Detekteien

Private detective agencies. A Spiegel.de article dated 2008 said this was an unregulated and unsupervised but burgeoning security industry in Germany, sometimes employing former Stasi cooperators. The authors estimated there were ~1500 private detective companies in Germany in 2008 and about a dozen key world players, including the New York-based Kroll and London-based Control Risks. Many of these companies earned game-changing amounts of money in Iraq after the second U.S. invasion. They could be hired via law firms protected by attorney-client privilege, and subcontract jobs to other firms, obscuring cause-and-effect. A new C.E.O. of Control Risks said they were also hiring journalists to spy on other journalists.

A Detektei called Network Deutschland was “involved” in the German rail company Deutsche Bahn’s data privacy scandal when it was caught spying on its employees in 2009, leading to the retirement of C.E.O. Hartmut Mehdorn. Network Deutschland was also involved in the former-monopoly phone company Deutsche Telekom’s so-called “Telekom data scandal,” which is confusing but included T-mobile’s years of archiving communications data of members of its own supervisory boards, such as the head of the German trade union association Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund. T-mobile was especially interested in any phone interactions with journalists. Deutsche Telekom was also accused of using private detectives to spy on journalists in other ways.

The 2013 Snowden revelations might provide some insight into the means private detective companies could have used to access these communications and banking data. Online ads and tech articles seem to be indicating that powerful N.S.A.-type tools are now trickling down into the regular economy, being sold to smaller and smaller entities.

N.B.: How early did the notoriously technophilic and well-funded U.S. National Football League know about some of these capabilities?

An English-language Spiegel.de article dated 2008 speculated about the separate huge data hoards controlled by the national rail (Deutsche Bahn), national airline (Lufthansa), post office (Deutsche Post) and phone company (Deutsche Telekom), all companies found to have made questionable investigations and hired detective agencies. The magazine couldn’t show that they had combined their data in 2008 though; they also only connected up e.g. that Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom hired the same detective agency but Lufthansa and (Telekom?) investigated the same journalist (Tasso Enzweiler from Financial Times Deutschland, which folded in 2012). The Spiegel article wanted to but could not show that the four big corporations also investigated each other, but it reminded us they were well positioned to investigate each other and anyone else in Germany. The Spiegel.de article didn’t want to feed conspiracy theorists but hoped the German government wasn’t asking these companies for access to their sensitive customer data. All four used to be state-owned and the German government still held large stakes in Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom.

(Day tect EYE en.)

Krankenpfleger-, Dolmetscher- und Übersetzerpreise

Prices of nurses, interpreters and translators.

A year or two after the second U.S. invasion of Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld said the occupation was having trouble finding enough nurses and translators and he was thinking about reinstating the draft but just for people in those professions. His proposal came as a bit of a shock, but the problem was no surprise. Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni for example had criticized in the run-up to Iraq II that Mr. Rumsfeld and his people had thrown out years of resource planning the Pentagon had researched for invasions into that (and any) corner of the world.

Consequences: No drafts for that one. Maybe the next one. General Zinni appeared to be punished for speaking out and forced to retire. He wrote books, became a decent television pundit and joined the private sector, at companies like Veritas Capital and B.A.E. Systems. Initially, colleagues and clients said translators of languages such as Arabic, Pashto and Urdu had started making six-figure annual salaries working for the federal government, but then word and hourly rates or annual salaries being mentioned to me went back down again as the jobs got sourced through several hops of companies, each taking their cut.

(CRONK en fleggah,   DOLE metchah   oont   ÜÜÜ bə ZETS ah prize ah.)

Heliumpreis

Price of helium. What caused the U.S.A.’s strange helium shortage after the second Iraq invasion?

(HAY lee oom PRIZE.)

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