Spähspirale

A “spying spiral,” falling into an espionage arms race. Süddeutsche Zeitung echoed Chancellor Merkel when they wrote, on 10 Jul 2014,

Despite everything: Permanently spying on each other is wasteful.

“Intelligence agencies are always insatiable. They take as much money, personnel and technology as they can get. Whether this really makes the world a safer place is hard to prove. Of course there are threats, such as international terrorism, against which Germany must effectively defend itself. Including by working with the U.S.A. The energy spent on permanently spying on each other in addition to all that is wasted energy.”

On 16 Jul 2014, Chancellor Merkel’s spokesperson said it again:

“It seems to the Chancellor, and surely to the entire federal government as well, that it’s not sensible for everyone to be spying on everyone, as if we were still in the Cold War. Especially not among friends and allies.”

(SHPAY shpee RAH lah.)

Als Quellen benutzt

Used as sources.

On Sunday, 13 Jul 2014, it was revealed that the C.I.A. had used more than a dozen German government employees in four ministries “as sources.” Also that there had been hacking attacks on the phones on members of the Bundestag’s N.S.A. investigation committee.

Although the Bundestag is in its summer recess, its N.S.A. investigation committee met on 15 Jul 2014. The heads of all three German intelligence agencies attended. Most of the meeting was secret.

The heads of the intelligence agencies praised their organizations for finding all these U.S. spies in the German government. The opposition said the spies were found accidentally and wondered how many more spies haven’t been found yet.

(Awls   KVELL en   ben OOTS t.)

Maulwurf

Mole.

It was announced on July 4 that a U.S. spy was caught in the German foreign intelligence service (BND).

The federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe are investigating a 31-year-old BND employee for selling secret documents to an American contact man. The BND employee also offered his services to the Russians. It’s still not clear whether the person he thought was his American contact man was actually American and from a U.S. intelligence agency.

Update on 05 Jul 2014: Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Verfassungsschutz, is responsible for protecting the country from foreign spies. Apparently when Verfassungsschutz started investigating this mole they asked the U.S. for help.

Update on 09 Jul 2014: Military Intelligence (MAD) may have found a second U.S. spy inside the Defense Ministry.

(M OW! L voorf.)

Überwachungstour

Surveillance tour of Berlin.

A Danish artist and media conference organizer has created a Snowden-inspired bus tour in Berlin, taking visitors to historic sites of surveillance.

High points of the “Magical Secrecy Tour” include:
A guided tour of the Stasi museum and archive, a look at the outside of the giant new headquarters of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND), Berlin’s Google office, the bridge where they used to exchange spies, the giant white golf ball listening stations atop the Teufelsberg (great views!) and some surprises.

(Ü bah VOCHH oongz TOO ah.)

Söldnerfirmen

Mercenary companies. Private military contractors in Europe include:

United Kingdom:

G4S, formerly Group 4 Securicor, is based in London and is one of the world’s largest employers, employing ~620,000 worldwide. Created in 2004 when the U.K.’s Securicor merged with the British-Danish Group 4 Falck.

G4S acquired a large U.K.-U.S. competitor and Iraq & Afghanistan contractor, Armorgroup, in 2008 (cf. Defence Systems Ltd below).

Other interesting G4S acquisitions:

Wackenhut (U.S.A., 2002), Progard Securitas (Serbia, 2008), ArmorGroup (see Defence Systems Limited below; U.S.A./U.K., 2008), Touchcom which “installs and maintains web-based electronic security systems and facility management software” (U.S.A., 2008) and GLS, “a provider of outsourced justice services,” i.e. a prisons contractor (U.K., 2008). English Wikipedia listed, among the 2009 acquisitions, “Secura Monde International Limited and Shiremoor International Engineering Limited, together, the UK’s leading specialist banknote and high security technical and commercial advisory companies; All Star International for $60M, one of the premier facilities management and base operations support companies providing services to the US Government; Adesta, US-based provider of integrated security systems and communication systems; and Hill & Associates Consultants Limited, Asia’s leading provider of specialist risk-mitigation consulting services.” In 2010 they bought a large South African security firm. In 2011, they bought an electronic monitoring device manufacturer and what looks like a U.K. alarm system company.

Clients include Israel.

Complaints were made about Wackenhut’s guarding of U.S. nuclear facilities and military bases due to employee behavior that didn’t meet requirements. In 2013 G4S said they would be divesting themselves of their U.S. government services contractors.

Defence Systems Limited, an early private military contractor (est. 1981) that the founder of Hart Group managed before he left and founded Hart in 1999. DSL was run by Hart’s Richard Bethell, now Lord Westbury, and Sir Alistair Morrison. The company was bought in 1997 by a Florida manufacturer of body armor, riot-control equipment and armored vehicles, merged into a company headquartered in Wyoming, then became ArmorGroup, which was bought by the British giant G4S in 2008, bringing in about 9000 employees. It appears they also merged with an offshoot of the Soviet K.G.B., called Alpha-A (est. 1991), in 1997—the K.G.B.’s Alpha group is said to have helped with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and suppressing protests in Lithuania. Before G4S acquired them, DSL’s clients included oil companies, mining companies, government embassies, international organizations hiring them for post-conflict humanitarian missions and groups around the world hiring them for counterinsurgency training. ArmorGroup still existed after G4S’s 2008 buyout and removal from the London Stock Exchange, because in 2009 they lost the contract to supply the security for the U.S. embassy in Kabul due to employee behavior that didn’t meet requirements.

Hart Group, established in 1999 by former British military officer Richard Bethell, now Lord Westbury, the group’s headquarters are in Bermuda. A website said their website once said, “Hart specialises in mitigating security risk globally, across land, sea and air.” That is essentially what their website still says today, only bigger.

The originally-British Hart Group’s companies include: CTG Global, Erinys International, Hart, Longport Aviation, Symbion Power and Hart Maritime Hubs:

CTG Global: part of Hart Group, which says CTG does “human resource management and consultancy services.” Their website says they specialize in post-conflict humanitarian work.

