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For The Record  

FTR #776 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 15: Updates and Further Analysis

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

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

Note this very impor­tant, over­lap­ping, and detailed post by con­tribut­ing edi­tor “Pter­rafractyl” cov­er­ing some of the issues with regard to encryp­tion and the future of inter­net com­merce and crime.

Intro­duc­tion: This broad­cast con­tin­ues and updates analy­sis of “L’Af­faire Snowden”–a “psy-op” assem­bled for pro­pa­gan­da pur­pos­es and resul­tant polit­i­cal effect.

We note that issues of “pri­va­cy,” “civ­il lib­er­ties” and “free­dom” have NOTHING to do with the sub­stan­tive real­i­ties of what is at play here. This oper­a­tion is being con­duct­ed by ele­ments who not only don’t believe in free­dom but explic­it­ly reject democ­ra­cy and explic­it­ly endorse slav­ery.

The “op” is intend­ed to: desta­bi­lize the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion and U.S. diplo­ma­cy and for­eign pol­i­cy; degrade U.S. high-tech and inter­net busi­ness and (con­se­quent­ly) the U.S. econ­o­my; jus­ti­fy Ger­many’s inclu­sion in the “Five Eyes” agree­ment and jus­ti­fy expan­sion of Ger­man elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance; desta­bi­lize and weak­en the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and the GCHQ; eclipse Ger­man eco­nom­ic war­fare against oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries and high­light the Unit­ed States as the “Inter­na­tion­al Pub­lic Ene­my #1.”

In this pro­gram, we note the con­tin­ued exclu­sion of Ger­many from the “Five Eyes” club, Ger­many’s evi­dent envy of those who had high­er secu­ri­ty pri­or­i­ti­za­tion with NSA and more about Ger­many’s ongo­ing efforts to ramp-up its own elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance capa­bil­i­ties.

Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance here is Ger­many’s steep accel­er­a­tion of intel­li­gence activ­i­ty direct­ed against the NSA and GCHQ!

A very impor­tant ele­ment of analy­sis con­cerns a pro­pos­al by Angela Merkel to cre­at a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work that would be secure from NSA spy­ing. Ger­many is also mov­ing in the direc­tion of estab­lish­ing a “Ger­man cloud” to pro­tect data from poten­tial NSA spy­ing.

Pro­ject­ed loss­es for the U.S. tech busi­ness by 2016 are cal­cu­lat­ed to be from 21 bil­lion to 35 bil­lion dol­lars. Ger­man cloud firms are expe­ri­enc­ing bet­ter than pro­ject­ed results.

We also note that the REAL threat to the pri­va­cy of Amer­i­cans comes from cor­po­rate inter­ests and “apps” and tech­nolo­gies that Amer­i­cans have embraced with enor­mous enthu­si­asm.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • The poten­tial for dev­as­tat­ing “hacks” by indi­vid­u­als or groups capa­ble of using the inter­net. Adam Lan­za was a com­put­er whiz who hacked through fire­walls into a gov­ern­ment web­site at the age of twelve. Had he decid­ed to act out his sociopa­thy and psy­chopathol­o­gy by, say, tak­ing down a nuclear pow­er plant or two, we would be in very bad shape.
  • We note the “spy-like” behav­ior of some of the Wik­iLeaks crowd, such as Jacob Apple­baum.
  • The fear on the part of ThyssenK­rupp of a pos­si­ble Stuxnet-like attack. Rein­hold Achatz–ThyssenKrupp’s tech exec­u­tive, has a back­ground with Siemens.
  • Glenn Green­wald’s his­tor­i­cal antipa­thy toward Israel.
  • Glenn Green­wald’s leak­ing of infor­ma­tion about NSA spy­ing on Israel, timed as the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion and John Ker­ry are attempt­ing to shoe-horn an Israeli-Pales­tin­ian peace deal.
  • Review of his­tor­i­cal and oper­a­tional links between the Likud Par­ty of Ben­jamin Netanyahu and the AN, the Ital­ian fas­cist par­ty of Gian­fran­co Fini and the suc­ces­sor to Mus­solin­i’s fascisti.
  • Con­tin­ued net­work­ing between the Israeli right wing and Euro­pean and Russ­ian neo-fas­cists.

1a. It looks as though Ger­many has been exclud­ed from the Five-Eyes spy­ing rela­tion­ship. (Ger­many’s desire to be includ­ed in the Five Eyes agree­ment is dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 767 and 769.

“Ger­many Gives Up on No-Spy Deal with US” by Jee­van Vasagar; Finan­cial Times; 2/13/2014. 

The Ger­man gov­ern­ment has giv­en up hope of a bilat­eral no-spy agree­ment with the US, accord­ing to a senior aide to chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel.

Phillipp Miss­felder, Berlin’s co-ordi­na­tor for transat­lantic rela­tions, told a press brief­ing on Thurs­day that he did not expect talks would lead to a legal­ly bind­ing agree­ment.

He said: “I am real­is­tic that we can’t expect a no-spy agree­ment that will be bind­ing in inter­na­tional law. The Amer­i­cans are not pre­pared to cur­tail their secu­rity mea­sures.”

Ger­many has been push­ing for a rela­tion­ship sim­i­lar to the “five eyes” agree­ment between the US and four Eng­lish-speak­ing allies, includ­ing the UK. This car­ries an under­stand­ing that they will not spy on each oth­er.

There were reports of a stale­mate in talks between Berlin and Wash­ing­ton last month, but until now the offi­cial line from Ger­many has been that dis­cus­sions are ongo­ing.

...

Mr Miss­felder said: “The Amer­i­cans base their pre­dom­i­nant posi­tion in the world not on eco­nomic or on mil­i­tary grounds, but on moral supe­ri­or­ity. That is under­mined when friends are spied upon. When were Ger­hard Schröder or Angela Merkel a threat to US nation­al secu­rity? Nev­er.”

Mr Miss­felder leav­ened his crit­i­cism with praise for Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma for giv­ing an inter­view to a Ger­man broad­caster fol­low­ing his NSA speech. He added: “We are friends, we remain friends, and Snow­den can’t change that.”

At a joint press con­fer­ence with French pres­i­dent François Hol­lande on Tues­day, Mr Oba­ma said there was no coun­try with which the US has a no-spy agree­ment. He added the US endeav­ours to pro­tect pri­vacy rights as it gath­ers for­eign intel­li­gence.

1b. As dis­cussed n FTR #‘s 767 and 769, Angela Merkel isn’t as “shocked, shocked” as she pre­tends to be over the NSA dis­clo­sures.

“Por­trait of the NSA: No Detail too Small in Quest for Total Sur­veil­lance” by Ewen MacAskill and James Ball; The Guardian/The Observ­er [UK]; 11/2/2013.

. . . . The NSA oper­ates in close co-oper­a­tion with four oth­er Eng­lish-speak­ing coun­tries — the UK, Cana­da, Aus­tralia and New Zealand — shar­ing raw intel­li­gence, fund­ing, tech­ni­cal sys­tems and per­son­nel. Their top lev­el col­lec­tive is known as the ‘5‑Eyes’.

Beyond that, the NSA has oth­er coali­tions, although intel­li­gence-shar­ing is more restrict­ed for the addi­tional part­ners: the 9‑Eyes, which adds Den­mark, France, the Nether­lands and Nor­way; the 14-Eyes, includ­ing Ger­many, Bel­gium, Italy, Spain and Swe­den; and 41-Eyes, adding in oth­ers in the allied coali­tion in Afghanistan.

