US bugged EU offices, Collects 1/2 Billion German Internet & Phone Connections Monthly

Der Spiegel has two explosive stories on NSA spying from Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. The first is that the US has bugged the telephones and the computers of the European Union offices in Washington, D.C. It has had the ability to monitor all meetings there, as well as to see all emails and documents stored on computers. It has also been targeting the communications of the EU at its United Nations offices in New York, and in Brussels itself, where European Union parliamentarians and officials were spied on. The document describes the EU as an “attack target.”

European Union officials are reportedly very, very angry. The European Parliament speaker is “deeply worried and shocked.”

Euronews reports:

As for Germany itself, Der Spiegel writes:

“The National Security Agency spies on Germany many times more intensively than was heretofore known. Secret documents, which Der Spiegel was able to see, reveal that the NSA systematically collects and stores the greater part of telephone and internet connections.”

The article says that the document shows that the NSA monitors roughly half a billion communications connections in Germany every month. The metadata of these telephone calls, emails, SMS and instant chat exchanges are stored at Fort Meade.

It points out that the US monitors Germany as closely as it does China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Daily, an average of 20 million telephone connections and 10 million internet transactions are collected by the NSA. This is ten times as many telephone connections as the NSA monitors for France, e.g.

The NSA does not spy in the same way on the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, who are class 2 partners and therefore are not targets. Germany, the leaked document says, is only a class 3 partner and therefore is also considered a target.

Germans, especially East Germans, are generally angry about the revelation of the extent of US information-collection on them, given that they were victims of STASI domestic spying. Just as authorities have shown them their STASI files, which can run to 9,000 pages, so many Germans feel that the NSA should show people what information it has collected on them, which they had thought private.

9 Responses

  1. The NSA does not spy in the same way on the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, who are class 2 partners and therefore are not targets. Germany, the leaked document says, is only a class 3 partner and therefore is also considered a target.

    I think this shows the extent to which U.S. policy remains a relic of WWII and Cold War policy which marked the advent of the so-called “Five Eyes” alliance.

    All of the five are English speaking countries and today remain the only “class 2″ tier allies who are not spied on and with whom the U.S. partners in its current spying web (Echelon).

    about Five Eyes:

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    about Echelon:

    ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement[1] (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS[1] and Five Eyes).[2][3] It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.[4]

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  2. I find it somewhat incredible that the EU (Germany especially) is “shocked” by this information.
    After lo, these many years, they don’t know who they’re dealing with?
    Now, that’s shocking! Their naivete is what’s shocking.
    While I may not agree with the U.S.’s policies, let’s get real here; Germany is the apparent driver of EU economic policies and therefor makes a credible target.
    This is a likely a heads up for the stupid and will likely determine an increased security across the board.

  3. Might one ask what are the obviously multiple purposes of all this Peeping-Tomfoolery? I’m sure the apologists for The Way Things Just Are have a bunch of “reasons”… And the virtue of the lighting of this particular fuse by Mr. Snowden and the others who have sucked it up and given us a reverse peek through the spyhole is that maybe there’s enough smarts and ability and interest left in purfuit of happineff and life and liberty to keep us from disappearing into the Matrix…

    And I’m reminded of how the Drill Sergeant in Basic Combat Training would brook no “excuses,” at most entertain “reasons” to scoff at, for any deviations from the Program we were supposed to always be “Getting With.”

    No Drill Sergeant here telling these cretins to “drop and give me 20,000 quality pushups” as a way to rectify and deter bad behavior…

    • I am reminded of the Judaic lore of the mystical “Golem”.

      This one whose DNA was coded and spawned during WWII continues grow, under no rational control.

      It rather fits the “Hubris” theme described here:

      Hubris theme

      The existence of a golem is sometimes a mixed blessing. Golems are not intelligent, and if commanded to perform a task, they will perform the instructions literally. In many depictions Golems are inherently perfectly obedient. In its earliest known modern form, the Golem of Chełm became enormous and uncooperative. In one version of this story, the rabbi had to resort to trickery to deactivate it, whereupon it crumbled upon its creator and crushed him.[2] There is a similar hubris theme in Frankenstein, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and some golem-derived stories in popular culture.[clarification needed] The theme also manifests itself in R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), Karel Čapek’s 1921 play which coined the term robot; the play was written in Prague, and while Čapek denied that he modeled the robot after the Golem, there are many similarities in the plot.[38]

      If it were a dog, all Presidents since have been merely tails on it>

      link to en.wikipedia.org

  4. David Gregory and his neocon friends are really pissed Snowden exposed this kind of illegal Gestapo behavior and still will not allow anyone to criticize the NSA. All praise Snowden!

    BTW…Didn’t the documents Assange released years ago expose the US for tapping phones and bugging offices of foreign countries at the UN? Of course that was never discussed because the media quickly accused Assange of rape. Classic, deny and defame your accuser.

  5. If only someone had some influence over this loose cannon of a police state government that believes it is their prerogative to run our lives.
    Back when the US Constitution was operative, someone in the White House could rein these mad dogs in. At least, that was the theory.

  6. There was a Guardian story over the weekend featuring an ex-intelligence officer of some type.

    His point was that the Europeans expressing surprise about this are being willfully dishonest, as they have all known about it for a very long time. He mentioned various reasons that this is obviously true, and I’m certain he’s right.