Erinys International, a British private security company headquartered in the Virgin Islands. Founded in 2001 by a former British military officer, it grew big in 2004 fulfilling contracts in Iraq. A subsidiary of Hart Group, which says Erinys does “risk mitigation across Africa primarily in the Oil and Gas sector.”

Longport Security‘s website says, “Prevent acts of unlawful inteference with Civil Aviation.” This is another subsidiary of Hart Group.

Symbion Power is a U.S. engineering firm that has been awarded massive contracts for rebuilding Iraq’s electricity infrastructure. A member of Hart Group.

Aegis, a British firm hired by the U.S. to oversee U.S. contractors in Iraq. Aegis employees were allegedly the ones shooting at Iraqi civilians in video that surfaced in 2005.

Rubicon International, a British firm that e.g. recruited for Erinys and merged with Aegis in 2005.

AKE Group, a U.K. firm (est. 1991) with offices around the world that provides security and intelligence services.

Babylon Gates Ltd provides patrol and detection dogs, de-mining and security services.

Control Risks Group, a British firm that provided guard services in Iraq. Apparently originally founded in 1974 to provide risk analysis to Lloyd’s of London? Now a major private military contractor.

Edinburgh International, based in London and Dubai, provides “risk management and security.”

FSI Worldwide might be a British company that provides military services. Their website says they got their start in 2006 providing Gurkha contracting and they have a British charity.

Genric Security, a British firm that provided security services in Iraq in partnership with the Kuwait-based Arab Orient Group.

Global Risk, a British firm that provided security in Iraq.

Henderson Risk, a British firm that worked in Iraq. Today their website says they provide “Business Intelligence, Asset Protection and Crisis Management services.”

Infinite Security Solutions, a company registered in Anguilla, the Virgin Islands, Ghana, Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.K. that provides risk management services on land and sea. Affiliated with London insurance companies.

International Defence Systems UK Ltd, a company that provides air support parts and services.

Risk Advisory Group, a British umbrella group for private military contractors.

Janusian, a risk management subsidiary of the British Risk Advisory Group.

New Century consulting, founded by a Belfast-born top British officer in Iraq. Provides police and military services and training.

Olive Group is a for-hire security services company headquartered in Dubai who are apparently helping write some of the U.K.’s standards and codes of conduct for private military companies. During the second Iraq war they had an office in Mayfair, London, U.K.

Restrata was an Olive Group company guarding a large housing development construction project outside Baghdad.

Pilgrims Group, a British firm that provides security and intelligence support and training, as well as security, surveillance and communications equipment.

Saladin Security, Ltd, previously known as KMS, Ltd, is a London-based company established in 1975 that provides security services, equipment and training. And kidnap & extortion mitigation.

Security Support Solutions, 3S, a London company founded in 2003. Bloomberg Businessweek’s profile said 3S “provides armoured vehicles; helicopter solutions; aviation security; maritime security; and security consulting, including risk assessment, threat analysis, and vulnerability assessment. It serves governments, NGO’s, private security companies, news agencies, and the military sector.”

Malta:

Tangiers Group, an organization based in Malta and affiliated with Lloyd’s of London that has the following subsidiaries:

Tangiers International, “the high touch, frontline medical and emergency services division of the group.”

Tangiers Global, “the insurance underwriting and brokerage arm of the organisation.”

The Organisation for Better Security or OBS, “a membership community for Tangiers’ clients that provides actionable intelligence about conditions in conflict zones.”

Ireland:

Reconnaissance Group, based in Dublin. Their website says they enable business to be done in hostile environments, providing services under the categories of “Reconnaissance Market Entry, Security & Risk Management, Executive Protection, Project Support, Crisis Management, Intelligence & Investigations, TSCM (de-bugging), Cultural Awareness Training.”

Reconnaissance Trace Management Security Services & Key Holding, a subsidiary of Reconnaissance Group, says their name stands for Tracking, Reconnaissance Intelligence Management Solutions (RIMS), Alarms, CCTV and Electronic Surveillance Counter Measures.

Sweden:

Securitas AB, in Sweden. Owns the Pinkerton detective agency now. In 2012, they had about 300,000 employees around the world.

The company that became Group 4 was formed as a division of Securitas AB in 1968. In 1981 it was it was separated from Securitas AB when the owner’s sons divided the company’s Swedish and international operations after buying out their father. The international entity became known as Group 4 because it combined four British security companies. They merged with the Danish Falck in 2000 to form Group 4 Falck, which merged with the British Securicor in 2004 to form the world’s biggest security firm by revenue and the world’s second or third-largest employer by employees, G4S.

 The Securitas founder’s sons bought the company from him in 1976 and reorganized it in 1981. The Securitas remainder was sold in 1983. The company’s enormous expansion began in 1989.

Security firms acquired by Securitas include, in addition to the famous Pinkertons,

Protectas SA, a Swiss security company.

Update on 08 Jul 2014: Munich police searched 13 Securitas “objects,” including offices and a suspect’s villa, because the company is suspected of subcontracting work in exchange for bribes. The company informed police themselves after receiving a tip. Securitas’s Munich branch has about 1400 employees and is subordinated to a holding company in Düsseldorf.

Denmark:

Falck, which merged into Securitas AB and then G4S, was a Danish security company.

France:

Secopex, based in Carcassone and founded in 2003, with a structure “based on the large Anglo-American companies that dominate this sector,” according to a 2011 newspaper article written because one of their top officers was killed in Benghazi.

Germany:

Ecolog International provides services to the German Bundeswehr and clients from other N.A.T.O. countries and was able to grow as a company via contracts in the post-9/11 interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. German media said Ecolog has created a complicated Geflecht of subsidiaries around the world that are legally independent entities, making the enterprise less transparent. Employees of the company have been investigated in several countries for money laundering and drug smuggling.

Interesting story in the Frankfurter Rundschau: During the Bundeswehr’s deployment in Afghanistan, they had problems in 2006 with camouflage uniforms coming back from Ecolog’s laundry services slightly pink in color, which could make the soldiers more visible on night patrols, “with appropriate viewing devices,” F.R. said. It was attributed to using the wrong soap, and contracts were changed twice to prescribe which soap should be used. But it sounds like someone just threw in a red sock at the laundry.

