“Spying Among Friends Is Never Acceptable”

Go ask Angela Merkel, she’ll tell you.

Austria

Certain countries are above all that. Being located on the moral high ground like they are, you know.

Vienna has demanded an explanation from Berlin over reports that Germany’s BND agency spied on nearly 2,000 targets in Austria between 1999 and 2006. Austrian media said embassies were among the targets.

Top Austrian officials have called on Germany to clarify reports that its BND spy agency snooped on high-profile targets including embassies, international organizations, Austrian ministers and banks based in the Austrian capital…

Following revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed the US for its extensive spying on targets in Germany. “Spying among friends is not at all acceptable,” she famously said in the wake of the scandal.

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What Does NSA Stand For?

For Narcissistic Street Art, of course.

Teufelsberg

Teufelsberg, meaning “devil’s mountain,” is actually the name of the man-made hill on which the Field Station sits. The site was chosen for its height rather than its obscure location, but the fact that it’s situated slap-bang in the middle of the Grunewald forest, requiring at least 30 minutes of uphill hiking to reach it from an S-Bahn train, does enhance the sense that it’s shrouded in mystery…

When the NSA left in the early ’90s, it took all its equipment with it. Reports about the activities that took place at Teufelsberg are classified until 2022. But even then, we may not find out much.

German Intelligence Intelligent Enough

Or at least that’s what one intelligent German intelligence official said today. “We have a proven track record.”

Spies

“And we can monitor our own elections and watch out on our own for any disinformation spread by Russia, thank you. Without any American help, I mean. That’s because we’re offended. And we want you Americans to know that we’re offended. And you Russians, too. And the rest of the world, for that matter. That’s just how intelligent we are. So write disinformation down in a safe place somewhere and stick it where the sun don’t shine.”

Earlier this month, Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said the U.S. watched Russia hack into France’s computer networks during the country’s election. U.S. officials warned their French counterparts of the hacking before it became public.

Is It Time For More Outrage Yet?

About the evil NSA spying on poor, defnseless Germany again?

BND

“What’s new is that German intelligence not only used the NSA spy tools, but has also been involved in its programming for years.”

Unter den insgesamt 90 Gigabyte an Dokumenten soll es demnach Beweise geben, die die Zusammenarbeit zwischen der amerikanischen National Security Agency (NSA) und dem BND belegen. „Einige Dokumente zeigen, wie Geheimdienste Wege finden, um an der eigenen Regierung vorbeizuarbeiten“, heißt es unter anderem in der Mitteilung. Dabei gehe es auch um die aktive Beteiligung des BND an der globalen Massenüberwachung.

German Of The Day: Durch die ganze Linie

That means “through the entire line,” as in all down the line, or by all involved, in this case.

Jaber Al-Bakr

So, let’s sum up this Jaber al-Bakr case in Germany: First of all, you have a German intelligence service (BND) that isn’t in the position to know about this guy or his plans on its own – that evil US-Amerikan NSA had to give them the tip. Then you’ve got policemen who let this guy get away during their raid. After that he gets captured, tied up and turned in to the police by three Syrian refugees. And to top it off, the authorities then guarding him let him commit suicide in his cell.

All in all, some top-notch work. All down the line. By all involved.

Einem Medienbericht zufolge hat ein US-Geheimdienst einen entscheidenden Hinweis auf den Terrorverdächtigen Dschaber al Bakr geliefert.

German Spies Don’t Spy On Friends

But only because they appear to have Laurel and Hardy doing it.

BND

An attempt to wiretap John Kerry’s personal cellphone number back in 2013 failed, for instance, because the agent trying to do the listening in mixed up the US country code with one from Africa.

The Germans apparently had better luck spying on the former foreign policy chief of the European Union, Catherine Ashton back in 2008, however, although I have to assume that they misdialed this number, too. Maybe they were tying to listen in on that Jose Manuel Barroso guy instead?

Laut „Spiegel“ hatte der BND auch die Handynummer von US-Außenminister John Kerry 2013 in die Erfassung aufgenommen. Dabei habe es aber wegen einer Panne keine Abhörergebnisse gegeben: Ein BND-Mitarbeiter habe angeblich statt der Ländervorwahl der USA versehentlich die eines afrikanischen Landes eingegeben.

German Of The Day: Putzig

That means cute. As in funny cute. You know, comical? Like when little kids say something unexpectedly and unintentionally funny? Or, I dunno, like when Germans are completely shocked to find out that their spy agency actually spies on other folks, too?

Spies

After angrily upbraiding the U.S. for its electronic spying networks that targeted Germans, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has been rocked by two reports in less than a week charging that German intelligence targeted U.S. arms companies, the FBI, a top French diplomat, several international organizations and allied government departments, and even a German diplomat working for the European Union.

“Es kann solche Praktiken zwischen Verbündeten nicht geben.”

N-S-A, B-N-D, Spy-On-You-And-Me

Our espionage doesn’t stink, right? “Spying among friends? That’s just not done.” But spying on their countries, NGOs and the Vatican? That’s a different matter.

Spy

Since October’s revelations, it has emerged that the BND spied on the United States Department of the Interior and the interior ministries of EU member states including Poland, Austria, Denmark and Croatia. The search terms used by the BND in its espionage also included communications lines belonging to US diplomatic outposts in Brussels and the United Nations in New York. The list even included the US State Department’s hotline for travel warnings.

The German intelligence service’s interest wasn’t restricted to state institutions either: It also spied on non-governmental organizations like Care International, Oxfam and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. In Germany, the BND’s own selector lists included numerous foreign embassies and consulates. The e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers of the diplomatic representations of the United States, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and even the Vatican were all monitored in this way. Diplomatic facilities are not covered under Article 10 of Germany’s constitution, the Basic Law, which protects German telecommunications participants from such surveillance.

“Ausspähen unter Freunden – das geht gar nicht.”

“Friends Don’t Spy On Friends”

So that’s why Germany’s BND spied on EU neighbors and US-Amerika itself, I guess.

BND

The German magazine Der Spiegel has reported that Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) spied on European and American organizations until 2013.

To what depths have you sunk, Germany? A spy agency that actually spies on people? What will be next? A military that actually goes to war? A border patrol that actually protects your borders? Granted, all of this remains well within the realm of science fiction but we ARE still allowed to speculate about crazy un-German ideas like these in public here. Aren’t we?

So. I assume now that everybody in Germany is going to be REALLY REALLY empört (outraged) about this. Although you know what they say about you when you assume things. How you make an ass- out of u and -me?

Abhören unter Freunden – das geht doch: Ähnlich wie die NSA hat offenbar auch der BND die Kommunikation befreundeter EU-Staaten ausgespäht. Ziele der Spionage waren laut rbb Inforadio offenbar europäische und amerikanische Einrichtungen.

How Do You Want Your ID?

Rare to non-existent, many Germans will tell you. They place them in microwaves here to destroy the RFID chips inside, you see.

Or boil them – if they’re paranoid about microwave ovens, too.

Otherwise most of these folks appear to be able to live normal, somewhat productive lives.

When it comes to privacy, Germans can’t take a joke. After it was revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted calls in Germany, sales of old-school typewriters were reported to have skyrocketed, as some Germans assumed that sending letters might make communications surveillance harder for U.S. officials.

It’s not only American surveillance that Germans are concerned about, however. On Tuesday, a 29-year old man was arrested at Frankfurt Airport after authorities noticed that he had microwaved his German identification card, reported German news agency dpa.