The exclu­siv­ity of the var­i­ous coali­tions grates with some, such as Ger­many, which is using the present con­tro­versy to seek an upgrade. Ger­many has long protest­ed at its exclu­sion, not just from the elite 5‑Eyes but even from 9‑Eyes. Min­utes from the UK intel­li­gence agency GCHQ note: “The NSA’s rela­tion­ship with the French was not as advanced as GCHQ’s … the Ger­mans were a lit­tle grumpy at not being invit­ed to join the 9‑Eyes group”.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, amid the Ger­man protes­ta­tions of out­rage over US eaves­drop­ping on Merkel and oth­er Ger­mans, Berlin is using the con­tro­versy as lever­age for an upgrade to 5‑Eyes. . . .

1c. As dis­cussed in FTR #765, Ger­many (as well as the EU) is look­ing to ramp up its own cyber-spy­ing capa­bil­i­ties.

“Germany’s Spies Have NSA Envy: Cur­rently Work­ing To Build Their Own Com­pre­hen­sive Snoop­ing Sys­tem” by Glyn MoodyTech Dirt; 6/19/2013.

One unfor­tu­nate knock-on effect of the rev­e­la­tions about the extent of NSA infor­ma­tion gath­er­ing seems to be that the spies in oth­er coun­tries are start­ing to feel under-informed by com­par­i­son. Of course, many of them already knew about what was going on: in addi­tion to the British and theDutchthere are now reports that Ger­many was also kept informed at the high­est lev­els (orig­i­nal in Ger­man.) That would prob­a­bly explain the rev­e­la­tion by the news mag­a­zine Der Spiegel that Ger­many has been try­ing to beef up its own snoop­ing capa­bil­i­ties for a while:

Last year, [Germany’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency] BND head Ger­hard Schindler told the Con­fi­den­tial Com­mit­tee of the Ger­man par­lia­ment, the Bun­destag, about a secret pro­gram that, in his opin­ion, would make his agency a major inter­na­tional play­er. Schindler said the BND want­ed to invest €100 mil­lion ($133 mil­lion) over the com­ing five years. The mon­ey is to finance up to 100 new jobs in the tech­ni­cal sur­veil­lance depart­ment, along with enhanced com­put­ing capac­i­ties.

Small beer com­pared to the NSA, but it’s a start. Der Spiegel’s arti­cle pro­vides some details on how they do it in Ger­many:

The largest traf­fic con­trol takes place in Frank­furt, in a data pro­cess­ing cen­ter owned by the Asso­ci­a­tion of the Ger­man Inter­net Indus­try. Via this hub, the largest in Europe, e‑mails, phone calls, Skype con­ver­sa­tions and text mes­sages flow from regions that inter­est the BND like Rus­sia and East­ern Europe, along with cri­sis areas like Soma­lia, coun­tries in the Mid­dle East, and states like Pak­istan and Afghanistan.

But the BND still has a long way to go before it attains NSA-like lev­els of snoop­ing:

In con­trast to the NSA, though, the Ger­man intel­li­gence agency has been over­whelmed by this daunt­ing wealth of infor­ma­tion. Last year, it mon­i­tored just under 5 per­cent, rough­ly every 20th phone call, every 20th e‑mail and every 20th Face­book exchange. In the year 2011, the BND used over 16,000 search words to fish in this data stream.

As in the US, the idea is that this tar­gets for­eign­ers:

Ger­man law allows the BND to mon­i­tor any form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that has a for­eign ele­ment, be it a mobile phone con­ver­sa­tion, a Face­book chat or an exchange via AOL Mes­sen­ger. For the pur­poses of “strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions sur­veil­lance,” the for­eign intel­li­gence agency is allowed to copy and review 20 per­cent of this data traf­fic. There is even a reg­u­la­tion requir­ing Ger­man providers “to main­tain a com­plete copy of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.”

Here’s how the BND tries to achieve that:

If e‑mail address­es sur­face that end in “.de” (for Ger­many), they have to be erased. The inter­na­tional dial­ing code for Ger­many, 0049, and IP address­es that were appar­ently giv­en to cus­tomers in Ger­many also pass through the net.

Of course, as in the US, it doesn’t quite work out like that:

At first glance, it’s not evi­dent where users live whose infor­ma­tion is saved by Yahoo, Google or Apple. And how are the agen­cies sup­posed to spot a Tal­iban com­man­der who has acquired an email address with Ger­man provider GMX? Mean­while, the sta­tus of Face­book chats and con­ver­sa­tions on Skype remains com­pletely unclear.

Giv­en this evi­dent desire to cre­ate its own snoop­ing appa­ra­tus, cou­pled with the fact that Ger­many has doubt­less ben­e­fited from NSA spy­ing, per­haps it’s no sur­prise the Ger­man government’s protests about its cit­i­zens being sub­ject to exten­sive NSA sur­veil­lance have been mut­ed....

2. Angela Merkel has pro­posed an EU-wide com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem to guard against NSA and GCHQ spy­ing, while ramp­ing up spy­ing against the U.S. (For more about the pro­found EU and Ger­man hypocrisy vis a vis L’Af­faire Snow­den, see FTR #765.)

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

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.

Last year infor­ma­tion pro­vided by the whistle­blower Edward Snow­den revealed that US intel­li­gence agents were able to bug Ms Merkel’s mobile phone from a lis­ten­ing post on the US Embassy roof. Inves­ti­ga­tions by The Inde­pen­dent sub­se­quently revealed that GCHQ ran a sim­i­lar lis­ten­ing post from the roof of the British Embassy in Berlin.

Intel­li­gence experts say it is dif­fi­cult if not impos­si­ble to con­trol spy­ing activ­i­ties con­ducted from for­eign embassies, not least because their diplo­matic sta­tus means they are pro­tected from the domes­tic leg­is­la­tion of the host coun­try.

Der Spiegel said Germany’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence ser­vice, (MAD) was also con­sid­er­ing step­ping up sur­veil­lance of US and British spy­ing activ­i­ties. It said such a move would mark a sig­nif­i­cant break with pre­vi­ous counter-espi­onage prac­tice which had focused on coun­tries such as Chi­na, North Korea and Rus­sia. . . .

3. The pos­si­ble loss of cloud com­put­ing busi­ness for U.S. tech firms appears to be accel­er­at­ing. Ger­man firms may be hop­ing to attract the busi­ness. As dis­cussed in FTR #769, one of the major goals of this psy-op is degrad­ing U.S. inter­net busi­ness and, through that, dam­ag­ing the U.S. econ­o­my. Note that Rein­hold Achatz holds a rel­e­vant and crit­i­cal exec­u­tive post with ThyssenK­rupp. He pre­vi­ous­ly held a key exec­u­tive post with Siemens, which is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Ger­man intel. The Stuxnet worm was direct­ed at Siemens indus­tri­al con­trol sys­tems.

We also won­der if he might be relat­ed to Wern­er Achatz, Glenn Green­wald’s part­ner of 11 years? We won­der if Wern­er Achatz might have been some kind of con­trol or case offi­cer for Green­wald?

“Edward Snow­den Rev­e­la­tions Prompt Cri­sis of Trust in Ger­many” [McClatchy]; South Chi­na Morn­ing Post; 2/17/2014.

When Ger­many’s fed­er­al crim­i­nal police office needs to share sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion these days, employ­ees type the par­tic­u­lars and get them hand-deliv­ered.

Last year, agents would have trust­ed the secu­ri­ty of e‑mail. But that was before Edward Snow­den and the rev­e­la­tions about the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agen­cy’s PRISM elec­tron­ic intel­li­gence-gath­er­ing pro­gramme. After Snow­den, it’s a new dig­i­tal world.
...

