back to article The big boys made us do it: US used German spooks to snoop on EU defence industry

Germany's BND spy agency spied on European politicians and enterprises at the behest of the NSA for over a decade. Der Spiegel reports (in German) that for years the NSA sent its counterparts at the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst – Germany's Federal Intelligence Service) thousands of so-called selectors – IP addresses, emails, …

  1. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Spying requests were contrary to either German or wider EU interests

    You'd think there'd be a law against that...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shooting yourself is the only way the terrorists not win

    Hey Germany here is a gun, will you supply the bullets to shoot yourself and Europe in the foot please. Thanks in advance, oh and send us back the photos, to confirm that you carried out our orders - this will totally help our companies to make more profit (no silly R&D costs) which will then pay us more in taxes and aid US in the global fight with terror, honest.

    And this is not like getting a racehorse to nobbe themselves, would we lie ? Think of honest Abe. Remember all the good stuff we did for you in the past. Operation paperclip, where we saved you from all those evil people working on biological weapons, chemical weapons and human experimentation, by moving them to America.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shooting yourself is the only way the terrorists not win

      Just a temporary misstep. Now, about Ukraine, we have this cunning plan. You will follow us on this, Europe, right?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What does spying upon European leaders have to do with stopping terrorism? Sounds more like the purpose of this massive spying is to stop political dissent.

    1. Tom Paine

      What evidence is there to support that claim?

      (Spoiler alert: "none whatsoever".)

      It's bog standard industrial / geopolitical espionage. We all do it. You may remember that awkwardness about Airbus vs Boeing, a few years ago? (eg )

  4. Camilla Smythe

    As a member..

    Of the



    ... rough translation is 'One Peanut'.

    I have nothing but praise for the Germanic Race for delivering all of their broken scheisse into the arms of the Americans such that they could break it some more and sell it back to the English as revenge for the Fly/Soup jokes.

  5. Richard Altmann

    Uncle Sam: Germany, come here!

    Germany: What is it now?

    Uncle Sam: Give me all your data!

    Germany: But we have constitutional righ ...

    Uncle Sam: You want to play naughty? Turn around and bend over. ...Uuhh, how does it feel like?

    Germany: It hurts

    Uncle Sam: You´re sure used to it by now. Just do what i want

  6. Spaceman Spiff

    Sounds like quid, not so, pro quo. You get us all this stuff, and we may give you a crumb in return... Not a good deal dudes!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like quid, not so, pro quo

    We do not know what secret agreements may exist between the German and the US governments post WW2. It is possible that the price of the generous post-War settlement in the West was that Germany must perpetually do the bidding of the US where US "security" is concerned.

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge


    do not read each other's mail.

    Henry L Stimson, US Secretary of State

  9. Captain DaFt

    Everybody's got something to hide

    US spooks:"Hey, look what I found out about you!"

    German spooks"Oh my God, how'd you find that out?"

    US spooks:"Never mind, don't worry, We're the good guys, remember?"

    German spooks:"Uh... right."

    US spooks:"So, if you tell us all the dirt you can dig up on them, we're certain they'll never find out about you, Capisce?"

    German Spooks:"Uh... right." -Hands over intel-

    US spooks:"Right, we're all friends here, then."

    -US spooks then moves on to them, lather-rinse-repeat -

  10. frank ly


    "The BND helped the NSA with spying on European ministers and enterprises, without anyone in the German parliament being aware of this.

    BND bosses didn't pass on their findings to the Chancellor's Office ... "

    The security services of a country acted against the interests of that country and its close allies while keeping its activities a secret from its own government. How weird is that?

    If somebody who worked for me did that to me, I'd drag their sorry arse over hot coals before booting it out of the door; unless of course they had some serious deep dirt on me. Hmm......

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Germany, we have this thing called "treason"

    and apparently, the Attorney General has by now started an investigation. It's about time. We know because he requested insight into material available to the committee investigating the whole NSA/BND issue. Said material is provided by the BND to the German Chancellery which then in turn decides what the committee actually gets to see. Interesting approach, isn't it? From what is reported, it's a lot of fat black lines and a lot of what is readable is thought to be entirely fabricated.

