The Intelligence targeted private companies and entities worldwide in order to establish a dominance in the cyberspace. Among the victims, there was also the German Government and its politicians, including the chancellor Angela Merkel. The German Government was shocked at the time, and expressly manifest his dissent to President Obama, but now new revelations provide a singular point of view also on the activities conducted by the German Intelligence.
According to the Der Spiegel, the Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) was supporting the US NSA to spy on many European companies and politicians since 2008.
As if to say, from the victim now Germany is added to the “executioners.”
The BND supported espionage operations against various targets, including the European companies EADS (the manufacturer of Airbus planes) and Eurocopter, and European politicians, including German ones.
“At least since 2008 BND employees fell several times that some of these selectors contrary to the mission profile of the German foreign intelligence – and are not covered by the “Memorandum of Agreement”, which negotiated the Germans and the Americans to jointly combat global terrorism in 2002 had. Instead, the NSA was looking for specific information about over the defense group EADS, Eurocopter and French authorities. The BND did not take the obviously but as an opportunity to review the Selektorenliste systematically.
Only after the unveiling of the NSA scandal in the summer of 2013, a BND department dealt specifically with the NSA search terms.” states the Der Spiegel.
The news was first reported by Edward Snowden in 2013, one of the leaked documents revealed that BND agents have fed approximately 2,000 selectors (IP addresses, e-mail addresses or phone numbers) into its BND’s global monitoring systems, the problem is that these selectors did not match any category allowed by the anti-terrorism agreement on intelligence cooperation between the US and Germany.
It seems that the results of the investigation were not shared by the BND that requested the NSA to avoid in the future to make similar requests. Anyway, the BND fearing repercussions made the research even not sharing the results.
The list of NSA queries targeted Western European and German interests reached 400,000 selectors, it is important to highlight that many of them weren’t used by the intelligence.
“Several times a day, the BND had downloaded from a server NSA selectors and they entered into its databases and systems,” states the Zeit Online. “The results were then sent to the BND headquarters in Pullach for evaluation and from there to some extent on to the NSA.”
The situation has created a hated debate inside the German Government, German Chancellor was eventually told in March 2015, and Chancellery Minister Peter Altmaier reported the members of the Parliamentary Control Panel and the NSA Committee last week.
The situation suggests the presence of cells in the BND that operate “beyond any kind of control,” and let me add that I’m not surprised because there are similar conditions and interference elsewhere.
Regarding the German scandal, intelligence experts believe that Gerhard Schindler, the head of the BND, will be asked to resign.
(Security Affairs – BND, espionage)