...
“We’re now car­ry­ing our infor­ma­tion to our allies on foot,” said Peter Hen­zler, vice- pres­i­dent of the Bun­deskrim­i­nalamt, known as the BKA. He was speak­ing recent­ly at a Ger­man Inte­ri­or Min­istry dis­cus­sion on the coun­try’s dig­i­tal future. The focus of the pan­el was how to counter US sur­veil­lance mea­sures and what it will take for Ger­mans to be safe again on the web. “We’re no longer using the open inter­net,” he said.

The mes­sage is clear: No longer can the US be trust­ed to hon­our the pri­va­cy of Ger­man life and pol­i­cy.

Hen­zler’s con­cerns weren’t iso­lat­ed. The wor­ries appear to reflect the wider Ger­man, and even Euro­pean, frus­tra­tion with the reach of the NSA’s sur­veil­lance pro­gramme.

Hard­ly a week pass­es in Berlin with­out some new rev­e­la­tion about the das­tard­ly depths to which the Amer­i­can spy pro­gramme invad­ed Ger­man pri­va­cy, or at least a new way in which to react to the scan­dal.

Last week, news broke that the Unit­ed States had tapped the mobile phone of Ger­hard Schroed­er when he was Ger­man chan­cel­lor from 1998 to 2005. This came four months after news broke that the same Amer­i­can sur­veil­lance pro­gramme was tap­ping the mobile phone of the cur­rent chan­cel­lor, Angela Merkel.

There are many more exam­ples beyond news sto­ries. Thir­ty-two per cent of Ger­mans told poll­sters that they had either quit or cut their time on Face­book because of spy­ing fears. Ger­man tele­vi­sion ads note the peace of mind and free­dom that comes with e‑mail that does­n’t leave Euro­pean servers. Providers now say that they encrypt all e‑mail.

Such thoughts aren’t lim­it­ed to Ger­many. A US$900 mil­lion French deal with the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates for two new intel­li­gence satel­lites appears to be in doubt after the buy­ers noticed US com­po­nents in the French satel­lites that they feared could com­pro­mise their data.

Flo­ri­an Glatzn­er, a pol­i­cy offi­cer with the Ger­man Fed­er­al Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Agency, says the office is field­ing many con­sumer ques­tions about how to ensure that com­mu­ni­ca­tions and data are safe from the NSA.

“A lot of the trust in the big inter­net com­pa­nies is gone,” he says. “And most of the big inter­net com­pa­nies were based in the Unit­ed States.”

Thomas Kre­mer, a data pri­va­cy board mem­ber for Deutsche Telekom, the Ger­man phone giant, recent­ly not­ed that: “Regard­less of what one thinks of Edward Snow­den, he cre­at­ed an aware­ness of inter­net secu­ri­ty and we should be grate­ful for that.”

Experts note that there may be no bet­ter place to find the effect of this dis­trust than in the emerg­ing cloud com­put­ing mar­ket. Before Europe met Snow­den, the con­ti­nent was mov­ing fast to an Amer­i­can-dom­i­nat­ed cloud com­put­ing future.

...

The Amer­i­can dream of total cloud dom­i­na­tion might be drift­ing away. There are signs of that: By 2016, US com­pa­nies are expect­ed to lose US$21 bil­lion to US$35 bil­lion in new con­tracts that they’d been expect­ed to col­lect, accord­ing to some esti­mates.

Ger­man cloud com­pa­nies are post­ing bet­ter-than-expect­ed earn­ings. There have been signs that some US tech com­pa­nies might be suf­fer­ing. Net­work equip­ment mak­er Cis­co, for instance, not­ed gov­ern­ment issues when it pre­dict­ed a rev­enue drop for the cur­rent quar­ter.

The new real­i­ty for some crit­ics is that data that pass­es through the Unit­ed States isn’t safe.

“A year ago, a Ger­man cloud was a bad idea,” says Daniel Cas­tro, a senior ana­lyst for the Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy & Inno­va­tion Foun­da­tion in Wash­ing­ton. “Ger­man busi­ness did­n’t want a Ger­man prod­uct to help them in a glob­al mar­ket. They want­ed the best prod­uct. Today, even if busi­ness­es still believe a Ger­man cloud is a bad idea, they’re accept­ing it as a nec­es­sary idea.”

There’s even a new ini­tia­tive, “Ger­man Cloud”, backed by a vari­ety of Ger­man tech com­pa­nies. The mot­to is “My com­pa­ny data stays in Ger­many.”

Cas­tro not­ed that this is a bad time for the Amer­i­can brand to lose lus­tre. The mar­ket is grow­ing rapid­ly. Cas­tro wants hard evi­dence that con­firms his ear­li­er pre­dic­tions that the inter­na­tion­al mar­ket share of US cloud providers should fall by 5 per cent this year, and up to 20 per cent by 2016, because of the spy­ing alle­ga­tions.

The news could be even worse for Amer­i­can com­pa­nies. The recent Inte­ri­or Min­istry pan­el showed just how fear­ful Ger­many has become. Rein­hold Achatz, head of tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion at the Ger­man steel giant ThyssenK­rupp, not­ed that “who­ev­er can read data is also like­ly to be able to change data.”

“For exam­ple, they could switch off a pow­er sta­tion,” he said. “So from my point of view, it would­n’t be sur­pris­ing if some­one came up with the idea of switch­ing off Ger­many. I’m seri­ous about that.”
...

. .. . Chris­t­ian Stoeck­er, edi­tor of Spiegel Online, the web ver­sion of Ger­many’s most pres­ti­gious news mag­a­zine, not­ed: “Before Snow­den, I did not know that the NSA inter­cepts hard­ware shipped to Euro­pean telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies by US man­u­fac­tur­ers and swaps the BIOS to make the equip­ment usable for NSA pur­pos­es.” BIOS is the basic oper­at­ing sys­tem that starts up a per­son­al com­put­er.

“The NSA prac­ti­cal­ly turned the inter­net into a weapons sys­tem,” Stoeck­er says. “If we want to change things, we have to enter into dis­ar­ma­ment talks.”

4. ThyssenK­rupp was seek­ing insur­ance against a cyber­at­tack, this stem­ming from the devel­op­ment of the Stuxnet worm, which tar­gets Siemens indus­tri­al con­trol sys­tems. Note ThyssenK­rupp exec­u­tive Rein­hold Achatz’s remarks in he sto­ry excerpt­ed above. Achatz pre­vi­ous­ly appears to have worked for Siemens.

Note that the Thyssen indus­tri­al empire is at the epi­cen­ter of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

“ThyssenK­rupp Seeks Insur­ance Against Cyber Crime: Report” [AFP]; Google News; 8/16/2012.

Ger­man indus­tri­al giant ThyssenK­rupp is seek­ing to insure itself against pos­si­ble attacks from com­put­er worms that could sab­o­tage pro­duc­tion, the Finan­cial Times Deutsch­land report­ed Thurs­day.

Insur­ers are, how­ev­er, reluc­tant to offer such poli­cies and only France’s AXA has agreed to cov­er up to 30 per­cent of ThyssenK­rup­p’s risks, the news­pa­per said.

Nei­ther ThyssenK­rupp nor AXA were will­ing to com­ment, FT Deutsch­land added.

Fears of cyber attacks or indus­tri­al espi­onage from com­put­er virus­es or mal­ware have been grow­ing since the dis­cov­ery of the Stuxnet worm which Israel and the Unit­ed States are believed to have devel­oped to attack and dis­able Iran’s nuclear facil­i­ties.

5. Adam Lan­za was suf­fi­cient­ly skilled with com­putes to hack through two fire­walls into a U.S. gov­ern­ment web­site at the age of 12. It seems rea­son­able to con­clude that his com­put­er skills grew with time.

Suppose–for the sake of argument–that he had decid­ed to use them to com­mit may­hem, say by bring­ing down a nuclear pow­er plant or some­thing along those lines?

