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Planet of the Apps: On the Subject of those “Shocking” Disclosures about NSA/GCHQ Electronic Surveillance (Y-A-W-N!)


Menwith Hill

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: We experienced a mixture of genuine amusement and revulsion at the screeching over “disclosures” that NSA and GCHQ (the U.K. equivalent of NSA) are engaged in a massive data mining and surveillance program involving cell phones and internet communications.

For openers, this isn’t new [3], to say the least. It’s been going on for decades, scrutinizing phone calls at first, and then internet communications. On top of that, other countries do the same thing [4], including Germany. (See excerpted article below.)

The internet itself was developed by DARPA [5]. DARPA also developed the GPS [6]. The smart phones people have so enthusiastically embraced have a GPS function that can’t be disabled.  That GPS function permits the user to be pinpointed to within 30 feet of their exact location at any time. Users of these phones think nothing of putting their financial information, their tastes in recreation and just about everything else on these devices.

In the Bay Area, radio ads are hyping a new “app” which will permit smart phone users to physically monitor their premises and their children’s whereabouts, as well as locking doors. Smart phone are not secure. Cyber criminals must be licking their chops in anticipation of co-opting that function.

Google and Yahoo make no bones about tracking and monitoring people’s e-mail and internet use. Google is putting the whole world online with their Google Earth function. They make no bones about sharing this information with other institutions, governmental and corporate.

With the development of social networks [7] (also aided by the intelligence community), those smart phones and the internet have made any concept of privacy fundamentally obsolete!  People have enthusiastically embraced these developments! They would do well to stop their whining.

It is also interesting to note that none of the critics of Echelon/Menwith Hill/PRISM have raised any objection whatsoever to T-Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom, which is controlled by the German government [8]. This was authorized by the Bush administration. (See excerpt below.) It is a safe bet that BND-German intelligence–monitors all calls made on T-mobile.  Deutsche Telekom–parent company of T-Mobile and MetroPCS–is used by the BND. BND does the same thing. Not incidentally, T-mobile owns Metro PCS [9].  (See excerpted text below.) If you use T-Mobile or Metro PCS, you are being spied on by the German government [10]. Enjoy, civil libertarians!

It is of more than a little significance that the initial attacks on the Echelon system and the Menwith Hill GCHQ/NSA station in the U.K. came largely from the Free Congress Foundation [11] (inextricably linked with the far right and the Underground Reich) and Germany [12] (which has the same capability [13]!) Those attacks intensified after 9/11. [14] 

There are indications that the 9/11 attacks may have much to do [15] with the German-driven negative publicity about NSA/GCHQ signals intelligence. [16] A report by the European Parliament [4] about Menwith Hill and Echelon was released just before 9/11. (Be sure to see excerpts below.) 

We suspect that much of the negative publicity the Obama administration is receiving recently comes from GOP/Underground Reich elements seeking to alienate the so-called “progressive sector” from the Democrats, in anticipation of upcoming elections. (Obama continues to prove “gamable” in his efforts to placate the GOP. Comey’s appointment–see below–is typical and will likely prove disastrous.)

From the disclosure of this operation to the publicity surrounding the “Olympic Games” creation of Stuxnet to the WikiLeaks torrent, we are seeing information/programs begun under the Bush administrations surfacing to create embarrassment for Obama.

The Nazified [17] GOP [18] surely knows how unpopular their agenda is with most Americans–they seek to gut Social Security and Medicare. Their best hope at the polls is to generate sufficient apathy, particularly among younger voters, to enable them to game another election.

If the GOP does get back into office with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, watch out! 

They will not wait for the wave of populist outrage over their programs to sweep them out of office. Some sort of monstrous event will be allowed to happen–or created–that will eclipse the outrage and send us into war and bankruptcy at the same time.

Perhaps the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ new cyber-warfare unit–created in the wake of the disclosures concerning the creation of Stuxnet–will cause (or be SAID to cause) a nuclear power plant to melt down or something along those lines. (Ptech’s software [19] is used by the Department of Energy, which oversees the nuclear power plants.)