Spain:

Ge2b Seguridad Internacional, a Spanish company that provides security-related manpower and services to governments and industry.

(ZILLED nah FEAH men.)

Kanzleramtschef, ChefBK, Kanzleramtsminister

“Chief of the chancellory,” Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, whose duties include coordinating and controlling/monitoring Germany’s secret services as the boss of the federal government’s intelligence agencies officer [of the person with the job title Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für die Nachrichtendienste].

Update on 25 Jul 2013: After Bundeskanzleramtschef Ronald Pofalla testified secretly before the Parlamentarisches Kontrollgremium, the parliamentary committee that is pro forma in charge of Germany’s intelligence services, he made a statement to the press saying absolutely everything done so far by Germany’s spy agencies had been legit and in compliance with German law. Also that German data protection law had not been reinterpreted. Supervisory committee members from opposition parties (parties that were in the ruling coalition when the information exchange began between German and U.S. intelligence agencies, as far as we know so far) gave counterstatements to the press indicating they were not satisfied with Mr. Pofalla’s responses to their catalog of questions about the U.S.A.’s Prism program.

Amusingly, artists at one news show edited Mr. Pofalla’s sound bite into their report to begin just he was saying “This statement is clearly false…”

(KANT’s lah omts chef,   CHEF bay kah,   KANT’s lah omts minn iss tah.)

Parlamentarisches Kontrollgremium, PKG

“Parliamentary supervisory committee” whose eleven Bundestag members are said to supervise Germany’s intelligence agencies Bundesnachrichtendienst, Militärischer Abschirmdienst and federal Verfassungsschutz. The P.K.G. is a German parliamentary committee presumably similar to e.g. the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. Its meetings are secret, held in a supposedly unsnoopable room, and its members cannot discuss what they learn, even with other Bundestag members.

This committee is the nominal control of Germany’s intelligence agencies. Spiegel.de wrote there can be disagreement between the eleven committee members and the intelligence agencies about what is worth reporting to the committee about the activities of the agencies’ tens of thousands of employees, quoting P.K.G. member the excellent Christian Ströbele (Green party) as saying in frustration “How are we supposed to control the secret services when we get no information?”

Update on 10 Jul 2014: Clemens Binninger (C.D.U.), a former policeman, is apparently chairing the PKG.

(Pah lah men TAH rish ess   con TROLL gray me oom,   pay kah gay.)

Festnahmeersuchen

Arrest request.

Edward Snowden cannot apply for German asylum before entering German territory. Members of the government could then issue him an Aufenthaltserlaubnis but it might not prevent his deportation to the U.S.A., because that country prudently filed a Festnahmeersuchen [“(intergovernmental) arrest request”] with Germany last summer. There are deportation agreements [Auslieferungsabkommen] between the E.U., Germany and the U.S.; to prevent deportation under those agreements an “obstacle reason” or estoppel [Hinderungsgrund] must be cited, “for example, that Germany considers the deed he is accused of to be a political crime,” said Frank Bräutigam, ARD law reporter, who added that the decision or “last word” lies with the Justice Ministry, of course in coordination with the entire cabinet. The Justice Ministry would have to make a clear statement that “Germany will not deport him.” Heribert Prantl wrote in Süddeutsche.de that the Interior Ministry is responsible for issuing Mr. Snowden’s Aufenthaltserlaubnis, but the courts and Justice Ministry are responsible for the more important question of deportation.

Bundestag member Petra Pau (Leftists; she appeared to do a great job in the parliamentary committee investigating the investigations of the neonazi serial killers) said on Nov. 1 that she could not recommend that Mr. Snowden travel to Germany under current circumstances, “because at the moment I see no one who can guarantee his safety.” Süddeutsche.de’s Heribert Prantl reminded his readers of the story of reformer Jan Hus in 1414 C.E., who received a letter of safe conduct, “sicheres Geleit,” from the Holy Roman Emperor yet was burned at the stake as a heretic.

ARD tagesschau.de showed residency-relevant paragraphs from what appeared to be a 2008 version of a residency law [Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG]:

“565. Gesetz über den Aufenthalt, die Erwerbstätigkeit und die Integration von Ausländern im Bundesgebiet (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG). In der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 25 Feb 2008 (BGBl. I S. 162). […]” 565. Law on residency, employment and integration of foreigners in Federal German territory (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG). In the version promulgated 25 Feb 2008 (Federal Gazette I p. 162). […]
“Abschnitt 5. Auftenthalt aus völkerrechtlichen, humanitären oder politischen Gründen. Section 5. Residence due to reasons of international law [Völkerrecht, “peoples law”], humanitarian reasons or political reasons.
“§22 Aufnahme aus dem Ausland. (1) Einem Ausländer kann für die Aufnahme aus dem Ausland aus völkerrechtlichen oder dringenden humanitären Gründen eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis erteilt werden. (2) Eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis ist zu erteilen, wenn das Bundesministerium des Innern oder die von ihm bestimmte Stelle zur Wahrung politischer Interessen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland die Aufnahme erklärt hat. (3) Im Falle des Satzes 2 berechtigt die Aufenthaltserlaubnis zur Ausübung einer Erwerbstätigkeit.” §22 Admittance or acceptance from outside Germany. (1) An Aufenthaltserlaubnis can be issued to a foreigner for acceptance into Germany from abroad for international law reasons or urgent humanitarian reasons. (2) An Aufenthaltserlaubnis is to be issued when the Interior Ministry or the office they nominate has declared acceptance to protect political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany [emphasis of ARD tagesschau.de and ZDF heute journal]. (3) In the case of (2), the Aufenthaltserlaubnis shall include a work permit.

Another possibly fruitful area or “construction site” ARD tagesschau.de mentioned is the possibility that the federal prosecutor [Bundesanwalt] in Karlsruhe might use the Criminal Code [Strafgesetzbuch] to investigate certain individuals for spying on Germany.

