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COMMENT: We’ve covered Eddie “The Friendly Spook” Snowden’s exploits in numerous previous posts: Part I , Part II , Part III , Part IV , Part V , Part VI , Part VII , Part VIII , Part IX , Part X .) Users of this website are emphatically encouraged to examine these posts in detail, as it is impossible to do justice to the arguments in those articles in the scope of this post.
Suffice it to say, for our purposes here, that Snowden’s activities are–quite obviously–an intelligence operation directed at Barack Obama’s administration at one level and the United States and U.K. at another.
We note that the individuals and institutions involved with Snowden, as well as Fast Eddie himself, track back to the far right and elements and individuals involved with the Underground Reich.  Again, PLEASE examine the previous posts on the subject, as there is no way to flesh out this line of inquiry in this post.
We have noted that Fast Eddie may be doubling for BND or some other element of German intelligence, possibly having been recruited when posted by CIA to Geneva, Switzerland. Snowden may also be acting at the instruction of elements in U.S.–perhaps Michael Morrell, perhaps an Underground Reich faction of NSA, perhaps elements from the Peter Thiel milieu (more about that below.)
A possibility that bears examination in the context of German and/or Underground Reich economic warfare against the U.S. involves L’Affaire Snowden as a gambit to undermine American internet dominance. In that context, we offer the following thoughts:
- Germany’s interior ministry has urged Germans not to use  U.S. internet servers. (See text excerpt below.) Will this set the stage for Germany to usurp some or most of U.S. internet dominance in the world?
- The Frankfurt DE-CIX exchange is the busiest in the world and is said–by German security experts–to be impervious to NSA/GCHQ spying efforts , despite Snowden’s allegations that NSA has penetrated the function. (See text excerpt below.) Will this lead corporate internet functions away from U.S. internet companies? Might German concern about the possibility of NSA/GCHQ penetration of the Frankfurt exchange be related to the Bormann capital network’s control of corporate Germany?
- Latin American spying by NSA  has also been placed on the table by Snowden. (See text excerpt below.) Will this also damage U.S. internet business and help Germany usurp some, or all, of U.S. internet business.
- Perhaps reflecting concern over damage to its business as a result of the Snowden’s ride, Yahoo has asked  that its objections to federal requests for data be made public. (See text excerpt below.)
- In a highly speculative mode, we note that Sheryl Sandberg, a former Obama administration official and Facebook executive, was supposed to be on the Asiana Airline flight  that crashed in San Francisco. (See text excerpt below.) In increasingly high-tech aircraft, the highly-developed art of sabotaging planes has moved up a notch, so to speak. Might have an Obama-circle individual in the Facebook mix have proved troublesome to the Underground Reich?
- In that same context, we wonder if Facebook financial angel and German-born fascist Peter Thiel  might have something to do with the line of inquiry we are exploring? Thiel figures prominently in our past posts.
- We have also noted that Fast Eddie has joined forces with the “Cyber-Wandervogel”  of the WikiLeaks milieu. That milieu includes the Pirate Bay crowd–dedicated to “pirating” online product. Might an intent of the higher-ups in that organization be to damage U.S. economic interests by stealing movies and music? (The bulk of the Pirate Bay folks appear to be of “anarchic/Utopian” political bent and cannot be presumed to be conscious accessories to such activities.
- We note that Peter Sunde, a principal figure in the Pirate Bay/Pirate Party/Wikileaks milieu went to that position from a job with Siemens , inextricably linked with BND and the Bormann capital network. He resides in Germany.
- We also wonder if Kim Schmitz, aka “Kim Dotcom”  might be part of an Underground Reich economic offensive against U.S. media companies?
EXCERPT: Germany’s interior minister has suggested that people should stop using Google and Facebook if they fear interception by U.S. spies.
According to the AP, Hans-Peter Friedrich said on Wednesday that “whoever fears their communication is being intercepted in any way should use services that don’t go through American servers.” His call comes in the wake of Edward Snowden’s PRISM revelations, which showed how the NSA can easily access even supposedly private data on U.S. cloud services, at mass scale.
Friedrich is one of the first senior European politicians to explicitly urge privacy-minded citizens to avoid using U.S. services, although EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said a couple of weeks ago that “the PRISM debate will definitely increase calls for a European cloud, with a range of possible consequences for American companies.”
However, shunning Google and Facebook may not be a cure-all for keeping private communications private. Snowden also exposed a British program called Tempora, which allegedly involves the tapping of the fiber-optic cables that constitute the backbone of the internet – if that is the case, then all communications may be intercepted, regardless of where the service provider is located.
German data protection officials have urged the federal government to “do everything to protect the people in Germany against access to their data by third parties,” and have also called for explanations around how much the German government knew about PRISM and Tempora before the scandal broke. . . .
EXCERPT: Adjacent to the river Main docks in the east of Frankfurt, not far from where the new headquarters of the European Central Bank are nearing completion, internet traffic from around the globe converges at an exchange.
In an unassuming warehouse ringed by 4m-high fences and security cameras, data hops from one network to another via switching points contained in large cabinets full of blinking LED lights and yellow fibre optic cables.
The process is not unlike the way airlines use nearby Frankfurt airport so their passengers can change aircraft.
Thanks to Frankfurt’s geographical position linking east and west and the presence of a large financial centre, more internet data passes through the Frankfurt DE-CIX exchange each day than at any other switching point in the world; some 2.5 terabits per second at peak times.
This is even more than rival internet exchanges in London and Amsterdam. Partisan German media therefore proclaim Frankfurt the “global capital of the internet”.
But this week Der Spiegel magazine obtained documents from Edward Snowden, the intelligence contractor turned whistleblower, which suggested the US National Security Agency has gained access to the Frankfurt hub’s gargantuan data stream. The magazine did not say how the NSA had achieved this.