Such an event will collapse our economy and we will all be called upon to “put aside our differences” and pitch in to defeat the common enemy. Hezbollah operatives reliably reported to be in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America might very well infiltrate the U.S. to add to the “emergency.”

Whatever horror show is cooked up, it will have to be worse than 9/11. 

Think about it, people, and get off your butts. 

As noted by the vigilant “Pterrafractyl,” what is really significant about the PRISM function is its probable dual use by Palantir, developed by German-born Peter “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible . . . the extension of the franchise to women . . . . rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron” [20] Thiel. A financial wizard behind the capitalization of Facebook [7], Thiel gives every appearance [21] of being Underground Reich.

Thiel was also the biggest contributor [22] to the Super-PAC of Nazi fellow-traveler Ron Paul [23]. Paul’s Tea-Party son Rand Paul has been leading the anti-Obama charge on this. [24]

Although Palantir denies that its PRISM is the same used by the data mining program, it seems highly unlikely, given Palantir’s close relationship with the intelligence community. [25] (See excerpted article below.)

Idle thought: Given that Peter Thiel hates Obama and is associated with the Koch brothers’ Cato Institute [26], one wonders if the classified information made it to the media courtesy of–Peter Thiel and/or associates?! 

The NSA/Prism story was broken in considerable measure by Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian [UK]. In addition to his association with the left-leaning Guardian, Greenwald is professionally networked with–the Cato Institute [27]! (See excerpted story below.)

At the time of 9/11 and afterward, eagle-eye Greenwald had a high regard for George W. Bush’s behavior! [28] (See excerpted article below.) He may just be a naif being manipulated by Cato Institute/Palantir/Thiel etc. He is definitely proving useful, and one must wonder if “Team Thiel” had anything to do with the leaking.

Note the relationship between Bridgewater Associates and Palantir. Bridgewater Associates former general counsel is James Comey [29], who has been nominated by the “Lee Harvey Obama” (as we call him) to be head of the FBI.

Deutsche Telekom–parent company of T-Mobile and MetroPCS–is used by the BND. BND does the same thing.

“Is This Who Runs Prism?” by Josh Marshall; Talking Points Memo; 6/7/2013. [30]

EXCERPT: I want to stress this is a reader email, not TPM report­ing. But I’m shar­ing it because after read­ing it through and doing some googling of my own there’s lit­tle doubt that Palan­tir is doing stuff like what the gov­ern­ment is doing with those tech com­pa­nies, even if they’re not part of ‘prism’ itself. Give this a read.

From an anony­mous reader …

I don’t see any­one out there with this the­ory, and TPM is my favorite news source, so here goes:

“PRISM” is the government’s name for a pro­gram that uses tech­nol­ogy from Palan­tir. Palan­tir is a Sil­i­con Val­ley start-up that’s now val­ued at well over $1B, that focuses on data analy­sis for the gov­ern­ment. Here’s how Palan­tir describes themselves:

“We build soft­ware that allows orga­ni­za­tions to make sense of mas­sive amounts of dis­parate data. We solve the tech­ni­cal prob­lems, so they can solve the human ones. Com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism. Pros­e­cut­ing crimes. Fight­ing fraud. Elim­i­nat­ing waste. From Sil­i­con Val­ley to your doorstep, we deploy our data fusion plat­forms against the hard­est prob­lems we can find, wher­ever we are needed most.” http://www.palantir.com/what-we-do/ [31]

They’re gen­er­ally not pub­lic about who their clients are, but their first client was famously the CIA, who is also an early investor.

With my the­ory in mind, re-read the denials from the tech com­pa­nies in the WSJ (empha­sis mine) [32]:
Apple: “We do not pro­vide any gov­ern­ment agency with direct access to our servers…”
Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the gov­ern­ment to access pri­vate user data…”
Face­book: “… not pro­vide any gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion with direct access to Face­book servers…”
Yahoo: “We do not pro­vide the gov­ern­ment with direct access to our servers, sys­tems, or network…”

These denials could all still be tech­ni­cally true if the gov­ern­ment is access­ing the data through a gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor, such as Palan­tir, rather than hav­ing direct access.