“§99. Geheimdienstliche Agententätigkeit. §99. Secret service agent activity.
“(1) Wer (1) Whosoever
“1. für den Geheimdienst einer fremden Macht eine geheimdienstliche Tätigkeit gegen die Bundesrepublik Deutschland ausübt, die auf die Mitteilung oder Lieferung von Tatsachen, Gegenständen oder Erkenntnissen gerichtet ist, oder 1. performs a secret service activity against the Federal Republic of Germany for the intelligence service of a foreign power, said activity being directed toward the communication or delivery of facts, objects or knowledge, or
“2. gegenüber dem Geheimdienst einer fremden Macht oder einem seiner Mittelsmänner sich zu einer solchen Tätigkeit bereit erklärt, 2. declares himself or herself willing to perform such an activity to the intelligence service of a foreign power or one of their middlemen
“wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu fünf Jahren oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft, wenn die Tat nicht in § 94 oder § 96 Abs. 1, in § 97a oder in § 97b in Verbindung mit § 94 oder § 96 Abs. 1 mit Strafe bedroht ist. will be punished with imprisonment [Freiheitsstrafe, “freedom punishment”] of up to five years or with a fine if the action is not punishable in accordance with §94 or §96 section 1, in accordance with §97a or in accordance with §97b in conjunction with §94 or §96 section 1.
“(2) In besonders schweren Fällen ist die Strafe Freiheitsstrafe von einem Jahr bis zu zehn Jahren. Ein besonders schwerer Fall liegt in der Regel vor, wenn der Täter Tatsachen, Gegenstände oder Erkenntnisse, die von einer amtlichen Stelle oder auf deren Veranlassung geheimgehalten werden, mitteilt oder liefert und wenn er […]” (2) In especially severe cases, the punishment shall be imprisonment from one year to up to ten years. An especially severe case is usually a case where the offender communicated or delivered facts, objects or knowledge kept secret by an official office or upon their order, or when the offender […]

und so weiter und so fort.

Tagesschau.de reported, “The federal prosecutor in Karlsruhe recently reconfirmed to ARD that relevant German authorities had been requested to send in their knowledge/ideas/facts [Erkenntnisse] regarding the bugging of the chancellor. No official preliminary investigative proceedings have been opened yet. Only after that happened would it be possible for Mr. Snowden to testify as a witness in criminal proceedings.”

(FEST nom eh eah ZOO chh en.)

Null Null Sieben

The 007 license plate of the car that dropped off Chancellor Merkel at the E.U. summit on 24 Oct 2013 in Brussels, where the hot unofficial topic was outrage at revelations about U.S. spying on the German chancellor’s cell phone and in previously-unknown but huge volumes in France. Possibly also Italy, including the Vatican. And now Spain.

“Spying on your friends is not okay.” —Angela Merkel (C.D.U.)

“That would represent an entirely new quality, and cast a new light on all statements made by the N.S.A. in the past few months.” —Ronald Pofalla (C.D.U.), who as Kanzleramtschef, the chancellor’s chief of staff, is responsible for coordinating and monitoring Germany’s intelligence agencies. He had declared the scandal over last summer in response to assurances from the U.S.A.

“We will not allow ourselves to be treated like that by the Americans. The trust has been harmed. I think a few things have to happen now before this trust can be restored.” —Hans-Peter Friedrich (C.S.U.), interior minister

“The Americans are not fully aware of the situation. And then you’re told things like, ‘but everyone spies on everybody.’ And that’s where you have to say loudly and clearly: that is not okay. Friends are not allowed to eavesdrop on friends. And how would people react in America—this is what we’re saying on our visit here, how we’re describing it—if the Bundesnachrichtendienst were to spy on the U.S. president.” —Elmar Brok (C.D.U.), chair of the European Parliament committee for Foreign Affairs, currently visiting Washington D.C. to complain

“The chancellor’s cell phone is important, but the private and business communications of normal burghers is just as important. We will stand up for the protection of the basic rights of German citizens[…]” —Thomas Oppermann (S.P.D.), chair of the Bundestag’s Parlamentarisches Kontrollgremium intelligence committee that is tasked with but not always successful at monitoring and controlling Germany’s intelligence agencies. Mr. Oppermann may be hoping to become the new Justice Minister, replacing Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (F.D.P.).

“What sort of terrorists are they trying to find in the chancellor’s cell phone? This is a really absurd indication that the reasons they’ve told us so far absolutely cannot be true.” —Christian Ströbele (Green Party), member of the Parlamentarisches Kontrollgremium intelligence committee

“It’s good that the clarification of the facts appears to be starting, now, and that at least a healthy distrust vis-à-vis the American intelligence services also appears to be arising, now.”  —Steffen Bockhahn (Leftists), member of the Parlamentarisches Kontrollgremium

“The German government now mistrusts all claims and assurances made by the U.S. government in the entire N.S.A. affair. Now that we know they bugged the chancellor’s cell phone, the U.S. government can no longer sustain its claim from last summer that it did not injure Germany’s interests. It did, and representatives of all parties agree on this, utterly deceive Germany.” —Ulrich Deppendorf, ARD studio head and news editor-in-chief

“I think we should be honest that we have the capacity to obtain information that we didn’t have before. What we need now is the appropriate legislation that ensures we are not seeking or not using the capacity that we have.” —Fredrik Reinfeldt (centrist Moderate Party), Prime Minister of Sweden. (Approximate quote; his original English was drowned out by the German translation.)

“So we have to think about what we need. What data protection agreements do we need, what transparency do we need. We stand between the United States of America and Europe, before shared challenges […]” —Angela Merkel (C.D.U.)

“When I walk into a negotiation and must fear that the other side, a friendly democracy, already knows from espionage what I want to say in that negotiation, that’s no longer eye-to-eye.” —Martin Schulz (S.P.D.), president of the European Parliament

007, might be funny if the matter weren’t so serious. […] But this isn’t just about the chancellor’s cell phone. The much bigger concern is industrial espionage, which could cost European companies billions.” –ARD correspondent Rolf-Dieter Krause

In a wonderful interview given in German on the evening of Oct. 24, E.U. commissioner Viviane Reding said she’d heard that England’s government did not want European data protection but Poland, Italy and France had joined together to fight for it. Also: “Both of us, both the Americans and the Europeans, need this Transatlantic Trade Agreement. But to be able to negotiate an agreement, you need trust. I think this trust is no longer quite as present. That’s why the first thing that must be done is to restore that trust. And then, so that Europe can speak with a single voice, for that you need strong data protection that is Europe-wide. And that has to be the basis from which we can then move into negotiations with the Americans.”