“The Day the FBI Knocked on Adam Lanza’s Door” by Matthew Lysi­ak; Newsweek; 1/19/2014.

In 2004, offi­cials from the Fed­eral Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion knocked on the door at 36 Yoganan­da Street, in New­town, Con­necti­cut, want­ing infor­ma­tion on a 12-year-old boy named Adam Lan­za, accord­ing to his moth­er.

Adam had used his com­puter to hack through two lev­els of secu­rity on a gov­ern­ment web­site, the offi­cials told Nan­cy, and they want­ed answers.

Nan­cy Lan­za knew exact­ly how to han­dle this sit­u­a­tion, how to keep her son out of trou­ble. “He’s a com­puter whiz,” she told the fed­eral agents, assur­ing them he was just a very bright, if some­what trou­bled boy. “Adam was just test­ing him­self,” she added. . . .

6. As dis­cussed in FTR #774, pri­vate tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies and the fea­tures and ser­vices they offer are a far greater threat to cit­i­zens’ civ­il lib­er­ties than the NSA. The “Crowd­pi­lot” app may well offer strangers access to users’ phone calls.

“‘Crowd­pi­lot’ App Lets Strangers Lis­ten to Your Phone Calls” by Giuseppe Macri; The Dai­ly Caller; 2/20/2014.

The NSA isn’t the only ones capa­ble of tap­ping phone calls any­more thanks to a new smart­phone app called ‘Crowd­pi­lot,’ which could poten­tial­ly let any­one lis­ten in on your calls with­out your knowl­edge.

“Crowd­pi­lot lets you crowd­source your social inter­ac­tions by bring­ing a group of your friends or strangers along to lis­ten in and assist you in any sit­u­a­tion,” the app’s descrip­tion states. “When­ev­er you need help, turn on Crowd­pi­lot to stream your con­ver­sa­tion to the web where the anony­mous crowd – option­al­ly sup­port­ed by a team of your Face­book friends – will tune in, fol­low along and assist you. Or become a crowd­pi­lot your­self, and watch and direct oth­ers!”

Crowd­pi­lot lets any user bring a third par­ty into a con­ver­sa­tion with­out alert­ing the per­son on the oth­er end of the line – the mod­ern day equiv­a­lent of pick­ing up a land­line while some­one else is already on a call.

7. John Young, an orig­i­nal Wik­iLeaks founder, on why he broke with the group:

Again, what judi­cial or governmental/civic author­i­ty has sanc­tioned Wik­iLeaks’ activ­i­ties?

“Wik­ileaks’ Estranged Co-Founder Becomes a Crit­ic (Q&A)” by Declan McCul­lagh; C/Net; 7/20/2010.

“. . . they’re act­ing like a cult. They’re act­ing like a reli­gion. They’re act­ing like a gov­ern­ment. They’re act­ing like a bunch of spies. They’re hid­ing their iden­tity. They don’t account for the mon­ey. They promise all sorts of good things. They sel­dom let you know what they’re real­ly up to. . . There was sus­pi­cion from day one that this was entrap­ment run by some­one unknown to suck a num­ber of peo­ple into a trap. So we actu­ally don’t know. But it’s cer­tainly a stan­dard coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence tech­nique. . . .” 

8. Note John Young’s obser­va­tion about Wik­iLeaks that “They’re act­ing like a bunch of spies.” Wik­iLeaks’ Jacob Apple­baum car­ries around a hol­lowed-out nick­el with a copy of Tor inside.

“The Amer­i­can Wik­ileaks Hack­er” by Nathaniel Rich; Rolling Stone; 12/01/2010.

. . . . He is often dri­ven to extreme mea­sures to get copies of Tor through cus­toms in for­eign coun­tries. “I stud­ied what drug smug­glers do,” he says. “I want­ed to beat them at their own game.” He shows me a nick­el. Then he slams it on the floor of his apart­ment. It pops open. Inside there is a tiny eight– giga­byte microSD mem­ory card. It holds a copy of Tor. . . .

9a. Note that Cit­i­zen Greenwald–no friend of Israel–has made a point of schmooz­ing with the right-wing regime of Ben­jamin Netanyahu, whose Likud Par­ty is the heir to the fas­cist ele­ment of the Zion­ist move­ment. This comes as John Ker­ry and Oba­ma’s State Depart­ment are attempt­ing to bro­ker a peace agree­ment with the Pales­tini­ans. The prospects have been dimmed, in part, by flack from the Israeli right-wing allied with Likud/Netanyahu.

Why is he schmooz­ing with the fas­cist-linked Israeli right wing at such a sen­si­tive time? He is pur­port­ing to “help” Israel by dis­clos­ing NSA and GCHQ spy­ing on Israel, some­thing that has been on the pub­lic record for some time. We don’t believe that is the real rea­son.

We sus­pect that Green­wald and the inter­ests through which he fronts are work­ing to frus­trate Oba­ma’s efforts in the Mid­dle East­ern diplo­mat­ic are­na.

“Snow­den Has more U.S.-Israel Secrets to Expose: Green­wald”; Reuters.com; 1/6/2014.

For­mer U.S. spy agency con­trac­tor Edward Snow­den has more secrets to reveal that relate to Israel, the jour­nal­ist who first brought his leaks to the world’s atten­tion said on Mon­day.

Among alle­ga­tions aired by Snow­den last year were that the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and its British coun­ter­part GCHQ had in 2009 tar­get­ed an email address list­ed as belong­ing to then-Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ehud Olmert and mon­i­tored emails of senior defense offi­cials.

Israel played down the dis­clo­sures. But Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the mat­ter exam­ined and that “there are things that must not be done” between allies. . . . .

9b. As we not­ed above, Green­wald is no friend of Israel. Why is he schmooz­ing with the fas­cist-linked Israeli right wing at such a sen­si­tive time? Again, he is pur­port­ing to “help” Israel by dis­clos­ing NSA and GCHQ spy­ing on Israel, some­thing that has been on the pub­lic record for some time. We don’t believe that is the real rea­son.

“Glenn Green­wald’s Anti-Semi­tism Exposed” by Adam Lev­ick; The Alge­mein­er; 7/11/2013.

The fol­low­ing are quotes from Glenn Green­wald, ‘Com­ment is Free’ cor­re­spon­dent for the Guardian. (Green­wald joined the Guardian in 2012 after sev­er­al years of blog­ging at Salon.com and a per­son­al blog titled ‘Unclaimed Ter­ri­to­ry‘.)

