in the spring of 2010, will not be able to have any influence. They are capable of putting up serious resistance to German hegemonic policy. . . .

14. We review the curriculum vitae of Ernst Uhrlau.

“Ernst Uhrlau”; Wikipedia. [31]

. . . . From 1996-98, Ernst Uhrlau was the Chief of Hamburg Police. In 1998, Uhrlau was appointed a Coordinator of the Intelligence Community in the office of the Chancellor.

On 1 December 2005, he was appointed to the post of the head of the BND. . . .

15. In FTR #761 [10], we noted that Ernst Uhlrau had an interesting curriculum vitae. Chief of the Hamburg police during a period in which German intelligence had members of the Hamburg cell of 9/11 hijackers under surveillance, Uhrlau was appointed special adviser to the Chancellor on intelligence matters in 1998. He became head of the BND in 2005.

During Uhrlau’s tenure as BND director, files on BND officials with SS and Gestapo backgrounds were shredded [11]. Note that the individuals whose files were destroyed were BND executives, not field agents, and that they has held “sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.”

According to Der Spiegel, BND officers were recruited from the families of BND operatives, permitting a perpetuation of Nazi ideology and methodology from the original Gehlen S [12]S [12] and Gestapo recruits!

“Obscur­ing the Past: Intel­li­gence Agency Destroyed Files on For­mer SS Members” by Klaus WiegrefeDer Spiegel; 11/30/2013. [11]

His­to­ri­ans con­duct­ing an inter­nal study of ties between employ­ees of the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence agency and the Third Reich have made a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. In 2007, the BND destroyed per­son­nel files of employ­ees who had once been mem­bers of the SS and the Gestapo. . . .

. . . . Now, only one week before Uhrlau’s retire­ment, the com­mis­sion has uncov­ered what is a true his­tor­i­cal scan­dal. The researchers have found that the BND destroyed the per­son­nel files of around 250 BND offi­cials in 2007. The agency has con­firmed that this happened.

The com­mis­sion claims that the destroyed doc­u­ments include papers on peo­ple who were “in sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.” They added that some of the indi­vid­u­als had even been inves­ti­gated after 1945 for pos­si­ble war crimes. His­to­rian Klaus-Dietmar Henke, spokesman for the com­mis­sion, told SPIEGEL ONLINE he was “some­what stunned” by the occurrence.

Did Agency Employ­ees Seek to Sab­o­tage Investigation? . . .

. . . . It is no secret that some peo­ple within the BND are unhappy about Uhrlau’s project. Some employ­ees are fun­da­men­tally opposed to the agency shed­ding light on its own past. Oth­ers are wor­ried about the rep­u­ta­tions of their own fam­i­lies — for many years, the BND delib­er­ately recruited new staff from among the rel­a­tives of exist­ing BND employees. . . .

16. In a story that will be discussed in the next installment of “The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook,” a VERY important story was unearthed for us by “Pterrafractyl.” A very revealing article in Der Spiegel notes two VERY important things: the very same Angela Merkel who is “shocked, shocked” at what the NSA is doing has not only put roadblocks in European data privacy rules to guard against unwarranted government surveillance but is actively seeking admittance to the “Five Eyes” club, which dates to World War II!

She’s not “shocked, shocked” at all! She wants access to the Five Eyes, which means–DUH–that she APPROVES of this very thing!

What a hypocrite she is! And what a sick, sick spectacle this whole bloody mess is, with a bunch of nitwits caterwauling about “civil liberties,” “human rights,” “the constitution,” and so forth.

“Appear­ances and Real­ity: Merkel Balks at EU Pri­vacy Push” by Gre­gor Peter Schmitz Der Spiegel; 10/28/2013. [13]

Chan­cel­lor Merkel has put on a good show of being out­raged by Amer­i­can spy­ing. But, at the same time, she has impeded efforts to strengthen data secu­rity. Does she really want more pri­vacy, or is she more inter­ested in being accepted into the exclu­sive group of info-sharing coun­tries known as the ‘Five Eyes’ club?