“The whole time, Frau Merkel acted as if the affair was unimportant, as if it wouldn’t impact anyone in a big way. But then when it affects her, she gets upset? When all German burghers were affected, when it was about protecting burghers’ basic rights, she didn’t do anything then.” —Anton Hofreiter (new Green party co-chair)

“It is strange: umpteen million communications from Germans alone are recorded every month by British and U.S. intelligence agencies. With these extraordinary claims from the documents supplied by the ex-N.S.A. man Edward Snowden the snooping story exploded into public view last summer, but left the German government, and one must say most Germans as well, rather strangely unmoved. Then last night a single cell phone was added to the mix—OK, it was the chancellor’s—and suddenly all hell broke loose.” —Claus Kleber, moderator at ZDF heute journal

The new Bundestag scheduled an extraordinary meeting or special session [Sondersitzung] to discuss the N.S.A. spying affair in mid-November. All political parties also agree a parliamentary inquiry [Untersuchungsausschuss] is “unavoidable.” Many parties would like to invite Edward Snowden to testify before the committee, after which he can apply for asylum in Germany.

Update on 28 Oct 2013: On Thursday, Brazil and Germany will introduce a draft United Nations resolution against N.S.A. spying. FAZ.net reported that a large majority was predicted to approve it, and that though United Nations General Assembly resolutions tend to be nonbinding, unlike Security Council resolutions, the fact that Brazil and Germany are behind this and that so many of the 193 member states support it give it extra significance. Brazilian reporter Sonia Bridi from TV Globo said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s government wants the world to make international regulations for internet access and international telecommunications such that no individual state can ever again have access to the world’s key communications hubs or nodes.

Update on 26 Nov 2013: The United Nations Human Rights Committee approved Germany and Brazil’s U.N. resolution against data spying. It will be sent on to the U.N. General Assembly, where the nonbinding resolution is considered certain to pass in December 2013.

“Today, for the first time, a resolution in the United Nations expressly specified that human rights have to be protected online just as much as they must be protected offline.” –Peter Wittig, permanent representative to the U.N. for Germany since 2009

(Newel   newel   ZEEB en.)

Gemeinsames Terrorabwehrzentrum, G.T.A.Z.

“Joint Terrorism Defense Center.” Apparently the German police and secret services have been working together at this institution since its founding in 2004 under poor Otto Schily. Many Germans are terrified by the idea of police and spies working together.

If the reasonable, brave, intelligent, energetic and left-leaning defense attorney Otto Schily, cofounder of the German Green party in 1980, could as interior minister in an S.P.D. + Green party coalition federal government help set up the “antiterrorism” cooperations that Otto Schily apparently did, then institutions in governments around the world could use a good hard review by politicians who don’t want to see themselves forced into similar stances in the very near future.

A recent review of Germany’s antiterror laws by the interior ministry and the justice ministry, examining in particular who has what authorities and who checks their work, has concluded and published its nonbinding report. Interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (C.S.U.) was satisfied with the current laws but justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Scharrenberger (F.D.P.) is not: she is calling for a new law providing uniform and limiting rules for antiterror centers where police and intelligence services exchange information.

“When we’re talking about intervention authorizations that go deep, precisely the ones that penetrate into the privacy and personality spheres of individual people, then there have to be definitive rule-of-law procedures, mandatory notifications, inspection and controls, transparency.”

(Geh MINE zom ess   TARE or OB vare tsent room.)

Wirtschaftsspionage

“Economic espionage,” industrial espionage. June 2013 reports that Germany was the N.S.A.’s most-spied-on country in the E.U. created German misgivings that financial advantages might be being sought.

The Guardian.co.uk’s “heat map” for the NSA’s “Boundless Informant” surveillance system indicated only countries like Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and India were being monitored more than Germany.

This fear was not alleviated by Süddeutsche Zeitung and Norddeutsche Rundfunk reporting on 02 Aug 2013 describing Snowden-trove British General Communications Headquarters docs from 2009. It listed U.K. telecoms that “assisted” G.C.H.Q. (with each company’s code name): Verizon Business (“Dacron”), British Telecommunications (“Remedy”), Vodafone Cable (“Gerontic”), Global Crossing (“Pinnage”), Level 3 (“Little”), Viatel (“Vitreous”) and Interoute (“Streetcar”); some of these telecom companies even developed software to help spy on their customers and were paid for that by G.C.H.Q. “For the good of the British economy” was a reason given in a G.C.H.Q. PowerPoint presentation for why these telecoms were selling their customers’ communications.

Update on 19 Jan 2014: ZDF heute journal reported the listening post atop the U.S. embassy in Berlin was indeed used for economic espionage: they were interested in the Chancellor’s opinions about the euro currency, for example.

In 2003, the company Ferrostaal, headquartered in Essen, was competing with a U.S. company for a contract to deliver radio monitoring equipment to Nigeria. The U.S. embassy in Berlin supplied Ferrostaal’s U.S. competitor with data from Ferrostaal’s secret bid, according to an embassy cable found in the Wikileaks trove. Details ZDF showed in a copy of the cable included the German company’s offered price (24 million euros) and financing (“5.1 to 7.0 percent for possibly 5 years”). The U.S. company won the contract.

(VEE at shofts ess pee own OJ.)

Bettgeflüster

“Bed whispers,” German title of the old movie “Pillow Talk” starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Ezra Klein’s blog on the Washington Post recently posted about different types of public and private employees who have been caught or might be caught inappropriately making use of the vast phone and internet databases being collected and shared by e.g. the N.S.A.; one of the the least problematic bad uses so far has been to laugh about people’s private pillow talk.

Policemen: Police officers around the U.S.A. were caught using the F.B.I.’s huge N.C.I.C. database to snoop on each other, their significant others or, in one case, women a policeman wanted to cook and eat.