    The real problem is the culture where people think this kind of intra-national espionage is just part and parcel of normal international relations. In fact, while the use of spying goes back thousands of years, there have actually been many notable periods when it wasn’t considered acceptable outside of specific war requirements.

    The only time that it becomes acceptable is when a culture has undergone ‘ponerization’ (look it up, it’s worth understanding). This is when we have so many sociopaths in key positions that the pathological outlook is considered ‘normal’ and even non-sociopaths who grow up in such a culture can’t see anything wrong.

    Out culture is definitely compromised in this way. We raise people with the idea that honesty is a virtue, but you can’t get anywhere *near* the levers of power without being made to understand that this only applies to the teeming masses. Anyone who is to be considered ‘serious’ has to agree that dishonesty and suspicion is the ideal way to approach any type of negotiation.

    So there’s ‘nothing wrong’ with a company using every conceivable advantage to win business over it’s competitors. If this includes espionage, then they would be negligent not to. This is supposed to stay within the limits of the law, but anyone serious knows that the law is no barrier to competitive advantage. You get away with whatever you can.

    This is a pathological mindset that’s infected our culture and is now seen in every aspect of people’s lives.

    Teenagers on the school football team are encouraged to push the rules as far as possible. Players are encouraged to use verbal abuse and bullying tactics during play, described by an famous Australian cricket player as ‘mental disintegration’, a perfectly fine tool to have in your bag of tactics.

    Bear in mind, of course, that all sports teams at all levels bray endlessly about honor and sportsmanship. Children learn very early that this is all hot air – their heroes are caught using drugs in every sport in every country. We pretend this is bad, but any athlete who gets near world-class will be under immense pressure to cheat if they can do so without detection.

    This is a pathological mindset. It’s not as simple as blaming capitalism or free-markets or libertarians. The problem is sociopathic people, and they will try to work their way into the most powerful positions under *any* system of government or market theory.

    I think people are sick of this pathological mentality that’s taken over our species. This is why ‘primitive’ peoples like the Native Americans used to think the white man’s ideas were so strange – they weren’t yet exposed to a sociopathic culture. To a healthy mindset our culture is obviously demented, but to us it has become so much part of the fabric of life that we can’t quite imagine any other way.

    Since the Snowden affair started, I’ve been thinking that a new global movement might be necessary. I was a kid in the 1970s when the anti-nuke movement started getting speed up, and by the mid-80s I was in New Zealand when they declared a nuclear-free zone around the whole country. I seems like nothing now, but at the time this was *very* controversial among the population, and there were intense protests and public battles between left and right.

    When they first suggested a nuke-free zone, the idea was laughable to everyone. It would require us to break our treaties with the US and Australia! We would be thrown out of ANZUS and China or anyone could just walk right in! A tiny little country like NZ can’t survive alone!

    These days that all seems hysterically wrong, and the non-nuke policy has been a tourism boon for NZ on the world stage. It hasn’t hurt our relationship with the US or anyone else. What’s more, it showed that the idea isn’t ridiculous and made a nuclear-weapon-free planet seem possible.

    So perhaps now would be a good time to start a ‘no-spying’ campaign. The establishment would laugh, because it’s pathological. But over time momentum could build and it could really take off. Perhaps we could get a small country like NZ to adopt an ‘espionage-free zone’ for the entire country, and that would raise the awareness of the issue enormously.

    We have to persuade people that life and prosperity *is* possible without a pathological mindset. It won’t be easy. Something like an espionage-free zone campaign would start that process.

    • Frankly I don’t see much hope in that. What I do see is that eventually this culture will ‘self-destruct’ as a result of its own oppressive and incestuous mentality. Nature promotes from diversity, not conformity.

      Consider the effect that the Administration’s “Insider Threat” policies is likely to have on diverse and creative thinking.

      President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

      “The real danger is that you get a bland common denominator working in the government,” warned Ilana Greenstein, a former CIA case officer who says she quit the agency after being falsely accused of being a security risk. “You don’t get people speaking up when there’s wrongdoing. You don’t get people who look at things in a different way and who are willing to stand up for things. What you get are people who toe the party line, and that’s really dangerous for national security.”

      link to mcclatchydc.com

    • Japan was supposed to be a nuclear-weapon-free zone too, and it was a tiny bit of a big deal when it got out that US warships making those multi-function port calls in Japan were carrying nuclear warheads on the way to idiot confrontations with idiot Soviet and idiot Chinese idiots on, over and under the South China Sea and North Pacific and other idiot “theaters of conflict.” Talk about “ponerized…”

      I was vacationing in Japan in 1982 at Beppu, the Suginoi Hotel. In one of the large, ornate public baths. In come three loud and enthusiastic Navy officers, strip off their uniforms and dive in without the pre-wash, causing a certain revulsion reaction among the Japanese in the bath, and they splash on over to me, the only “white” dude in the place. Got to talking, war stories and such, and they offered that the guided missile frigate and destroyer they were from in fact had nuclear missiles aboard, and got to adding that quite a few people had the ability to launch ship-to-ship nuke-tipped missiles more or less on their own “authorization,” given the very short “horizon times” for incoming “Commie” missiles. Hairy hair-trigger stories about almosts… This at a time when the Japanese ordinary citizens were all het up about the “discovery” that US ships were in fact violating that no-nuke policy thing. link to forum.prisonplanet.com

      And the jerks that bring us Planet Threat are all so suave and “nothing to worry about, we have it all under control, and besides we love that constant little frisson of DANGER.”

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