back to article Public prosecutor waves big stick at German spies over NSA data slurp claims

Germany was in a tizz this weekend, in the wake of spying allegations that could harm the country's thorny relationship with surveillance of its citizens. Der Spiegel magazine claimed on Saturday that Germany's spook agency BND had exploited data it had allegedly intercepted on behalf of U.S. spies at the NSA. According to …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ausspähen unter Freunden – das geht gar nicht

      I think the translation is close to perfect

      In the political mind of Angie the UK is one of the friends

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Geert Jacob
      Meh

      Sorry - submitted it twice by mistake

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only the naive...

    ...fail to understand that all major countries monitor worldwide communications. Apparently this is news to the masses.

    1. Geert Jacob

      Re: Only the naive...

      This is no new issue.

      The issue is, that the german secret service deliberately broke german laws -which it must not do

      1. Rainer

        Re: Only the naive...

        Yep. They could always change the laws, if they think it's necessary.

        But that has to be "sold" to the voter. So much easier just to look the other way...

        While the BND alerted its governmental oversight-body of these requests by the NSA, nothing really happened until the so called NSA inquiry-board got wind of it and asked for specifics.

        Turns out, it's thousands upon thousands of "selectors" over the years, mostly on high-ranking politicians from Germany, France and the EU as well as employees from Airbus et.al.

        Now, the inquiry-board wants specifics (mainly the selectors) - but apparently our beloved German government has to ask the NSA first, which of the selectors the NSA wanted to monitor by proxy of the BND it can release to said inquiry-board.

        Which really helps to drive home the point that in these matters, Germany isn't a fully sovereign nation. Never was and never will, unless it wants to risk getting fed intel-bits from the NSA's big pool from time to time...

        The BND, as you might know, was founded post-war by a Nazi-general that held a similar job during the war and was able carry over a lot of intelligence about the Russian Army. So Uncle Sam looked the other way because that kind of information was direly needed in the new cold war.

        (I think you might be familiar with this scheme...)

        As such, it was always a sort of protegé of the CIA/NSA.

        Parliamentary and governmental oversight was supposed to avoid repeating mistakes from (pre-) war-times, but the practice seems to be that during the last ten to fifteen years (at least), the BND has escaped this oversight at several occasions and politics looked the other way to avoid upsetting Uncle Sam.

        Now, they have a nice PR mess they've got to "manage".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Only the naive...

          I think if we had an Edwin Snowden-type come forward in every major European country (or even the smaller ones) people would be very upset with how fast-and-loose European intel agencies are playing with the law.

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            Re: Only the naive...

            I think if we had an Edwin Snowden-type come forward in every major European country (or even the smaller ones) people would be very upset with how fast-and-loose European intel agencies are playing with the law.

            We'd also soon run out of safe havens for them...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Only the naive...

              No, but only due to the fact that such shenanigans are expected by French, Russian, and a few other country's citizens. France? "Quell surprise." (Gallic shrug)

              Hopefully I got that right.

              1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

                "Quelle surprise."

                Close enough though.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This appears to be reaching a criminal dimension"

    Well I think we can put THAT down as the understatement of the year.

    Let's see - spying on Americans, sabotaging American tech companies, sabotaging secure protocols, spying on NATO allies, full-scale industrial espionage on EU companies, sabotaging of the entire SIM card eco-system by hacking Gemalto..

    meanwhile US Generals are asking Congress to devote some intelligence resources to seeing what Russia is up to.. LOL, Golly Gee, why don't we get that Clapper guy front and center and ask him why we know so much about our allies and citizens but seem to know next to nothing about what Russia is up to? Maybe he can give Congress another "least untruthful" answer.

    At this point somebody can send Obama an email and Putin will get it first.. what a joke the US intelligence services have become.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: AC Re: "This appears to be reaching a criminal dimension"

      ".....what a joke the US intelligence services have become." LOL, you wish! Actually, you probably do wish it were so. You could always discuss it with such like-wishing individuals as Usama bin Laden, Adam Ghadan, or the Syrian and Nork staff of the secret nuke reactor at al Kibar (the latter first being identified by the NSA's interception of calls between North Korea and Syria), but they all have contracted a rather serious case of being dead. Now you go back to wrapping your head in foil and leave the discussion to the adults with more perspective, mmmkay?

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "what a joke the US intelligence services have become."

      The only joke is the way they are playing fast and loose with the spirit of the law and the respect of the Bill Of Rights.

      For the rest, I am quite sure the intelligence services of the USA are quite efficient in their data-gathering.

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