  • “Any­one who has argued that a desire to pro­tect Israeli inter­ests plays too large of a role in our for­eign pol­i­cy has been sub­ject­ed to some of the most vicious and relent­less smears. Ask Juan Cole about that, or John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Those tac­tics have, as intend­ed, pre­vent­ed a sub­stan­tive debate on this ques­tion, as most peo­ple have feared even approach­ing the top­ic.” - July 16, 2006 Unclaimed Ter­ri­to­ry
  • Large and extreme­ly influ­en­tial Jew­ish donor groups are the ones agi­tat­ing for a US war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devot­ed to pro­mot­ing Israel’s inter­ests.” — Feb. 3, 2007, Unclaimed Ter­ri­to­ry
  • “The dom­i­nant nar­ra­tive among neo­cons and the media is that, deep down in his heart, [Oba­ma] may be insuf­fi­cient­ly devot­ed to Israel to be pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. Has there ever been anoth­er coun­try to which Amer­i­can politi­cians were required to pledge their uncrit­i­cal, absolute loy­al­ty the way they are, now, with Israel?” -May 13, 2008 Salon
  • If you don’t…pledge your loy­al­ty to our poli­cies toward Israel and to Israel, what will hap­pen to you is what just hap­pened to Charles Free­man. You’ll be demo­nized and have your career end­ed.” — Jan. 8, 2009, inter­view on Hugh Hewitt  Show
  • “Those [Amer­i­can Jews] who favor the attack on Gaza are cer­tain­ly guilty…of such over­whelm­ing emo­tion­al and cul­tur­al attach­ment to Israel and Israelis that they long ago ceased view­ing this con­flict with any rem­nant of objec­tiv­i­ty.” — Jan. 4, 2009 Salon
  • “So absolute has the Israel-cen­tric stran­gle­hold on Amer­i­can pol­i­cy been that the U.S. Gov­ern­ment has made it ille­gal to broad­cast Hezbol­lah tele­vi­sion sta­tions and has even devot­ed its resources to crim­i­nal­ly pros­e­cut­ing and impris­on­ing satel­lite providers mere­ly for includ­ing Hezbollah’s Al Man­ar chan­nel in their cable pack­age.  Not even our Constitution’s First Amend­ment has been a match for the end­less exploita­tion of Amer­i­can pol­i­cy, law and resources to tar­get and pun­ish Israel’s ene­mies.” – March 9, 2009, Salon
  • The real goal [of the Israel lob­by], as always, was to ensure that there is no debate over America’s inde­scrib­ably self-destruc­tive, blind sup­port for Israeli actions. [Charles] Freeman’s crit­ics may have scored a short-term vic­to­ry in that regard, but the more obvi­ous it becomes what is real­ly dri­ving these scan­dals, the more dif­fi­cult it will be to main­tain this suf­fo­cat­ing con­trol over Amer­i­can debates and Amer­i­can pol­i­cy.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “The point is that the pow­er the [Israel lob­by] exer­cis­es [is] harm­ful in the extreme. They use it to squelch debate, destroy the careers and rep­u­ta­tions of those who devi­ate from their ortho­dox­ies, and com­pel both polit­i­cal par­ties to main­tain strict adher­ence to an agen­da that is held by a minor­i­ty of Amer­i­cans; that is prin­ci­pal­ly con­cerned with the inter­ests of a for­eign coun­try; and that results in seri­ous cost and harm to the Unit­ed States. In doing so, they insure not only that our poli­cies towards Israel remain firm­ly in place no mat­ter the out­come of our elec­tions, but also that those poli­cies remain beyond the realm of what can be ques­tioned or debat­ed by those who want to have a polit­i­cal future.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “[Charles] Free­man is being dragged through the mud by the stan­dard cast of accusato­ry Israel-cen­tric neo­cons (Mar­ty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jef­frey Gold­berg, Com­men­tary, The Week­ly Stan­dard’s Michael Gold­farb, etc. etc., etc.).” – March 9, 2009 Salon
  • “Mean­while, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Con­gress — Rep. Antho­ny Wein­er, last seen lam­bast­ing Pres­i­dent Oba­ma for dar­ing to pub­licly men­tion a dif­fer­ence between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defend­ed Israel’s attack. – June 1, 2010 Salon
  • This is a tru­ly dis­gust­ing spectacle…commentators — all of whom are writ­ing well with­in the range of main­stream opin­ion on Israel — are being pub­licly smeared ear­ly in their careers as anti-Semi­tes as part of a coor­di­nat­ed, ongo­ing cam­paign planned by Josh Block and car­ried out by numer­ous jour­nal­ists with large media plat­forms, and aid­ed and abet­ted by Jew­ish groups trad­ing on their cred­i­bil­i­ty to sup­press debate. – Jan 19, 2012 Salon

10a. Next, the dis­cus­sion focus­es on a 1998 con­gress of the AN, the Ital­ian Fas­cist Par­ty that is the direct lin­eal descen­dant of and heir to Mussolini’s black­shirts. Present at that meet­ing were GOP Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bob Young, rep­re­sent­ing the Repub­li­can Par­ty, and Udi Cohen, rep­re­sent­ing the Likud Par­ty of Ben­jamin Netanyahu. (This excerpt is tak­en from FTR #94, record­ed on 5/5/1998.)

10b. The recent meet­ing of an Israeli cab­i­net min­is­ter with a promi­nent Swedish fas­cist is the lat­est exam­ple of a long-stand­ing fea­ture of the behav­ior of that country’s polit­i­cal right wing.

In addi­tion to the fas­cist move­ment that has exist­ed with­in the Zion­ist move­ment and what we’ve termed “Bor­mann Jews,” Israelis and Zion­ists from the right side of the polit­i­cal spec­trum have main­tained con­tact and inter­ac­tion with ele­ments of the fas­cist inter­na­tion­al. In par­tic­u­lar, mem­bers of the Likud and oth­er Israeli far-right par­ties have con­ducted polit­i­cal inter­face with Euro­pean Nazis and fas­cists.

Note that Ayoob Kara also met with the head of the Aus­trian Free­dom Par­ty, the neo-fas­cist par­ty for­merly head­ed up by Jurg Haider.

“Deputy Min­is­ter Meets neo-Nazi Mil­lion­aire” by Eldad Beck; ynet­news.com; 7/4/2011.

 Deputy Min­is­ter Ayoob Kara met with Swedish-Ger­man mil­lion­aire Patrik Brinkmann who has ties with Ger­man neo-Nazi groups in Berlin over the week­end, Yedio­th Ahronoth report­ed.

Brinkmann, who is try­ing to estab­lish a far-right anti-Islam­ic par­ty in Ger­many claims he is not an anti-Semi­te, how­ever his pre­vi­ous close con­tacts with the Ger­man neo-Nazi par­ty (NPD) and his past mem­ber­ship in anoth­er neo-Nazi par­ty raise ques­tions regard­ing his ide­ol­o­gy.

Brinkmann, 44, made his for­tune in the Swedish real estate busi­ness in the 1980s before becom­ing mixed in tax prob­lems in his home coun­try. As legal bat­tles were going on he used the major­ity of his finances for the estab­lish­ment of two research foun­da­tions which became close­ly affil­i­ated with far-right and neo-Nazi ele­ments in Ger­many. . . .

. . . Sev­eral months ago, Kara met with Aus­trian Free­dom Par­ty leader Heinz-Chris­t­ian Stra­che who was once active in neo-Nazi groups.  . . .

10c. Anoth­er right-wing Israeli polit­i­cal con­tin­gent has reached out to Euro­pean fas­cists. Com­muning with Russ­ian fas­cists, the “Nation­al Uni­ty” bloc has impressed the leader of the Nation­al Demo­c­ra­tic Alliance, who feels the two groups have much in com­mon.

Fol­low­ing on the heels of an Iraeli deputy minister’s schmooz­ing with a promi­nent Swedish neo-fas­cist financier, Aryeh Eldad’s hob­nob­bing with Ilya Lazarenko per­pet­u­ates a dis­turb­ing pat­tern of Zionist/fascist inter­face dat­ing back to the pre-World War II peri­od.

“The Unholy Alliance: How Israeli Wingnuts Befriend­ed Russ­ian Hitlerophiles” by Sergey Romanov; Lit­tle Green Foot­balls; 7/14/2011.

Russ­ian nation­al­ists met in Israel with a right-wing Zion­ists.

One of the lead­ers of Russia’s Nation­al Demo­c­ra­tic Alliance, who vis­ited Israel togeth­er with his col­leagues at the invi­ta­tion of reli­gious-right-wing Zion­ists, came to the con­clu­sion that the two polit­i­cal forces have a lot in com­mon ...