Insiders confirmed to Spiegel that the NSA’s interest is in the traffic that arrives at Frankfurt and other exchanges in southern Germany from eastern Europe and Russia, as well as the Middle East.
The magazine reported that since December the NSA has obtained around 500m communications metadata a month from Germany as part of its Boundless Informant spying programme, far more than it obtained in France or Italy.
Amid similar claims that Britain’s GCHQ spy agency is also harvesting data from subsea fibre optic cables these reports suggest the physical infrastructure that makes up the internet is a high-value target for global intelligence agencies.
Frankfurt’s huge internet hub likely explains why on an NSA “heat map” obtained by the Guardian newspaper, Germany is the only European country marked yellow – indicating a high level of surveillance.
Although Germany and the US co-operate extensively on intelligence matters, the partnership is not as deep as that between the US and UK. Germany is classified by the US as a “third-class” partner and therefore subject to possible surveillance.
Hans-Peter Friedrich, German interior minister, said German authorities had found no evidence of NSA surveillance at the Frankfurt site. Still, he added: “If a foreign intelligence service were to tap internet nodes in Frankfurt it would be a violation of our sovereignty.”
German business is also alarmed about the possibility that the country’s treasured industrial secrets could find their way into US hands. [Information about the Bormann capital network , possibly?–D.E.]
Stefan Mair, at the Federation of German Industry (BDI), said media reports about US surveillance were “concerning” but “at the moment we don’t know to what degree German companies are affected by the NSA activities”.
US President Barack Obama tried to allay some of these fears in a call with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Wednesday saying he “takes seriously the concerns of our European allies and partners”. For her part, the German chancellor conceded earlier this week that harnessing online intelligence is important in the fight against terrorism.
Indeed, the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, is permitted by law to sieve through up to 20 per cent of the country’s international communications. It does this by searching for hundreds of suspicious terms related to the trafficking of drugs, arms and people, money laundering and terrorism.
However, due to technical and financial limitations Germany currently scans about 5 per cent of the internet traffic crossing its territory, government officials say.
It is not known if the BND has installed monitoring equipment at the Frankfurt exchange and German law prohibits the exchange’s operators from commenting on the matter.
But the owners and operators of DE-CIX are allowed to talk about foreign intelligence services and they are adamant that the NSA and others are not tapping its exchange. “If a foreign intelligence agency was harvesting data from our exchange then we would know about it,” says Arnold Nipper, founder and chief technology officer. “Our technicians are on site every day; if someone put in a cable we would see.”
Andrew Blum, author of Tubes, a book about the infrastructure of the internet, is also puzzled by the Spiegel claims. “Saying the NSA is tapping all of DE-CIX is like saying the FBI is somehow searching every single passenger that passes through Frankfurt airport?.?.?.?Having seen the place up close I’m very sceptical of the notion of wholesale tapping,” he says.
That is because a spy agency would have to penetrate not one, but hundreds of fibre optic cables at multiple sites. In addition, a big chunk of traffic is exchanged not via the Frankfurt hub but bilaterally between tech companies which rent data centre space near the node, in a process known as peering. Seizing all of this would be a mammoth and conspicuous task, Mr Nipper of DE-CIX says. . . .
EXCERPT: A U.S. spy program is widely targeting data in emails and telephone calls across Latin America, and is focusing on energy issues, not just information related to military, political or terror topics, a Brazilian newspaper reported Tuesday.
The O Globo newspaper said it has access to some of the documents released by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. The American journalist who obtained the classified information from Snowden lives in Brazil and is helping write stories for the daily.
O Globo published what it said are slides that Snowden released indicating the U.S. effort is gathering information on energy in Mexico and oil in Venezuela. There was no information released about what information was obtained, nor any companies that were targeted.
The report also said that Colombia, the strongest U.S. military ally in South America, along with Mexico and Brazil, were the countries where the U.S. program intercepted the biggest chunks of information on emails and telephone calls during the last five years. Similar activities took place in Argentina and Ecuador, among others.
Figures weren’t published on how many intercepts occurred.
O Globo also reported that the documents it’s seen indicate the U.S. had data collection centers in 2002 for material intercepted from satellites in Bogota, Caracas, Mexico City and Panama City, along with Brasilia. There was no information published about the existence of these centers after 2002.
Snowden’s disclosures indicate that the NSA widely collects phone and Internet “metadata” — logs of message times, addresses and other information rather than the content of the messages. The documents have indicated that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of U.S. phone customers, and has gathered data on phone and Internet usage outside the U.S., including those people who use any of nine U.S.-based internet providers such as Google.
Earlier, O Globo reported that in Brazil, the NSA collected data through an association between U.S. and Brazilian telecommunications companies. It said it could not verify which Brazilian companies were involved or if they were even aware their links were being used to collect the data.
The Brazilian government is investigating the alleged links with telecommunications firms with a Brazil presence. . . .
EXCERPT: In a rare legal move, Yahoo is asking a secretive U.S. surveillance court to let the public see its arguments in a 2008 case that played an important role in persuading tech companies to cooperate with a controversial government data-gathering effort.
Releasing those files would demonstrate that Yahoo “objected strenuously” to government demands for customers’ information and would also help the public understand how surveillance programs are approved under federal law, the company argued in a filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week. . . .
EXCERPT: Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg was scheduled to be on the Asiana Airlines flight that crash landed at San Francisco International Airport today but changed her plans at the last minute.
Sandberg, author of the best-selling “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” posted a note on her Facebook wall explaining that she was “taking a minute to be thankful” after hearing that the flight had crashed.
“[We] were originally going to take the Asiana flight that just crash-landed,” Sandberg wrote. “We switched to United so we could use miles for my family’s tickets.” . . . .