    What will come out of it? Nothing, of course. The Chancellery is doing the same shameful "we knew nothing, NOTHING"-dance it has been doing ever since Snowden came forward. It would be a surprise if someone, anyone actually had to take his or her hat, let alone be sent away for life as the law suggests.

    Because this is Germany, the European poster-child for rule of law and democracy.

    PS: Oh, and then there's that thing about Ramstein and the Drone program but boy, the Chancellery knows even less about that one. Because, you know, they actually asked the US about it and were told that it's all perfectly okay.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: In Germany, we have this thing called "treason"

      New Zealand might have this thing called treason as well. Their spooks and the NSA have recently been outed as trying to spy on the Chinese embassy. China is one of the countries largest trading partners and responsible for its continued good fortune despite the quality of New Zealand's political and management classes. The US of course contributes very little to New Zealand except costs. It is no longer clear that the spooks anywhere in the Western half of the free world are working in the best interests of their respective countries or even who exactly they are working for. Colour me shocked that you take a group of people, exempt them from oversight and the rule of law and they start going off the rails.

    2. Sotorro

      Re: In Germany, we have this thing called "treason"

      It is interesting to see, how the secret services in the West including my own country seem to be able to break the law at will, while we do not know anything about them, they know all about us.

      Is there still a Democracy ? Or are we living in a secret surveillance state, where secret services decide who gets a character assassination, while pushing out false information all around, to manipulate all of us in to what ever they want us to believe. I was unaware that this is what we wanted to do with our societies.

      As it looks more and more that it's all about serving the 1% and it has no longer anything to do with informed decision making on the electorate part, as we are all fed misinformation. If voters can not know about reality, then there is no longer a Democracy in my opinion.

      Did anybody asked for this, did anybody vote for these secret services to do what they are doing ?

      I'm positively sure I never asked for this mess.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In Germany, we have this thing called "treason"

        Is there still a Democracy ?

        That's just it. That's the whole ruse. This is that "democracy" you've been trained to worship.

        1. You put a mark beside the name of one of two or three practically indistinguishable little shits.

        2. One of those shits is then "duly elected" king.

        3. Said king shit then commences dismantling what little remained of the oversight mechanism, flogging off what remains of the national assets, setting himself up for a retirement as one of the most wealthy and important little shits in the world by grasping at every sleazy corrupt corporate "lobbyist" he cums upon, and generally going about his business as a completely naïve avaricious narcissist fucktard who suddenly has A WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY to play with. "OMG! I'm so fucking impotent now!" Obviously the fun includes having an entire national "intelligence" system to play with ("OMFG!") and attending important summits with the most "important" people in the world. "OFMFGFFF!"

        4. In the event of dissent, king shit shouts DEMOCRACY. MANDATE. DEMOCRACY. MANDATE. DEMOCRACY. MANDATE. DEMOCRACY. MANDATE. DEMOCRACY. MANDATE. DEMOCRACY. MANDATE. DEMOCRACY. MANDATE. until it goes away. Perhaps also unleashing the party activists, editorial commentaries, riot police, water canon, etc. if it gets really serious. Then he gets back to fucking the place up.

        5. GOTO 1

  12. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Could the BND claim to have selectively modified the sensitive data?

    It gets them off the hook, and the NSA starts doubting the veracity of the data...

  13. DCLXV

    Clearly Der Spiegel's target audience is the sort of virtuous Deutschelander who reads every word of a EULA before agreeing to it and is completely unaware of the exploits of 007 and his ilk. Or in English: a fucking sap.

  14. Nathan Brathahn

    No Surprise

    Just have a look at the history of 'Organisation Gehlen' aka BND

    Who founded and financed it? The CIA

    Who were recruited to run the Org? A bunch of Nazis

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NSA: Oh no, we only ever spy to catch T's..

    Catching T's, the ultimate get out of jail free clause...? Citizenfour spelled it all out clearly: every company, politician, diplomat, competing economy is fair game for US monitoring and tracking.....

    Complicit media is to blame too, for giving the Five Eyes a podium while never raising difficult questions like this particular report....

  16. Potemkine Silver badge

    I wonder why NSa required the help of the BND when it has already a trojan in the EU named UK?

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