Since last week, in Israel there is a group of mod­er­ate [eth­nic] Russ­ian nation­al­ists from Rus­sia, arrived here at the invi­ta­tion of the reli­gious-right bloc “Ihud ha-Leu­mi” (“Nation­al Uni­ty”). The lead­ers of an inter­re­gional pub­lic asso­ci­a­tion of the Nation­al Demo­c­ra­tic Alliance (estab­lished in March 2010) made sev­eral trips to the Holy Land, vis­ited the Knes­set, and the memo­r­ial com­plex “Yad Vashem”. Fol­low­ing the vis­it, co-chair­man of the move­ment Ilya Lazarenko came to the con­clu­sion that the Russ­ian nation­al­ists and right-wing Zion­ists have much in com­mon. “We are very much in com­mon, and first of all — rejec­tion of vio­lent Islamism, which is a threat to civ­i­liza­tion — he said to the por­tal IzRus. — We also have some ide­o­log­i­cal over­lap asso­ci­ated with the objec­tives of nation-build­ing and its oper­a­tion.” . . . .

11.We con­clude by not­ing Mitt Romney’s alliance with Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu, him­self an heir to the fas­cist ele­ment with­in the Zion­ist move­ment. Rom­ney also was allied with Snow­den’s Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of choice Ron Paul.

“A Friend­ship Nur­tured in 1976 Res­onates in 2012″ by Michael Bar­baro; The New York Times; 4/8/2012.

. . . . That shared expe­ri­ence decades ago led to a warm friend­ship, lit­tle known to out­siders, that is now rich with polit­i­cal intrigue. Mr. Netanyahu, the prime min­is­ter of Israel, is mak­ing the case for mil­i­tary action against Iran as Mr. Rom­ney, the like­ly Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, is attack­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion for not sup­port­ing Mr. Netanyahu more robust­ly.

The rela­tion­ship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Rom­ney — nur­tured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem, strength­ened by a net­work of mutu­al friends and height­ened by their con­ser­v­a­tive ide­olo­gies — has result­ed in an unusu­ally frank exchange of advice and insights on top­ics like pol­i­tics, eco­nom­ics and the Mid­dle East.

When Mr. Rom­ney was the gov­er­nor of Mass­a­chu­setts, Mr. Netanyahu offered him first­hand point­ers on how to shrink the size of gov­ern­ment. When Mr. Netanyahu want­ed to encour­age pen­sion funds to divest from busi­nesses tied to Iran, Mr. Rom­ney coun­seled him on which Amer­i­can offi­cials to meet with. And when Mr. Rom­ney first ran for pres­i­dent, Mr. Netanyahu pre­sciently asked him whether he thought Newt Gin­grich would ever jump into the race.

Only a few weeks ago, on Super Tues­day, Mr. Netanyahu deliv­ered a per­sonal brief­ing by tele­phone to Mr. Rom­ney about the sit­u­a­tion in Iran. . . .

 

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #776 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 15: Updates and Further Analysis”

  1. This is cute: The BND recent­ly expe­ri­enced a ‘Water­gate’ of its own. Not a Nixon­ian Water­gate cen­tered around dirty tricks and coverups. Just a scan­dal involv­ing a lot of water:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post
    A flood­ed intel­li­gence head­quar­ters is Germany’s ‘Water­gate’
    By Rick Noack
    March 6, 2015

    Ger­many’s fed­er­al intel­li­gence ser­vice (BND) is sup­posed to ensure the coun­try’s safe­ty — but it seems as if it can’t even pro­tect its own future head­quar­ters. On Tues­day, parts of a new­ly con­struct­ed build­ing in Berlin were flood­ed after taps were removed from their orig­i­nal posi­tion.

    So far, it is not known who removed the cru­cial taps and let water flood floors and ven­ti­la­tions shafts of the sup­pos­ed­ly high-secu­ri­ty head­quar­ters. Sus­pect­ing thieves to have caused the secu­ri­ty lapse, police have launched an inves­ti­ga­tion into the coun­try’s very own “Water­gate” scan­dal, as the inci­dent has become known in Ger­man media. As of Thurs­day, it was unclear why thieves would break into one of Ger­many’s most secure build­ings to steal taps. Police offi­cials did also not exclude the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an attack with a polit­i­cal motive or revenge tak­en by dis­grun­tled employ­ees.

    Where­as the U.S. Water­gate scan­dal forced Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon to step down in 1974, the Ger­man inci­dent will like­ly remain a finan­cial dis­as­ter instead of a polit­i­cal one. Accord­ing to Ger­man dai­ly Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung, it will cost mil­lions of dol­lars to repair the dam­age.

    Giv­en that the new BND head­quar­ters is close­ly mon­i­tored day and night, some have raised ques­tions over the intel­li­gence ser­vice’s pro­fes­sion­al­ism and its abil­i­ty to pro­tect the coun­try’s cit­i­zens.

    If alleged ama­teur thieves can steal taps, what could pro­fes­sion­al for­eign agents do in the build­ing? Ger­man author­i­ties have long feared the place­ment of bugs in the build­ing and even stepped up secu­ri­ty at the con­struc­tion site — with­out suc­cess, it seems.

    ...

    Many Ger­mans, how­ev­er, will hard­ly be sur­prised by the inci­dent. The coun­try — par­tic­u­lar­ly well known for its tech­ni­cal prowess — has recent­ly wit­nessed a series of embar­rass­ing con­struc­tion fail­ures. Only weeks before the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny of Berlin’s new air­port BER was sup­posed to take place in 2011, experts real­ized that the project would prob­a­bly take sev­er­al years instead of weeks to be fin­ished. The air­port is now sched­uled to open in 2017.

    BND’s new head­quar­ters has made head­lines for sim­i­lar rea­sons. In 2014, experts deter­mined that many of the build­ing’s pas­sive infrared detec­tors were not prop­er­ly work­ing, among oth­er tech­ni­cal flaws. The same year, sen­si­tive dia­grams of the build­ing were stolen — a gold­mine for any­one seek­ing to under­mine the fed­er­al intel­li­gence of one of the Unit­ed States’ clos­est allies.

    The build­ing com­plex is now sup­posed to house the intel­li­gence ser­vice’s rough­ly 4,000 employ­ees by 2017 instead of 2016. Some media reports have indi­cat­ed that Tues­day’s flood­ing may cause fur­ther delays. Accord­ing to Ger­many’s Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung, sev­er­al employ­ees have resigned out of frus­tra­tion. Cur­rent­ly, the ser­vice is based in Pul­lach, a vil­lage of 9,000 close to Munich.

    Bad news for the BND may in fact be good news for oth­er Ger­mans. Many of the coun­try’s cit­i­zens are skep­ti­cal of the the work of their intel­li­gence ser­vices. Much of this can be traced to Ger­many’s his­to­ry: In the com­mu­nist east, the Stasi intel­li­gence ser­vice mon­i­tored most of the coun­try’s cit­i­zens, intim­i­dat­ed oppo­nents and paid oth­ers to inform on their neigh­bors and friends.

    Ger­mans were out­raged when they dis­cov­ered that the NSA had spied on Ger­man telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions data two years ago. Despite fre­quent denials by the BND, many sus­pect the Ger­man intel­li­gence to have been involved in the data col­lec­tion. In a 2014 sur­vey, near­ly 40 per­cent of Ger­mans said they con­sid­ered increas­ing dig­i­tal­iza­tion and the role of intel­li­gence ser­vices to be a threat.

    ...

    Well, at least the build­ing was­n’t ful­ly occu­pied and filled with invalu­able con­tents so it could be a lot worse. And while it’s cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble that there this was an inten­tion­al act of sab­o­tage of some sort, also keep in mind the explo­sion of low wage, under­paid labor­ers in Ger­many that would have had plen­ty of pover­ty-based incen­tives to steal a water tap here and there.

