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

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 Renault, 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.


“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. . . .