I just did a quick Google search of “Palan­tir PRISM” to see if any­one else had this the­ory, and the top results were these pages:

https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-overview.html [33]

https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-examples.htm [34]l

Appar­ently, Palan­tir has a soft­ware pack­age called “Prism”: “Prism is a soft­ware com­po­nent that lets you quickly inte­grate exter­nal data­bases into Palan­tir.” That sounds like exactly the tool you’d want if you were try­ing to find pat­terns in data from mul­ti­ple companies.

So the obvi­ous follow-up ques­tions are of the “am I right?” vari­ety, but if I am, here’s what I really want to know: which Palan­tir clients have access to this data? Just CIA & NSA? FBI? What about munic­i­pal­i­ties, such as the NYC police depart­ment? What about the gov­ern­ments of other countries?

What do you think?

FWIW, I know a guy who works at Palan­tir. I asked him what he/they did once, and he was more secre­tive than my friends at Apple.

PS, please don’t use my name if you decide to pub­lish any of this — it’s a small town/industry. Let them Prism me instead.

Late Update: Another reader notes that Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates LLP, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, is also a major client of Palan­tir, which appears to be con­firmed by many press reports. . .

“This Peter Thiel Company Is Ripping The Army Intelligence Community Apart” by Walter Hickey; Business Insider; 8/3/2012. [25]

EXCERPT: Palantir is a company founded by Peter Thiel — of Paypal and Facebook renown — that has software which absolutely changes the game with intelligence.

It’s one of the best programs at coordinating the vast databases accumulated by the U.S. intelligence apparatus. It’s already in use in federal domestic security.

But it’s also caused a massive fight inside the Army intelligence command.

Palantir is one of the first Silicon Valley companies to view the government as a customer rather than an annoyance and — after stepping into a game dominated by top contractors like Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Raytheon — it’s proven controversial in both what it does and if it should be used.
What it does is assemble comprehensive dossiers on objects of interest, collated from the sprawling databases of intelligence agencies.

If that sounds over-broad, it’s intentional.

The databases and dossiers in question are on everything from Afghan villages to crooked bankers. The can pull crime information and collate it with recent debit card purchases.

The software was developed with the idea that had it existed in 2001, 9/11 would have been obvious. Palantir would have been able to identify the pilots as people of interest from countries that harbor terrorists, connecting that with money wired around, and connecting that with one-way airline tickets to create actionable intelligence.

One controversy comes with the civil liberties issues that come with that particular business model.

The other controversy is much less philosophical: The Army intelligence community is full of infighting over this Valley competitor to defense contractor tech.

The Army Intelligence community is split over software. The $2.3 Billion DCGS-A system, developed by the standard crowd of defense contractors, is either panned by some as complicated and slow or defensed by others as the future of military distributed intelligence.

Likewise, the culty following of Palantir’s alternative have been dismissed as on the take from the Silicon Valley firm. That tech has been deployed by data mining Wall Street banks interested in tracking down fraud, and an early investor in the company was the CIA. The Army, however, isn’t sold. . . .

“PayPal Founder Peter Thiel Continues to Tout Anti-Government Manifesto” by Leah Nelson [Southern Poverty Law Center]; Intelligence Report [#146]; Summer/2012. [35]

EXCERPT: . . . “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” Thiel wrote in a 2009 manifesto published by the libertarian Cato Institute. “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.” . . .

“Hat Tip, Glenn Greenwald” by Tim Lynch; cato.org; 6/7/2013. [27]

EXCERPT: . . . . A few years ago, Cato invited Greenwald to participate in a Cato Unbound exchange on government surveillance. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to his essay:

The digital surveillance state is out of control. It intercepts our phone calls, keeps track of our prescription drug use, monitors our email, and keeps tabs on us wherever we go. For all that, it doesn’t appear to be making us safer. Accountability has been lost, civil liberties are disappearing, and the public-private partnerships in this area of government action raise serious questions about the democratic process itself. It’s time we stood up to do something about it.