    It was also worth not­ing that pub­lic skep­ti­cism over the work of the BND might be even high­er than nor­mal these days giv­en the recent reports on the BND’s refusal to coop­er­ate with the Bun­destag in its inves­ti­ga­tions over how the BND does what it does:

    Deutsche Welle
    Report: Britain’s GCHQ threat­ens to end work with Ger­many’s BND spy agency

    The Ger­man mag­a­zine Focus says Britain has threat­ened to cease coop­er­a­tion with Ger­many’s BND intel­li­gence ser­vice. The BND in turn has been accused by a Berlin inquiry pan­el of with­hold­ing doc­u­ments.

    Date 06.02.2015

    Ger­man par­lia­men­tar­i­ans prob­ing Amer­i­can NSA sur­veil­lance com­plained across par­ty lines on Thurs­day that they could not exam­ine spy agen­cies’ links because Ger­many’s own BND was refus­ing to pro­vide rel­e­vant doc­u­ments.

    Inquiry com­mit­tee chair­man Patrick Sens­burg (pic­tured cen­ter) of Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s con­ser­v­a­tives told jour­nal­ists that he had sub­mit­ted the com­plaint in writ­ing to fed­er­al par­lia­ment speak­er Nor­bert Lam­mert.

    The pan­el was set up in March last year by Ger­many’s par­lia­ment to assess the extent of tele­phone and inter­net spy­ing by Amer­i­ca’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and its part­ners on Ger­man cit­i­zens and politi­cians, and to estab­lish whether Ger­man intel­li­gence had assist­ed.

    So far the inquiry has focused lit­tle of report­ed bulk tap­ping by Britain’s GCHQ of inter­net cable con­tent from Europe to the Unit­ed States and sus­pect­ed GCHQ links with the BND.

    ...

    Inquiry ‘stonewalled’

    Oppo­si­tion Left par­ty mem­ber Mar­ti­na Ren­ner said dur­ing its hear­ings over 10 months the pan­el has repeat­ed­ly run into bar­ri­ers.

    “It has been stonewalled, again and again” Ren­ner said.

    She said one of two BND employ­ees called to tes­ti­fy on Thurs­day and iden­ti­fied only as J.F. had told the com­mit­tee that he could not com­ment on a project called “Glota­ic,” reput­ed­ly on coop­er­a­tion between the BND and the CIA.

    The Ger­man news mag­a­zine Spiegel report­ed in Decem­ber on coop­er­a­tion between the BND and the CIA — par­al­lel to coop­er­a­tion with the NSA.

    Bulk data col­lec­tion

    Ear­li­er this week, von Notz referred to an online arti­cle of the news­pa­per Die Zeit which claimed that dai­ly the BND logged and for­ward­ed 220 mil­lion sets of so-called meta­da­ta from tele­phone calls and SMS mes­sages to the NSA and CIA.

    “If [such] a gigan­tic data repos­i­to­ry was locat­ed on Ger­man ter­ri­to­ry it would be a open breach of law,” von Notz said.

    His remarks coin­cid­ed with a White House announce­ment that it had tight­ened rules on how the CIA, FBI and oth­er agen­cies used com­mu­ni­ca­tions of for­eign­ers col­lect­ed by the NSA.

    Tues­day’s US announce­ment made clear, how­ev­er, that the bulk col­lec­tion would con­tin­ue.

    ...

    Now this sounds more like a scan­dal wor­thy of the ‘Water­gate’ label:

    ...
    Oppo­si­tion Left par­ty mem­ber Mar­ti­na Ren­ner said dur­ing its hear­ings over 10 months the pan­el has repeat­ed­ly run into bar­ri­ers.

    “It has been stonewalled, again and again” Ren­ner said.

    She said one of two BND employ­ees called to tes­ti­fy on Thurs­day and iden­ti­fied only as J.F. had told the com­mit­tee that he could not com­ment on a project called “Glota­ic,” reput­ed­ly on coop­er­a­tion between the BND and the CIA.

    The Ger­man news mag­a­zine Spiegel report­ed in Decem­ber on coop­er­a­tion between the BND and the CIA — par­al­lel to coop­er­a­tion with the NSA.

    Bulk data col­lec­tion

    Ear­li­er this week, von Notz referred to an online arti­cle of the news­pa­per Die Zeit which claimed that dai­ly the BND logged and for­ward­ed 220 mil­lion sets of so-called meta­da­ta from tele­phone calls and SMS mes­sages to the NSA and CIA.

    “If [such] a gigan­tic data repos­i­to­ry was locat­ed on Ger­man ter­ri­to­ry it would be a open breach of law,” von Notz said.

    ...

    Keep in mind that the dai­ly 220 mil­lion sets of meta­da­ta that the BND was report­ed­ly pass­ing on to the NSA and CIA was sup­posed to be only data on non-Ger­man cit­i­zens:

    Deutsche Welle
    Ger­man spy agency saves mil­lions of phone records, says report

    The Ger­man gov­ern­ment was quick to announce plans to widen data reten­tion against ter­ror­ism in response to this mon­th’s attacks in Paris. But Berlin already col­lects far more tele­com meta­da­ta than many sus­pect­ed.

    Date 30.01.2015
    Author Gabriel Bor­rud

    Accord­ing to a jour­nal­ist at Ger­man week­ly “Die Zeit,” writ­ing with ref­er­ence to “clas­si­fied files,” the Ger­man Intel­li­gence Agency (BND) cur­rent­ly col­lects around 220 mil­lion pieces of meta­da­ta per day, far more than was cur­rent­ly thought.

    Kai Bier­mann, who has cov­ered the top­ic of mass sur­veil­lance by both the BND and inter­na­tion­al intel­li­gence author­i­ties includ­ing the British Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Head­quar­ters (GCHQ) and the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA), wrote on Fri­day that Ger­man spies pro­vid­ed “at least part” of the data they acquired to the NSA.

    Meta­da­ta includes the phone num­bers involved in a call or text mes­sage, when a call was made or text sent and the length of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It does not, how­ev­er, include what was said dur­ing a call or writ­ten in a text mes­sage.

    Quot­ing BND sources, Bier­mann wrote that Ger­man intel­li­gence “reserves the right to col­lect meta­da­ta, regard­less of the amount,” of for­eign telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions traf­fic. Col­lec­tion of tele­coms traf­fic of Ger­man cit­i­zens, how­ev­er, vio­lates nation­al data pro­tec­tion laws. The report did not spec­i­fy how Ger­man data was fil­tered, nor has the BND done so.

    Accord­ing to Fri­day’s report, the BND stores 2 mil­lion pieces of such meta­da­ta, approx­i­mate­ly 1 per­cent of its dai­ly trawl of 220 mil­lion, for an extend­ed peri­od of “long-term analy­sis” of up to 10 years. The great major­i­ty of all the data, how­ev­er, is dis­card­ed with­in two weeks of being col­lect­ed.

    A Ger­man gov­ern­ment state­ment did not com­ment on the report. Deputy spokesman for Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel, Chris­tiane Wirtz, told jour­nal­ists in Berlin on Fri­day that “noth­ing could be said with regard to the [Zeit Online] report.” Asked whether Ger­man intel­li­gence author­i­ties had a leak, Wirtz said she could­n’t spec­u­late as to “where this report came from,” adding that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment took all nec­es­sary mea­sures to ensure that clas­si­fied doc­u­ments were kept con­fi­den­tial.

    ‘Grasp­ing at straws’

    Inter­na­tion­al data pri­va­cy advo­ca­cy groups react­ed with dis­gust to the rev­e­la­tions in the Zeit Online report, with Access Now call­ing on the BND to cur­tail its “col­lect-it-all mind­set” in imi­ta­tion of the NSA.