Military: The N.S.A. is part of the military. Fwiw, they said only a small number of people can search their phone records database (Edward Snowden?). A former N.S.A. employee told ABC in 2008 that N.S.A. employees used to listen to overseas soldiers’ phone sex.

Spies: There are fears inside and outside the U.S.A. that intelligence agencies around the world are spying on each other’s domestic populations as a favor to help local agencies circumvent laws protecting their citizens against domestic surveillance by their own governments. As a favor then your country’s communications data would be bulk-hoovered by at least one other country’s intelligence agencies and stored there before being shared with your country’s intelligence agencies…

Mercenaries: If 70% of the U.S.’s intelligence budget has been spent on private contractors in recent years, including on Edward Snowden’s former employer, then tens of thousands of guys must have worked these jobs by now with access to databases and powerful tools.

Telecommunications companies: Ars Technica posted that U.S. intelligence agencies partner with a U.S. telecom company to (somehow) collect phone and internet data from local telecom companies in foreign countries. Providing historical perspective, WaPo wrote that when giant fiber optics network operator Global Crossing went bankrupt in 2002 and was being bid on by firms from Hong Kong and Singapore, the U.S.A.’s F.C.C. held up approval of the deal until systems for U.S. government access to those networks had been agreed to. That model, worked out by reps from Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments, has now been used by the F.C.C.’s “Team Telecom” for other telecom companies too. Phone companies, phone companies that provide internet connections, cable television companies that provide internet connections and companies that run, maintain or manage copper, fiber optic, satellite and other networks: all have employees and consultants that might also be able to access such data.

Software and content providers: “nine major” U.S. companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and AOL have been sharing customer communication data with U.S. intelligence agencies; their employees and consultants might also be able to access these data.

News agencies and newspapers: Rupert Murdoch’s phone-hacking scandal in London indicates at least U.K. journalists have succeeded in paying police to acquire the kind of private information stored in these big databases. Such news companies’ employees and consultants, and their subsidiaries’ and parent corporations’ employees and consultants, and anyone capable of tapping journalists’ insecure computers and phones, might access all journalists’ data including those data obtained from police.

(BETT geh FLÜÜ stah.)

Auge in Auge in Auge in Auge in Auge

“Eye to eye to eye to eye to eye,” the Five Eyes alliance of data-sharing intelligence agencies from the countries of UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

(OW! geh   in   OW! geh   in   OW! geh   in   OW! geh   in   OW! geh)

Mietspion

“Rent-a-spy” cybermercenaries, outsourced espionage.

Der Spiegel reported that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden worked for a billion-dollar private company, like a “digital Blackwater,” called Booz Allen Hamilton. With $5.8 billion revenue in 2012? 70% of BAH’s stock is held today by Carlyle Group? Carlyle Group’s website said it has $176 billion “in assets under management” in 2013. A press release on Booz Allen’s website said Carlyle Group had $82 billion “of assets under management” in 2008, when they acquired Booz Allen.

With clients and branch offices around the world, what’s to stop a company that invents, obtains and markets cyberwarfare “solutions” from accelerating or even creating a cyberwarfare arms race by hard-selling hardware and software and hawkish advice to several competing countries at once?

Booz Allen’s locations include: USA, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

Booz Allen’s alumni include:

  • James Clapper, current Director of US National Intelligence
  • J. Michael McConnell, NSA Director (1992–1996) and Director of US National Intelligence (2007–2009)
  • R. James Woolsey, CIA Director (1993–1995)

(METE shpee own.)

Der Mann ohne Gesicht

“The man without a face,” East German spy chief Generaloberst Markus Wolf. Whose son Franz now runs a complex web (a Geflecht or “weaving,” meshwork) of offshore companies supposedly from his registered residence in Gibraltar. The SZ calls his network an empire, stretching from the Caribbean to Russia. Companies in the network are involved in dozens of industries, including surprisingly water utilities (Wasserversorger, water suppliers). Speaking of water, the chains of companies also once helped hide ownership of the oil tanker Prestige after it sank off the coast of Spain in 2002 and its oil spilled onto Spanish beaches. The SZ said the Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote that ownership was eventually traced to a Franz Wolf company which quickly disappeared.

(Dare   MONN   oh neh   geh ZICHH t.)

Ein Unding

“An unthing!” An absurdity, preposterous. What Health Minister Daniel Bahr (FDP) called the fact that an IT service provider in the Ministry of Health was secretly selling the ministry’s data to a pharma lobbyist for two years. The FDP is probably Germany’s most business-friendly major political party.

(Eye n   OON ding.)

Bundeskriminalamt, BKA

Federal-level German police. Like the Verfassungsschutz, the German police are managed in state and federal offices with some degree of mutual autonomy.

Thirteen suspects are under investigation by Germany’s Attorney General (Generalbundesanwalt) in the matter of the neonazi terror cell that murdered people of immigration backgrounds for more than 13 years without getting caught. The Berlin state police (Berlin Landeskriminalamt) are now in trouble after the investigating parliamentary committee discovered, last week, that one of these suspects, who supplied explosives to the neonazi terrorists, was a paid informant to the Berlin police. From 2001 to 2011. Berlin state interior minister Frank Henkel (CDU) found out about this in Feb. 2012 and informed Germany’s Attorney General about it in March 2012. But, says this Spiegel-Online article, the investigating committee in Berlin only found out about it last Thursday morning (13 Sept. 2012), and was informed not by the state of Berlin but by Germany’s Attorney General.

“Hardliner” law-and-order Berlin state senator, and Berlin interior minister in charge of the Berlin police, Frank Henkel (CDU) is now being asked by the SPD party to finally provide all relevant files or resign from government.

The Berlin police received at least five tips from the TNT-delivering V-man between 2001 and 2005 reporting hearsay about the location of the underground cell, but they didn’t forward the information to Thuringian Verfassungsschutz, which had been actively looking for the bank-robbing neonazi serial killers since 1998. Federal Verfassungsschutz even routinely investigated this informant for a security clearance once when he applied for a “sensitive job,” and gave him the clearance because the Berlin police hadn’t passed on the fact that he was their connected neonazi. Thuringian Verfassungsschutz apparently didn’t pass on much about him either. He won’t be charged for supplying explosives to the right-wing terror cell, due to the statute of limitations.