One par­tic­u­lar point of clar­i­fi­ca­tion was espe­cially impor­tant to Angela Merkel dur­ing the EU sum­mit in Brus­sels last week. When she com­plained about the NSA’s alleged tap­ping of her cell­phone, the Ger­man chan­cel­lor made clear that her con­cern was not for her­self, but for the “tele­phones of mil­lions of EU cit­i­zens,” whose pri­vacy she said was com­pro­mised by US spying.

Yet at a work­ing din­ner with fel­low EU heads of state on Thurs­day, where the agenda included a pro­posed law to bol­ster data pro­tec­tion, Merkel’s fight­ing spirit on behalf of the EU’s cit­i­zens seemed to have dissipated.

In fact, inter­nal doc­u­ments show that Ger­many applied the brakes when it came to speedy pas­sage of such a reform. Although a num­ber of EU mem­ber states — includ­ing France, Italy and Poland — were push­ing for the cre­ation of a Europe-wide mod­ern data pro­tec­tion frame­work before Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions take place in May 2014, the issue ended up tabled until 2015.

Great Britain, itself sus­pected of spy­ing on its EU part­ners, and Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, who has for­mer Google CEO Eric Schmidt as one of his advi­sors, put up con­sid­er­able resis­tance. He pushed instead for the final sum­mit state­ment to call sim­ply for “rapid” progress on a solid EU data-protection framework.

A Set­back for  ‘Europe ‘s Dec­la­ra­tion of Independence ’

Merkel also joined those apply­ing the brakes. Over the week­end, SPIEGEL ONLINE gained access to inter­nal Ger­man For­eign Min­istry doc­u­ments con­cern­ing the EU lead­ers’ final sum­mit state­ment. The “track changes” fea­ture reflects a cru­cial pro­posed change to item No. 8 under the sub­ject head­ing “Dig­i­tal Econ­omy” — the sug­ges­tion that the phrase “adop­tion next year” be replaced with “The nego­ti­a­tions have to be car­ried on intensively.”

Ulti­mately, the offi­cial ver­sion of the final sum­mit state­ment sim­ply called for “rapid” progress on the issue — just as Great Britain was hop­ing for.

This amounts to a set­back for pro­po­nents of the pro­posed data-protection law, which EU Jus­tice Com­mis­sioner Viviane Red­ing has called “Europe’s dec­la­ra­tion of independence.”

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment recently began draft­ing stricter reg­u­la­tions in this area, includ­ing poten­tial fines run­ning into the bil­lions of euros for any Inter­net com­pany caught ille­gally pass­ing pri­vate data to US intel­li­gence agen­cies. Such pro­posed leg­is­la­tion has the sup­port even of some of Merkel’s fel­low con­ser­v­a­tives in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, includ­ing Man­fred Weber of the Chris­t­ian Social Union (CSU), the Bavar­ian sis­ter party to Merkel’s Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­tic Union (CDU), who says: “We need to finally sum­mon the polit­i­cal will for more data protection.”

Amer­i­can tech cor­po­ra­tions could hardly believe their luck at hav­ing Merkel’s sup­port. Now they’re hop­ing for more lee­way to water down the data-protection law as soon as the furor over the lat­est spy­ing scan­dal has sub­sided. One high-ranking Amer­i­can tech-company exec­u­tive told the Finan­cial Times: “When we saw the story about Merkel’s phone being tapped … we thought we were going to lose.” But, he added: “It looks like we won.” [Yeah, the tech companies are “shocked, shocked” too–D.E.]

Indeed, the EU lead­ers’ anger was already start­ing to dis­si­pate dur­ing their ses­sions in Brus­sels. Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants say lead­ers pointed out that Europe is not exactly on the side of the angels when it comes to gov­ern­ment spy­ing. Luxembourg’s prime min­is­ter, Jean-Claude Juncker, cau­tioned his fel­low lead­ers, ques­tion­ing whether they were cer­tain their own intel­li­gence agen­cies had never vio­lated data pri­vacy themselves.

