back to article All cooped up and nowhere to go, US and German spooks spied on each other

Allies US and German spooks cooped up in a windowless structure dubbed the Tin Can have been found secretly spying on each other. The revelations reveal the absurdity of a secret agreement between spy agencies, the NSA and the BND, to operate from a former US base in Bad Aibling, Germany, that was in 2004 handed over to German …

  1. Chairo

    No problem

    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, right?

    Oh, wait...

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge


    We knew that everyone spied on everyone else... but from the same plot of land.. That's rich.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Red Cross and Oxfam

    There's your terrorist organisations right there.

  4. graeme leggett


    Of course they would. Spies spy on each other, even the ones from the other agencies in their own country. Knowledge is power and all that.

    We need a Smiley icon.

    1. Known Hero

      Re: unsurprising


      oh wait ...

      1. HAL-9000
        Big Brother

        Re: unsurprising

        I think he might have meant George Smiley

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: unsurprising

          Has to be a smiling George Smiley.

      2. graeme leggett

        Re: unsurprising

        Looks nothing like Sir Alec Guinness (or Gary Oldman if you're not that old)

        Though it does look a bit like Karla's haircut.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: unsurprising

      A Spy vs Spy icon?

    3. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: unsurprising

      Not only unsurprising, but basically what we pay them to do. Today's allies might/will be tomorrow's enemy, so no matter how much we love and trust them, and them us, we keep each other honest by spying on each other. Trust, but verify, and all that.

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Bad Aibling, Germany - more like Bad spies, Germany.

  6. frank ly

    We were practicing on each other

    Everybody does it!

  7. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    the snowden revalations came out about the NSA spying on people, I got voted down for saying everyone spies on everyone else.

    Who was right?

    <smug mode on>

    1. Grikath

      Re: When

      There is a big difference between spying on people [general] , and people [foreign officials/entities].

      The second is what spies are paid to do, and what Everybody Knows happens. It's just a case of Bad Form when you're found out.

      The first is a good indicator of a government out of control, and the birth of a tyranny.

  8. Ken 16


    Is that with Brit tendencies, like Brit-ish?

  9. Robert Helpmann??


    Our spies have counter spies,

    Behind their backs: espy 'em

    And their spies have anti-spies,

    who in turn decry 'em.

    But the master spies, themselves, it seems

    Have fewer rules to go on;

    While higher up have fewer still,

    And higher still, and so on.

    Their civil overlords to placate,

    The spooks will prevaricate.

    And the public so is served

    In a matter most undeserved;

    All the while Spies Black, Gray and White

    Covertly scheme us all to spite.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spying is a mental disease

    We've learned that at the NSA, mid-level managers would try to recruit lower level employees to report on conversations in the lunchroom, in order to glean intelligence of the order of office politics. A total Scanner Darkly situation, how sane people can go on year after year like that is something for the psychiatrists to figure out.

    Read 'Harlot's Ghost' - at some point the CIA had become a completely dysfunctional agency trembling in a paranoid mental clusterfuck because there was a mole hiding under every desk.

    Spycraft has its place, but when you've built up institutions with hundreds of thousands of spies, eventually the situation becomes quite absurd, and serves nobody.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vertrauen ist gut....

    .... Kontrolle ist besser.

    Totale Kontrolle ist am besten.

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