(BOON dess CREAM een oll omt.)

Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND

“Federal news service,” the German foreign intelligence agency. Wikipedia said maybe 6500 employees, with maybe 100 domestic offices (of which ~70 have been captured by Bavaria, i.e. Merkel’s Texan sister party the CSU) and perhaps 100 offices abroad. In 2011 the domestic German offices were all supposed to move to new premises in Berlin, but the CSU managed to wrangle some remaining presence in Bavaria.

The predecessor “Gehlen organization,” formed in 1945 in a hurry by the Allies under Wehrmacht spymaster Reinhard Gehlen, became the BND in 1956 but no law was created regulating it until 1990.

There has been an interesting tango between the BND and renowned historians for the past few years, in which historians with good reputations have been invited to view the BND’s records and write up its history but were then ultimately blocked from doing so.

(BOON dess NOCK rick ten DEENST.)

Ägide

Aegis.

The Erfurt committee investigating the cell of neonazi serial murderers who only got caught posthumously (after they decided to commit suicide while setting their apartment on fire) has invited Helmut Roewer back to answer difficult questions about how Thuringian Verfassungsschutz paid ultimately-unhelpful neonazi informants 1.5 million euros in cash under Roewer’s aegis. 1.5 million is a lot to be unaccounted for or misspent in German government. Roewer was in charge of the state Thuringian Verfassungsschutz office from 1994 to 2000.

Roewer also appears to have personally made unusually high information payments to a “Günther” who was known only to Roewer and does not appear in the agency’s other files. Tax authorities have been asked to look into whether all V-people payments were properly reported on individuals’ income tax returns, as income to social welfare offices, and by Thuringian Verfassungsschutz as outgo.

If I understand this correctly, in 2006 Germany’s federal government ruled that informants receiving money from Verfassungsschutz and the Bundesnachrichtendienst owe 10% tax on those monies. Normal tax rates would range between 15% and ~42%.

(Ague EE deh.)

Militärischer Abschirmdienst, MAD

“Military shield service.” Germany’s military intelligence agency, for which Wikipedia gives the following numbers:

– about 1250 civil and military employees

– central office in Cologne with twelve branch offices around the country

In October 2010 the Bundestag’s confidential committee (“Vertrauensgremium”) responsible for budgetary oversight of the three national intelligence services Bundesnachrichtendienst (foreign intelligence), federal Verfassungsschutz (domestic intelligence) and Militärischer Abschirmdienst (military intelligence) asked the federal government to review whether more efficiency could be achieved by giving the military intelligence service’s remit to the Bundesnachrichtendienst and federal Verfassungsschutz. Because this proposal was not supported by the SPD, Green Party and Leftists (Die Linken), it appears the query was made by (and to) the parties in Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition. In July 2012, it was reported that Merkel’s coalition partner the FDP party had openly called for reform of Germany’s intelligence agencies and elimination of MAD. This time it was supported by the Green Party and Leftists (Die Linken). The SPD said they at least wanted the current system to be reviewed. Merkel’s CDU/CSU party wanted to maintain the system as was.

In June 2012, there were reports that MAD too had paid informants in the right-wing German group from which the neonazi serial-killer cell arose (and that some of this money was passed on to the underground cell to support them in their life on the run). It was unclear why military intelligence was involved in this. When the terrorist cell disappeared from one location, MAD received a tip about their new hideout but kept the tip to itself for some reason. In July 2012 the chair of the Berlin committee investigating the neonazi serial killers, Bundestag member Sebastian Edathy (SPD), complained that MAD was not sending his committee their relevant files.

Update on 12 Sept. 2012: Despite being asked multiple times by many Bundestag members for all its information on the neonazi serial killers, on 11 Sept. 2012, in response to a written request by a Green Party Bundestag member, MAD made a surprise announcement that they’d actually started a file on one of the killers in 1995, after he drew attention for right-wing extremist behavior during his mandatory military service and MAD apparently wanted to recruit him as an informant. MAD has known about this file since March 2012. MAD destroyed this file but copies of its contents were found in some Verfassungsschutz offices, including that the guy was asked if he wanted to supply information on the right-wing scene to MAD. MAD’s president says no way did MAD ever intend to acquire the guy as a source–they just wanted to know if he’d bettered his ways–and that they didn’t lie about having the file because they didn’t have the file because they’d shredded it.

This may be nothing, but MAD said when they interviewed the neonazi serial killer in 1995 he was part of a group of six interviewees. On the recovered copy of the shredded interview, I think I saw that the guy was identified as number (6). MAD might be understating how many people they interviewed.

(Meal eat TARE ish er    OB shirm deenst.)

Spitzel bespitzelt Spitzel

“Spy spies on spy.” A quote from left-wing Thuringian state parliamentarian Martina Renner (Die Linken) and the subheadline to this Spiegel-Online article reporting that the Thuringian state parliament’s investigating committee now calculates there were about 40 “V-people, spies or informants” in the 1990’s group whence came the Thuringian neonazi cell that murdered people with immigrant backgrounds for years without getting caught. Thus it appears the Thuringian state Verfassungsschutz, the federal Verfassungsschutz and other agencies paid about one out of every four people in the cell’s source group for information.

Thuringian Verfassungsschutz violated its criteria in selecting these paid informants and apparently also in evaluating the results obtained from them (cf. updated V-Mann, V-Frau).

The investigating committee in Erfurt has had access to V-people acquisition and evaluation files since last week. The investigating committees in Erfurt and Berlin now have access to about 2000 files, including 795 from Verfassungsschutz and 685 from the police.

The three secret services dealing with this problem at the time were the Thuringian state Verfassungsschutz (LfV), the federal German Verfassungsschutz (BfV), and the Militärischer Abschirmdienst (MAD), a new one to me.

(SHPITS el   beh SHPITS elt   SHPITS el.)

Schiesskugelschreiber

Ballpoint pen gun. Used to kill former West German border guard Hans Plüschke in 1998.

