Snowden Interview: NSA and the Germans 'In Bed Together'

Protesters in Berlin wear Edward Snowden masks. Zoom
DPA

Protesters in Berlin wear Edward Snowden masks.

In an interview, Edward Snowden accuses the National Security Agency of partnering with Germany and other governments in its spying activities. New information also indicates close working ties between the German foreign intelligence agency and the American authority.

In an interview to be published in this week's issue of SPIEGEL, American intelligence agency whistleblower Edward Snowden criticizes the methods and power of the National Security Agency. Snowden said the NSA people are "in bed together with the Germans." He added that the NSA's "Foreign Affairs Directorate" is responsible for partnerships with other countries. The partnerships are organized in a way that authorities in other countries can "insulate their political leaders from the backlash" in the event it becomes public "how grievously they're violating global privacy." Telecommunications companies partner with the NSA and people are "normally selected for targeting" based on their "Facebook or webmail content."

The interview was conducted by American cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras with the help of encrypted e-mails shortly before Snowden became known globally for his whistleblowing.

SPIEGEL reporting also indicates that cooperation between the NSA and Germany's foreign intelligence service, the BND, is more intensive than previously known. NSA, for example, provides "analysis tools" for the BND's signals monitoring of foreign data streams that travel through Germany. Among the BND's focuses are the Middle East route through which data packets from crisis regions travel. In total, SPIEGEL reported that the BND pulls data from five different nodes that are then analyzed at the foreign intelligence service's headquarters in Pullach near Munich. BND head Gerhard Schindler confirmed the partnership during a meeting with members of the German parliament's control committee for intelligence issues.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is responsible for counter-espionage, is currently investigating whether the NSA has gained access to Internet traffic traveling through Germany. According to information provided by Hans-Georg Maassen, the president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, an initial analysis failed to provide clarity on the issue. "So far, we have no information that Internet nodes in Germany have been spied on by the NSA," Maassen told SPIEGEL.

At the same time, a new US Army base being built in Germany that is also to be used by the NSA has been approved by German authorities. Currently, a new Consolidated Intelligence center is being built in Wiesbaden. The bug-proof offices and a high-tech control center are being built for $124 million. As soon as the Wiesbaden facility is completed, a complex currently being used in Darmstadt wil be closed. The facilities are being built exclusively by American citizens who have security clearances. Even the material being used to construct the buildings originates from the United States and is guarded throughout the shipping process to Germany.

SPIEGEL

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1.
vijay banga 07/07/2013
Why was Angela so hurt and peeved over the situation as it would reveal the complicity of all nations and their leaders involvement, is a sad state of affairs. All are naked in this bath and no one can complain but people are stunned and in coming days some strange happenings are foreseen as all this cannot go on without the people under surveillance being taken into confidence and told about the need for it.Now even if people are told about the situation and under the garb some other operation is carried out what is the assurance is the basic question, all lies and pathetic.
2. NSA recruiters went to the University of Wisconsin
juergenuhlemann 07/07/2013
There is a YouTube video "Students Show NO MERCY, Pin NSA Recruiters Against Wall" One answer is interesting "Foreign national interest from an intelligence perspective". Would this mean that the BND could request as a CUSTOMER the NSA to spy for them in Germany or on Germans? The term “Foreign Intelligence” is mentioned a few times. This clearly states that the NSA is not only working for they own government. This means that the foreign intelligence can request for something that they can’t do themselves because it is most likely illegal do be done by themselves.
3. Truth or dare?
riskmanager 07/07/2013
As it becomes apparent that everyone spies on everyone if we can leave aside the morality of whether spying is right or wrong what has become very apparent is that one "side" seems to tell the truth whilst the other tells bare faced lies for its own political advantage. I think getting away from such people was one of the motivations for the Founding Fathers to escape European minds and faux morality.
4.
mangeder 07/07/2013
The people in Germany are betrayed by their government just the same as the people in the U.S. We don't want that kind of perverted pseudo-security, we don't want a surveillance state poking into every corner. Leave us alone control freak politicians!
5. Recall the SWIFT bank spying scandal of 2006
greanknight 07/07/2013
"... I am surprised that no one has linked the latest machinations with the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) debacle back in 2006. ... In summary, a clearing house “data processor” in the US was required to provide “black box” access to USA national security authorities. The banks in the UK, for instance - which are also data controllers - were kept totally in the dark about the scale of this backdoor access. When the scandal broke, the Working Party of Data Protection Commissioners issued a strongly worded criticism, which said that the “data processor” had assumed the mantle of “data controller”. UK banks were deemed to be disclosing personal data to another data controller and breaching the data protection rules, left right and centre. ..." www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/05/gchq_data_protection/
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