Photo Gallery: NSA Documentation of Spying in Germany 07/29/2013
 Most Volume : The codes US-987LA and US-987LB signify so-called "Sigint...

Most Volume: The codes US-987LA and US-987LB signify so-called "Sigint Activity Designators," or SIGADs for short -- they are codes for data collection points or data collection programs. Within the parts of the Snowden archives that SPIEGEL has been able to view, there is no clear classification for these two codes, but there is an interesting detail that calls for further inquiry. According to the Snowden documents, the NSA also contracts out SIGADs for the technical surveillance activities of so-called "third parties." The 987 series, for instance, should be included in the category of "third party SIGADs." The NSA usually designates countries as third parties, as well. Germany belongs to this category, but also neighbors such as France, Austria, Denmark, Belgium and Poland. To find out where the metadata out of Germany that the NSA claims to have access to is originating, one essential question has to be answered: Who or what is behind the codes US-987LA and US-987LB?