(SHEESS koo gell shry ber.)

Verfassungsschutz

“Constitution Protection.” The name for a federal German police agency that has state branches. I don’t know much about it. The name might be intended to convey the idea that federal police are needed to keep a democracy from falling into dictatorship.

Wikipedia says the Verfassungsschutz offices are responsible for domestic intelligence, the Bundesnachrichtendienst for foreign intelligence, and the Militärischer Abschirmdienst for military intelligence.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung said federal Verfassungsschutz is responsible for defending Germany against spying.

Update on 28 August 2012: Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) has announced that he would like to reform the Verfassungsschutz, including a mandate that all state-level Verfassungsschutz organizations would have to send all their information to a central federal office (some state offices have already protested this) and that a central federal list be kept of all Verfassungsschutzmänner and -frauen who are providing information to these police in return for money. See V-Mann, V-Frau.

Update on 29 August 2012: The state and federal reps supposedly only discussed for one hour before agreeing on a framework for reform, which even the opposition SPD party now supports. Not only will state Verfassungsschutz offices be required to share all information with the federal office, but the federal office will be required to share all information with state offices as well (there are currently a total of 17 Verfassungsschutz offices). The state reps negotiated away Hans-Peter Friedrich’s proposal that the federal office be made the sole boss of  investigations of (potentially) violent groups. Angela Merkel’s libertarianesque coalition partner, the FDP, criticizes that these changes are just moving furniture around and the old system, with its redundancies, remains the same.

Update on 03 July 2013: Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) and the head of federal Verfassungsschutz, Hans-Georg Maaßen, announced the Verfassungsschutz agencies will undergo fundamental reforms of structures and procedures, imposing uniform standards on the state and federal offices. The changes are to include: new guidelines for the use of V-people (“persons who have committed the most serious crimes are not to be acquirable as V-people” —Maaßen; informants are no longer to receive fees high enough that they could live on that income alone; handlers are to be swapped every five years at the latest to prevent friendships and Seilschaften; and a central file of state and federal V-people is to be created e.g. to prevent multiple Verfassungsschutz offices from paying the same informant); new rules for working with state Verfassungsschutz agencies (which will have to send the knowledge they acquire in unfiltered form to the federal office) and in future files are only to be destroyed after multiple-step reviews (with destruction training and a “file destruction officer” appointed for each department). “Cross-thinkers” [Querdenker] in the offices are supposed to observe, question and criticize what they see, hopefully spotting real trends and catching when departments are on wrong or slow tracks. These initial reforms are said to be in response to the failures discovered in the investigations of Germany’s decade-long serial-killing bank-robbing neonazi terror cell, not to the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden. Because there is a German election in two months it’s possible these announced reforms will not be enacted and/or funded, as has apparently been the case with some of Health Minister Daniel Bahr (FDP)’s pre-election reform announcements. The opposition criticized them as purely cosmetic and piecemeal anyway. Thomas Oppermann (SPD) called for a mentality change at these agencies and training employees so that they “have a sense of where the real dangers to our democracy lurk.” Hans-Christian Ströbele (Green party) said Verfassungsschutz should be eliminated “such as it is. We can’t let people just continue on who failed like that.”

Update on 19 Sep 2013: A state Verfassungsschutz office (Lower Saxony’s) was caught collecting and keeping information on at least seven journalists. Federal-level Verfassungsschutz was also caught cooperating with the C.I.A. and the Bundesnachrichtendienst to spy on a journalist, though Hans-Georg Maaßen issued a denial; the NDR journalist‘s name, passport number, mobile phone number and date of birth were on a U.S. list of names and data given to the German domestic and foreign intelligence agencies in 2010 with a request for more information about those people.

These reports showed that the German domestic intelligence Verfassungsschutz (state and federal) and foreign intelligence Bundenachrichtendienst agencies are supplying information for databases (now including ones named “Project 6,” “P6” and/or “PX”) that should have been inspected by data protection officers and subject to German data protection rules regulating among other things what information they can contain and for how long, after which the data must be deleted. However, the German data protection officers did not know about these databases, said Peter Schaar. He said this is no minor infraction, and “anyone running such a project absolutely must guarantee that all activities are completely documented and subjected to data protection control/inspection.”

The excuse for Lower Saxony Verfassungsschutz’s spying on journalists was fighting neonazis and the excuse for federal Verfassungsschutz’s spying on journalists was fighting terror. In his 2007 book Das Ende der Privatsphäre [“The End of Privacy”], Mr. Schaar said in the 1990’s the excuse tended to be fighting organized crime.

Update on 14 Mar 2014: New Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière announced the Verfassungsschutz will stop watching members of the Leftists party, which many S.E.D. politicians from the former East Germany joined twenty years ago, “unless they have good grounds for surveillance.” It will also “in general” stop watching Bundestag members, no matter what party they belong to. He said they reserved the right to investigate resumption of surveillance if they received new knowledge. Such as, that Bundestag members had connections to extreme milieux willing to do violence. Süddeutsche.de said this change of policy is in response to a case Bodo Ramelow (Leftists, and kept under observation for decades) brought to the supreme court, Bundesverfassungsgericht, in Karlsruhe. The court decided in October 2013 that “parliamentarians could only be watched who abused their mandate to fight against the free democratic basic order.” Süddeutsche.de said Mr. de Maizière’s formal statement did not say members of state parliaments would generally no longer be watched, and it noted that formally that his statement only commits the federal Bundesverfassungsschutz to suspend operations, not the 16 state offices.

Update on 08 Apr 2014: A company that represents companies in the Maschinenbau industry [“machine building,” industrial engineering] signed an agreement with federal Verfassungsschutz at this year’s trade show in Hanover. The agreement is supposed to encourage more German companies to consult Verfassungsschutz about suspected cases of industrial espionage. FAZ.net: “But Verfassungsschutz’s advantage is that unlike police they do not have to follow up on a crime, said the association. That is to say, the intelligence agency can pass on information to a company that’s affected; what happens with it after that is the management’s decision.”

(Fer FOSS oongs shoots.)

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