Cato also hosted an event for Greenwald’s second book, A Tragic Legacy, which focused on the policies of the Bush administration. That event can be viewed here.

And, though not directly related to government spying, Greenwald authored Cato’s highly acclaimed study, Drug Decriminalization in Portugal.

American policymakers too often serve up Bread & Circuses. Congratulations to Greenwald for starting a real debate on one of the most important issues of our time. . . .

“Blogger, With Focus on Surveillance, Is at Center of a Debate” by Noam Cohen and Leslie Kaufman; The New York Times; 6/6/2013. [28]

EXCERPT: . . . . As Mr. Greenwald tells it, the last decade has been a slow political awakening. “When 9/11 happened, I thought Bush was doing a good job,” he said. . . .

“World Briefing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy System” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001. [4]

EXCERPT: [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 . . .

“The World from Berlin: Elec­tronic Sur­veil­lance Scan­dal Hits Germany” by David Gor­don Smith and Kris­ten Allen;  Der Spiegel; 10/10/2011. [13]

EXCERPT: 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. . . .

“Ger­mans Were Track­ing Sept. 11 Con­spir­a­tors as Early as 1998, Doc­u­ments Dis­close” by Desmond But­ler; New York Times; 1/18/2003; p. A10. [15]

EXCERPT: . . . . Three years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Germany’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice was track­ing promi­nent mem­bers of the Ham­burg ter­ror­ist cell that planned and exe­cuted the air­craft hijack­ings, accord­ing to newly obtained doc­u­ments. The doc­u­ments, includ­ing intel­li­gence reports, sur­veil­lance logs and tran­scripts of inter­cepted tele­phone calls, appear to con­tra­dict pub­lic claims by the Ger­man author­i­ties that they knew lit­tle about the mem­bers of the Ham­burg cell before the attacks.

As early as 1998, the records show, the Ger­mans mon­i­tored a meet­ing between men sus­pected of plot­ting the attacks. The sur­veil­lance would lead a year later to the Ham­burg apart­ment where Mohamed Atta and other main plot­ters were liv­ing while attend­ing uni­ver­si­ties. While the records do not indi­cate that author­i­ties heard any men­tion of a spe­cific plan, they depict a sur­veil­lance mis­sion exten­sive enough to raise anew the polit­i­cally sen­si­tive ques­tion of whether the Ger­mans missed a chance to dis­rupt the cell dur­ing the ini­tial stages of plan­ning the attacks. Some Amer­i­can inves­ti­ga­tors and offi­cials have argued that the Ger­mans in the past missed evi­dence that could have stopped the plot. The Ger­mans have main­tained stead­fastly that the infor­ma­tion they had was too scanty to war­rant seri­ous alarm, and that their police and intel­li­gence agen­cies were not focused on Al Qaeda at the time.

The doc­u­ments come from the files of var­i­ous Ger­man police and intel­li­gence agen­cies. They detail how close an inves­ti­ga­tion of Qaeda con­tacts in Ham­burg begun in 1997 by the Con­sti­tu­tional Pro­tec­tion Agency, Germany’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice, came to the main cell mem­bers. They were pro­vided to The New York Times by some­one with offi­cial access to the files of the con­tin­u­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into the events lead­ing to the Sept. 11 attacks. When the doc­u­ments were described to offi­cials at the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­istry and the con­sti­tu­tional pro­tec­tion police, they declined to answer any ques­tions about them but did not dis­pute their authenticity . . .