    “This shows that they are just suck­ing up all that they can,” Peter Micek, a pol­i­cy coun­sel and tele­coms expert at Access, told DW. “Unfor­tu­nate­ly, what we do on our mobile phones is not going to be kept pri­vate until we get true inter­na­tion­al safe­guards and agree­ments that pri­va­cy rights apply online.”

    ...

    So it sounds like the BND’s inter­nal rules (that the Bun­destag is try­ing to learn about) is that spy­ing on for­eign traf­fic(and hand­ing it off to for­eign intel­li­gence agen­cies) is fine but domes­tic traf­fic must be ignored. But how domes­tic traf­fic is sep­a­rat­ed from the inter­na­tion­al traf­fic isn’t made clear. How Ger­many resolves this conun­drum will be some­thing to watch since the dream of cre­at­ing sur­veil­lance rules that leaves civ­il soci­ety intact typ­i­cal­ly involves the goal of leav­ing the pow­er­ful mil­i­tary-grade spy­ing capa­bil­i­ties and data out of the hands of domes­tic agen­cies where the poten­tial for abuse is the most extreme.

    Although we do have one exam­ple of how the BND is already plan­ning on fil­ter­ing out the domes­tic from the for­eign traf­fic flows in one of its lat­est ini­tia­tives. We got the hint when the BND’s plans for a real-time social media mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem and new decryp­tion tools were unveiled back in Novem­ber. It’s a pret­ty sim­ple sys­tem: If your social media posts are in Ger­man it’s con­sid­ered domes­tic and fil­tered out. Yep. Should work like a charm: ;):

    IT World
    Ger­man spy agency seeks mil­lions to mon­i­tor social net­works out­side Ger­many

    The pro­to­type real time social media mon­i­tor will only look at pub­licly avail­able data though, accord­ing to the plans

    Loek Essers By Loek Essers

    IDG News Ser­vice | Novem­ber 10, 2014

    Ger­many’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency report­ed­ly wants to spend €300 mil­lion (about US$375 mil­lion) in the next five years on tech­nol­o­gy that would let it spy in real time on social net­works out­side of Ger­many, and decrypt and mon­i­tor encrypt­ed Inter­net traf­fic.

    The Fed­er­al Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (BND) wants the funds for a pro­gram called “Strate­gis­che Ini­tia­tive Tech­nik” (SIT, Strate­gic Tech­nol­o­gy Ini­tia­tive), accord­ing to a report by Ger­man dai­ly the Süd­deutsche Zeitung and tele­vi­sion sta­tions NDR and WDR.

    The report is based on a con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ment in which the BND asked the Con­fi­den­tial Com­mit­tee of the Bun­destag’s Bud­get Com­mit­tee to approve a sum of €28 mil­lion for the pro­gram in 2015.

    A Ger­man gov­ern­ment spokesman con­firmed the exis­tence of the SIT pro­gram on Mon­day and said that its main goal is to build an ear­ly warn­ing sys­tem for cyber attacks. He declined how­ev­er to give fur­ther details about either the pro­gram or its bud­get.

    It is a remark­able move giv­en the Ger­man uproar over the NSA affair and the alleged U.S. spy­ing on Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s phone, which led the Ger­man gov­ern­ment to demand a “no-spy” agree­ment from the U.S. Such a deal is unlike­ly to be made by U.S. pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma.

    ...

    The sys­tem for real time social net­work mon­i­tor­ing is still in the con­struc­tion phase. But a pro­to­type is expect­ed to be launched next June with the aim of mon­i­tor­ing pub­licly avail­able data on Twit­ter and blogs. The pro­gram should fil­ter out and dis­card data in the Ger­man lan­guage.

    The BND also wants to spend €4.5 mil­lion to crack and mon­i­tor HTTPS (Hyper­text Trans­fer Pro­to­col Secure) encrypt­ed Inter­net traf­fic. By 2020 some of that mon­ey may be spent the black mar­ket to buy zero day exploits, unpub­li­cized vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties that can be exploit­ed by hack­ers. That pro­gram, called “Nitidez­za”, should also pro­vide bet­ter pro­tec­tion for gov­ern­ment net­works, Ger­man week­ly Der Spiegel said in a sep­a­rate report on BND’s bud­get requests.

    More­over, a plan to mon­i­tor Inter­net exchanges out­side Ger­many is also in the works. Next year, the agency wants to spend €4.5 mil­lion on a pro­gram called “Swop” to pro­vide addi­tion­al hid­den access to a non-Ger­man exchange, the news­pa­per report said.

    “Next year, the agency wants to spend €4.5 mil­lion on a pro­gram called “Swop” to pro­vide addi­tion­al hid­den access to a non-Ger­man exchange, the news­pa­per report said.”
    As we can see, it’s not just rain­ing at the BND’s new quar­ters. It’s rain­ing meta­da­ta too. And a lot of non-meta­da­ta too. Every­day. And the storm is just get­ting start­ed.

    Luck­i­ly for the BND it has just the umbrel­la it needs for this kind of sit­u­a­tion. Just don’t tell any­one about it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 11, 2015, 6:49 pm
  2. Five for­mer IBM employ­ees start a com­pa­ny they call SAP Sys­te­m­analyse und Pro­gram­men­twick­lung (“Sys­tem Analy­sis and Pro­gram Devel­op­ment”).

    Tak­ing the ini­tial form of a pri­vate part­ner­ship under the Ger­man Civ­il Code, the com­pa­ny estab­lish­es its head­quar­ters in Wein­heim, Ger­many, and opens an office in near­by Mannheim. How­ev­er, SAP’s five founders spend most of their time in the data cen­ters of their first cus­tomers, which include the Ger­man branch of Impe­r­i­al Chem­i­cal Indus­tries in Östrin­gen.

    http://go.sap.com/corporate/en/company/history.html

    Keep in mind that Impe­r­i­al Chem­i­cal Indus­tries (ICI) had part­nered with IG Far­ben before WWII. Allen Dulles had drawn up the paper­work to bring ICI into a Nazi chem­i­cal car­tel — see p. 68 of Secret War Against the Jews by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons.

    http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2016/05/new-homeland-security-alert-warns-sap-program-vulnerabilities/128236/?oref=govexec_today_pm_nl
    This arti­cle states:

    SAP appli­ca­tions pow­er many offices entrust­ed with intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty, human resources data, strate­gic plans and finan­cial reports, among oth­er sen­si­tive files.

    A “wide-scale attack against these appli­ca­tions could have macro-eco­nom­ic impact on most mod­ern economies,” the researchers said.

    One uniden­ti­fied For­tune 100 vic­tim tab­u­lat­ed loss­es from an attack that bust­ed into and shut­down the com­pa­ny’s SAP sys­tems at about $22 mil­lion per minute, accord­ing to Onap­sis.

    hack­ers broke into SAP soft­ware in 2013 to read gov­ern­ment records on fed­er­al employ­ees and con­trac­tors with access to clas­si­fied intel­li­gence.

    That pro­gram appar­ent­ly was an SAP enter­prise resource plan­ning appli­ca­tion owned by back­ground check provider USIS. Sen­si­tive details on tens of thou­sands of nation­al secu­ri­ty per­son­nel were exposed in March 2014. The USIS breach was sep­a­rate from a gar­gan­tu­an hack at the Office of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment, but believed to be part of the same Chi­nese-spon­sored espi­onage oper­a­tion.

    THE OBVIOUS QUESTIONS TO ASK ARE:
    Is this soft­ware being used by the Reich to gain finan­cial insight to have “invest­ment fore­sight” and to acquire cor­po­rate secrets? Also, in addi­tion to being an espi­onage tool, can it be used for sab­o­tage?

    Posted by Anonymous | May 12, 2016, 7:37 pm

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