“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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This War On Journalism Must Stop

Here in Germany, I mean. It is outrageous, unacceptable behavior and is damaging press freedom in Germany and abroad.

Monitor

Like I said, outrageous. So where’s the outrage, folks?

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, apparently spied on large numbers of foreign journalists overseas over the course of several years, including employees of the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times. Critics see a massive violation of press freedoms.

This Doll Must Die

Don’t EVER let anybody tell you that Germans are lasch (feeble) when it comes to threats posed to them by foreign intelligence snoops.

Cayla

Forget about not caring about Putin & Co., forget about spinning your wheels ridiculously with your NSA spying affair. We’ve got a real live (sort of) freakin’ wi-fi-connected Internet doll on the loose and we’re all going to die if we don’t kill her first. OK. So we don’t know who she’s working for yet. But still.

A German government watchdog has ordered parents to destroy an internet-connected doll for fear it could be used as a surveillance device. According to a report from BBC News, the German Federal Network Agency said the doll (which contains a microphone and speaker) was equivalent to a “concealed transmitting device” and therefore prohibited under German telecom law…

“My Friend Cayla” uses a microphone to listen to questions, sending this audio over Wi-Fi to a third-party company (Nuance) that converts it to text. This is then used to search the internet, allowing the doll to answer basic questions, like “What’s a baby kangaroo called?”

Why would anybody want to know what a baby kangaroo is called, huh?

And this is just the beginning, too. These wi-fi-thingies will soon be everywhere. “It doesn’t matter what that object is — it could be an ashtray or a fire alarm.” Damn right. So after you’ve finished strangling this doll toss everything else out of the window while you’re at it. Just in case. They’re out to get us, people. They’re everywhere, I tell you. Whoever they are. Bad dolly!

At what point did we enter this Philip K. Dick novel, anyway?

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.”

First Ten NSA Keywords Leaked

Shocking Spy Skandal Update: Although more than 400,000 NSA keywords and phrases are supposedly still to be found on the computers of the BND – Germany’s zany, madcap spy agency accused of helping that nasty NSA in its sneaky and suspicious snooping activities – very little is known about the nature of these keywords themselves. Up until now, that is.

BND

A corrupt German double agent has just released the first ten for a considerable chunk of baksheesh and an extended vacation stay at an undisclosed location in Florida. They are:

Domina
Dominatrix
Domino’s Pizza
Miley Cyrus
Apple Watch
We Watch
Everybody Watch
What is the Eurovision Song Contest?
What is Conchita Wurst?
Weather

More to follow. If national security permits.

“We are dependent on the NSA, not the other way round.”

But What Does This Guy Know?

China and Russia are the most avid intelligence gatherers in Germany, says Hans-Georg Maassen, head of Germany’s intelligence agency.

Maassen

But like, who cares about that? That’s beside the point or something. We Germans are empört (appalled) about this Skandal (scandal) and we’re going to stay that way, damn it.

Liebe Deutsche, findet euch damit ab, dass ihr ausspioniert werdet!

German Spies Spying For American Spies Shocked To Discover That American Spies Were Actually Of The Spy Variety

After years of close cooperation with the NSA, Germany’s BND has now suddenly reduced this cooperation upon finding out that the information they had been furnishing the NSA with was being used for espionage purposes.

Spies

“Who would have thought that?” asked one high-ranking German spy official with a paper bag on his head. “We all figured that that  list of 40,000 selectors (IP addresses, search terms and names) we at the BND used on behalf of the NSA had some other justification. I dunno. I personally assumed they wanted to order pizza or something. But to go and spy on other folks like that? No way. We don’t want anything to do with that kind of Scheiße.”

It still remains to be seen whether this list can be released, as that depends on what arrangements were made with the US by the then government [of Gerhard Schröder] after the dramatic events of September 11.

Our Espionage Doesn’t Stink

On the one hand, we as German spies only do nice spying and would never spy on friends much less on other other nice Germans like ourselves.

BND

But on the other hand, intelligence agencies are working to ensure the public’s safety and the German government will do everything it can to ensure that it can carry out its job.

“And this ability to carry out its duties in the face of international terrorism threats is done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies, and that includes first and foremost the NSA.”

Deutschland regt sich über eine Spionageaffäre auf. Dabei wäscht seit Jahrzehnten unter den westlichen Diensten eine Hand die andere. Wir sollten endlich realistisch mit dem Thema Sicherheit umgehen.

German Intelligence Insults German Intelligence

When the NSA asks for INFO from the BND they get it ASAP. Or at least they used to.

Intelligence

Germany’s intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has been helping the NSA spy on European politicians and companies for years, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The NSA has been sending lists of “selectors”—identifying telephone numbers, e-mail and IP addresses—to the BND, which then provides related information that it holds in its surveillance databases…

Investigators found that the BND had provided information on around 2,000 selectors that were clearly against European and German interests. Not only were European businesses such as the giant aerospace and defense company EADS, best-known as the manufacturer of the Airbus planes, targeted, so were European politicians—including German ones.

I still can’t figure out where the intelligence part comes in here.