Code of Con­duct for Intel­li­gence Agencies

The con­cerns of the tech indus­try, in par­tic­u­lar, received an atten­tive ear among Europe’s lead­ers. One sum­mit par­tic­i­pant relates that restruc­tur­ing data-protection laws was por­trayed as a “labo­ri­ous” task that would require more time to com­plete, and that Merkel did not push for speed on the mat­ter, to the sur­prise of some of her counterparts. [!–D.E.]

Accord­ing to sum­mit par­tic­i­pants, the Ger­man chan­cel­lor seemed far more inter­ested in the “Five Eyes” alliance among the US, the UK, Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Canada. The top-level allies within this exclu­sive group, which began in 1946 as a pact between Lon­don and Wash­ing­ton, have agreed not to spy on one another, but instead to share infor­ma­tion and resources. In Brus­sels, Cameron stressed to his fel­low lead­ers how many ter­ror­ist attacks had been pre­vented by suc­cess­ful intel­li­gence work.

Merkel, mean­while, stated: “Unlike David, we are unfor­tu­nately not part of this group.” Accord­ing to the New York Times, Ger­many has sought mem­ber­ship in the “Five Eyes” alliance for years, but has been turned down due to oppo­si­tion, includ­ing from the Obama admin­is­tra­tion. But this could now change, the paper speculates.

17. UPDATE: Angela Merkel has pro­posed an EU-wide com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem [22] to guard against NSA and GCHQ spy­ing, while ramp­ing up spy­ing against the U.S.

“Sur­veil­lance Rev­e­la­tions: Angela Merkel Pro­poses Euro­pean Net­work to Beat NSA and GCHQ Spy­ing” by Tony Pat­ter­son; The Inde­pen­dent [UK]; 2/16/2014. [22]

Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel of Ger­many has announced plans to set up a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work as part of a broad counter-espionage offen­sive designed to curb mass sur­veil­lance con­ducted by the US National Secu­rity Agency and its British coun­ter­part, GCHQ. . . .

. . . . Announc­ing the project in her weekly pod­cast, Ms Merkel said she envis­aged set­ting up a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work which would offer pro­tec­tion from NSA sur­veil­lance by side-stepping the cur­rent arrange­ment whereby emails and other inter­net data auto­mat­i­cally pass through the United States.

The NSA’s Ger­man phone and inter­net sur­veil­lance oper­a­tion is reported to be one of the biggest in the EU. In co-operation with GCHQ it has direct access to under­sea cables car­ry­ing transat­lantic com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Europe and the US.

Ms Merkel said she planned to dis­cuss the project with the French Pres­i­dent, François Hol­lande, when she meets him in Paris on Wednes­day. “Above all we’ll talk about Euro­pean providers that offer secu­rity to our cit­i­zens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other infor­ma­tion across the Atlantic,” she said. “Rather one could build up a com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work inside Europe.”

French gov­ern­ment offi­cials responded by say­ing Paris intended to “take up” the Ger­man initiative.

Ms Merkel’s pro­pos­als appear to be part of a wider Ger­man counter-espionage offen­sive, reported to be under way in sev­eral of Germany’s intel­li­gence agen­cies, against NSA and GCHQ surveillance.

Der Spiegel mag­a­zine said on Sun­day that it had obtained infor­ma­tion about plans by Germany’s main domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, the Fed­eral Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, for a “mas­sive” increase in counter-espionage measures.

The mag­a­zine said there were plans to sub­ject both the Amer­i­can and British Embassies in Berlin to sur­veil­lance. It said the mea­sures would include obtain­ing exact details about intel­li­gence agents who were accred­ited as diplo­mats, and infor­ma­tion about the tech­nol­ogy being used within the embassies. . . .