America's National Security Agency has been active in Germany for decades. During the Cold War, much of its focus was on targets beyond West Germany's eastern border. But even then, the NSA continued to monitor communications within, and originating in, West Germany. Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the NSA has increased its ability to monitor global communications -- and documents from the archive of whistleblower Edward Snowden show that Germany is the agency's most important base of operations in continental Europe.
The documents show that the NSA, while focusing on counter-terrorism and other areas of importance to national security, has also established systems that allow it to monitor vast amounts of digital and other forms of communications in Germany and elsewhere. The agency can intercept huge amounts of emails, text messages and phone conversations. The NSA even monitored the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
When revelations of NSA spying in Germany first broke last year, German officials indicated they were unaware of the breadth of US intelligence activity in the country. For this week's cover story, SPIEGEL once again examined all of the documents from Snowden's archive pertaining to NSA activity in Germany. The story can be read here.
But Snowden documents also indicate that Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, and its domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, work closely together with the NSA in sites around Germany. For SPIEGEL's story on that cooperation, click here.
Below are PDF files of the most important documents pertaining to that cooperation. SPIEGEL has redacted them to obscure the identification of BND and NSA agents, phone numbers, email addresses and other information that could put lives in danger. A glossary explaining many of the abbreviations found in the documents can be found here. SPIEGEL's editorial explaining why we have elected to publicize the documents can be read here.
Please note, in some of the documents, you may have to scroll down to get to the text.
- Nostalgic recollections out of the NSA intranet from NSA workers formerly stationed in Bad Aibling
- Document excerpt on the sharing of the NSA spy tool XKeyscore with the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germanys domestic intelligence agency
- Secret document on the cooperation between the NSA, BND and BfV in the fight against terrorism
- Preliminary agenda of a meeting between high-ranking NSA and BND officials
- Briefing on the visit to the NSA of a high-ranking BND official
- Final agenda of a meeting between high-ranking NSA and BND officials
- Internal NSA presentation on the BND's organization
- Internal NSA discussion guidelines relating to cooperation with the BND and BfV
- Internal NSA discussion guidelines in preparation for a meeting with high-ranking BND officials
- Comprehensive internal summary of the history and current state of cooperation between the NSA and BND
- FAQs on the Boundless Informant program
- Boundless Informant statistics on Germany
- Boundless Informant overview (global)
- Boundless Informant statistics for so-called Third Parties, which includes Germany
- Boundless Informant statistics on data from "Foreign Partners"
- Overview of the use of Boundless Informant (world map)
- World map from the Boundless Informant program
- Zoom of a Boundless Informant document, with project names
- Agenda for the visit of BSI Vice President Andreas Könen to the NSA
- Report on the beginnings of the European Security Center (ESC) in the Dagger Complex
- Report on the changing of the ESCs name to European Security Operations Center (ESOC)
- ESOC: Report on the experiences of one NSA worker
- Report on the changing of the ESOCs name to European Cryptologic Center (ECC) including details on missions launched from there
- Report on an XKeyscore training session at the ECC / Dagger Complex
- Presentation on the spying program PRISM and ECC's participation
- NSA/CSS presentation on technical surveillance in Europe and Africa
- Report on an unexploded ordnance alarm at the European Technical Center in the Mainz-Kastel neighborhood of Wiesbaden
- Report on an NSA SIGDEV training course for allied countries
- Report on the technical expansion of the European Technical Center in the Mainz-Kastel neighborhood of Wiesbaden
- Report on the NSA-BND cooperation known as Joint SIGINT Activity (JSA)
- Report on the surveillance of African countries by JSA
- Restrictions on the technical surveillance performed by JSA
- Report on data exchange between the NSA and BND within the JSA framework
- Merkel in the database: Presentation from the Center for Content Extraction
- Report on the NSAs access to TEMPORA
- Report on the work of NSA/CSS Europe, including the capture or killing of 40 terror suspects
- Guidelines for the classification of NSA SIGINT details (1945-1967)
- Slide: Worldwide locations of the Cryptologic Services Groups
- Slide: Worldwide locations of NSA/CSS satellite surveillance
- US sites with NSA personnel in Germany
- Logo of NSA-BND cooperation
- Explanation of Nymrod, a system for searching for people and places in databases and documents
- NSA presentation on the work of Nymrod
- Report on an NSA visit to the BND site in Schöningen and on data transfer from the BND to the NSA
- Presentation on the NSA/CIA unit Special Collection Service (SCS), active in US embassies around the world
- Report on the one-year anniversary of the NSA liaison unit SUSLAG at the new site in the Mangfall Kaserne in Bad Aibling
- Guidelines for the classification of SUSLAG details and the NSA-BND cooperation
- GCHQ report on the technical abilities of the powerful spying program TEMPORA, which allows for a "full take"
- Report on a WHARPDRIVE incident in an SSO presentation
- Details on XKeyscore from an internal GCHQ website
- Boundless Informant statistics on Great Britain
- European Technical Center: Report on the experiences of one NSA
- NSA/CSS Europe: Report on the experiences of one NSA worker