Mr. Motas­sadeq admit­ted that he knew Mr. Atta and other plot­ters and had attended Qaeda train­ing camps in Afghanistan. He has main­tained in trial tes­ti­mony that he did not know that his friends were plan­ning to attack the United States. No evi­dence has been pre­sented at his three-month trial that would reveal when the police first opened an inquiry into Mr. Motas­sadeq. But the intel­li­gence agency doc­u­ments show that by August 1998 he was under sur­veil­lance and that the trail soon led to most of the main par­tic­i­pants in the later attacks. [It was in August of 1998 that President Clinton ordered the cruise missile strike against Bin Laden and the same month that Bin Laden went to a courier system instead of using his cell phone. Note, also, that the head of the Hamburg police at the time the surveillance of the Hamburg cell was in place is now head of the BND! [36]–D.E.]

Accord­ing to the doc­u­ments, the sur­veil­lance was in place on Aug. 29, 1998, when Mr. Motas­sadeq and Mohamed Hay­dar Zam­mar, who had already been iden­ti­fied by police as a sus­pected extrem­ist, met at the Ham­burg home of Said Bahaji. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s] The police mon­i­tored sev­eral other meet­ings between the men in the months that fol­lowed, the doc­u­ments said. The record of the meet­ing shows that police had iden­ti­fied Mr. Bahaji, another per­son sus­pected of being a cell mem­ber and believed to have been inti­mately involved in the plan­ning and logis­tics of the plot, who fled to Pak­istan days before the attacks. Mr. Bahaji later moved in with Mr. Atta and Ramzi bin al-Shibh in the now-infamous apart­ment at 54 Marien­strasse in the Har­burg sec­tion of Hamburg. [There are profound indications of a link between Mohamed Atta and the BND–D.E.] [37]. . .

“It’s official: T-Mobile closes deal to acquire MetroPCS  Mobile” by Mat Smith;  engagdet.com; 5/1/2013. [9]

EXCERPT: T-Mobile has been slowly inching closer to closing its acquisition deal with MetroPCS, and the day for inking that contract is finally here. Less than a week after MetroPCS shareholders approved the merger, which would give them a total cash payment of $1.5 billion, the deal is done, and T-Mo is a publicly traded company. In addition to giving Deutsche Telekom [a subsidiary of THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT!–D.E.] a 74 percent stake in the new company, the deal will bring nine million new prepaid customers to T-Mobile. . . .

“US Rul­ing on Telekom Could Lead to Wave of Invest­ment” by Peter Spiegel in Wash­ing­ton; Finan­cial Times; 5/2/2001; p. 8.

EXCERPT: . . . . Although extended reg­u­la­tory debates can fre­quently lead to doc­u­ments full of mealy-mouthed bureau­cratese, the 97-page order issued by the FCC is as sweep­ing and precedent-setting as Mr. Pow­ell had wanted. It goes fur­ther than any pre­vi­ous rul­ing in the agency’s 66-year his­tory to open up the U.S. telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket to for­eign com­peti­tors. ‘This is the green light. This is the paved road.

This is the auto­bahn,” said Rudy Baca, an ana­lyst of inter­na­tional tele­coms reg­u­la­tion with the Pre­cur­sor Group. ‘It’s more defin­i­tive than most peo­ple expected.’

At the heart of the debate over the deal was a dis­creet sec­tion of the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions act that con­tains seem­ingly con­tra­dic­tory guid­ance on how to deal with for­eign tele­coms owned by their gov­ern­ments. One part of the law states flatly that no U.S. phone licenses can be held ‘by any for­eign gov­ern­ment or rep­re­sen­ta­tive thereof.’ But another sec­tion allows a com­pany to buy the license if the FCC rules it in the pub­lic inter­est. The inter­pre­ta­tion of the lan­guage is cru­cial, since out­side the UK, most big over­seas com­pa­nies remain at least par­tially in the hands of gov­ern­ments.

After the Voic­eS­tream deal closes, for instance, Telekom will still be 45 per cent-owned by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment. . .

“German Intelligence Scrubs Euroean Records after WikiLeaks Exposure” by WikiLeaks staff; wikileaks.org; 11/16/2008. [38]

EXCERPT: 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.