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Thread: The NSA

  1. #106
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    We got a new espionage affair in Germany due to a BND employee who has admitted spying for a US intelligence agency being uncovered. This is a current affair, with the last data package sent by the spy on July 1st. The last two data packages consisted of highly classified BND summaries presented to the parliamentary committee that has been investigating the NSA electronic surveillance affair since March. In total, at least 218 classified documents were transferred; he got caught when he tried offering stuff to the Russians as well. Which intelligence agency is involved on the US side is a bit unclear, the BND apparently has hints that it's the CIA this time, not the NSA. Since at least in part, a parliamentary committee - a constitutional body - was the victim, this is currently treated as the most serious case of espionage in Germany since WW2.

    Since shit just got serious, the German government finally starts playing hardball.

    Following that, Thomas de Maiziere, currently Minister of the Interior and previously having held posts as Minister of Defense and Federal Intelligence Chief announced yesterday evening that the scope of intelligence targets will be broadened to include the USA with plans to tap US communication networks; further, this may be broadened to include other current non-targets - other NATO members - with plans including at least basic technical surveillance of all embassies in Germany. The government has requested the US to withdraw all personnel of the Joint Intelligence Staff to leave the country (which is interesting, because that means we know which ones those are), and might actually still call for the US envoy, Emerson, to be withdrawn.

    Emerson - intentionally - received an appointment during his 4th of July party - with Hillary Clinton attending - and had to leave the party early to report to German foreign minister Steinmeier. The White House has since refused to comment on the affair. Merkel left the next day for her planned three-day state visit to China, while Steinmeier left the next day to visit Mongolia. The German President has called for investigations, and, if the US can be pinned on this, for a heavy-handed government response; Merkel, being asked during a joint press conference with Chinese Prime Minister Li in Beijing, expressed the same sentiment.

    Well, at least they'll play hardball until Merkel is back. Then everything is back to our regular ambiguous zero-comment political culture, except for the spy who's gonna get anywhere from ten to life.

    Surveys taken in the last few days show that 70% of the German population no longer trust the USA, 57% are calling for more independence from the USA, and 40% are calling for Germany to turn to Russia instead.

  2. #107
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    German federal intelligence chief has ordered all services to restrict contact with US intelligence services - i.e. cease cooperation due to prior treaties - to a bare minimum.

    The CIA connection has pretty much been confirmed by Federal Constiutional Protection Service investigations.

  3. #108
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    BREAKING:

    Spy agency-hired spies are spying, and the general population of western countries doesn't trust the US...

    edit, why is this put under the NSA thread?
    "We are all special cases." - Camus

  4. #109
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    Cuz we suspected the NSA first. The NSA is to blame for everything, ya know.

    Nah, mostly because the files transmitted to the CIA were summaries of crimes the NSA committed in Germany. So in a round-robin way the CIA was spying on the NSA...

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    German federal intelligence chief has ordered all services to restrict contact with US intelligence services - i.e. cease cooperation due to prior treaties - to a bare minimum.

    The CIA connection has pretty much been confirmed by Federal Constiutional Protection Service investigations.

    He only made that order becuase he was ordered to by Merkel. You should have listened in on that call.... we did. :P

    In all seriousness... low level technical surveillance of an ally is one thing- running agents and tapping phones of its leadership is another. What a debacle that will take years to undo.

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Cuz we suspected the NSA first. The NSA is to blame for everything, ya know.

    Nah, mostly because the files transmitted to the CIA were summaries of crimes the NSA committed in Germany. So in a round-robin way the CIA was spying on the NSA...
    I disagree, this was still spying on Germany. To me, this was an investigation into what Germany actually knew had happened, and what they don't know... yet.
    "We are all special cases." - Camus

  7. #112
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    A new NSA document released by Edward Snowden reveals the names of five US citizens placed under NSA electronic surveillance. The five men appear on a spreadsheet provided by Snowden of 7,485 email addresses that were under surveillance between 2002 and 2008. The five US citizens are (with their consent) identified as:

    Asim Ghafoor, an attorney who has worked on Capitol Hill and represented clients accused of terrorism-related activity

    Hooshang Amirahmadi, a professor of international relations at Rutgers University who has criticized the United States' policy toward Iran

    Agha Saeed, a civil rights activist and former political science professor at California State University

    Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

    Faisal Gill, a lawyer and Republican Party operative who ran for seat in Virginia's legislature in 2007


    Source: Time Magazine

  8. #113
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    Considering a second spy was uncovered this morning in the MoD, it's just become a bit more likely that Germany will provide Snowden his public platform by hearing him as a witness for the parliamentary investigations against the NSA.

    What Snowden wants for this is a guarantee that Germany won't extradite him to the US. Snowden has refused an offer for a witness hearing by video conference due to security concerns or a onsite witness hearing in Moscow.

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Considering a second spy was uncovered this morning in the MoD, it's just become a bit more likely that Germany will provide Snowden his public platform by hearing him as a witness for the parliamentary investigations against the NSA.

    What Snowden wants for this is a guarantee that Germany won't extradite him to the US. Snowden has refused an offer for a witness hearing by video conference due to security concerns or a onsite witness hearing in Moscow.
    So a video conference isn't safe, but appearing in person is? I am lost, but then again we are talking about Snowden, and nothing he does makes sense unless it's traitorous and filthy.

    Also, he just petitioned to stay in Russia, which will probably be better for his health than Germany would be.
    "We are all special cases." - Camus

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel View Post
    So a video conference isn't safe, but appearing in person is?
    I guess it could be about what he wants to say. A video conference would be handing it right to the NSA, doing it in Moscow would be handing it all over to the Russians.

    Of course there's also the Greens currently sueing the government in court to give Snowden political asylum in Germany.

  11. #116
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    Surveys taken in the last few days show that 70% of the German population no longer trust the USA, 57% are calling for more independence from the USA, and 40% are calling for Germany to turn to Russia instead.
    i'd be curious how much of the population actually "trust" the US in the first place; i suspect whatever trust earned post-Cold War was lost in the acrimonious ramp up to war in 2003.

    i don't mind the first two sentiments; the third sentiment is the one that is truly breath-taking in its stupidity.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #117
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    I think Germany is more likely to increase ties with China than Russia. The Soviet Union is gone, and China is the only potential peer to the US in the foreseeable future.

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    I guess it could be about what he wants to say. A video conference would be handing it right to the NSA, doing it in Moscow would be handing it all over to the Russians.
    That's assuming that they dont already have "it all" in the first place, which is the exact opposite position that has been stated by US officials. They have been working off of the assumption that whatever he took is now in the hands of China and/or Russia. And, at this point Russia can pretty much demand whatever concessions they can get out of Snowden anyway.
    "We are all special cases." - Camus

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i suspect whatever trust earned post-Cold War was lost in the acrimonious ramp up to war in 2003.
    Nah, that one just told us to stop listening when US government representatives mention "weapons of mass destruction".

    Those 40% who want closer ties to Russia? Five years ago, it was 55% who wanted closer ties with Russia. It went down to 32% by this April in light of Ukraine, but now has risen back to 40% in light of recent events.
    It should be noted that only 10% of Germans right now want the relationship with Russia to stay exactly as it is. 50%, i.e. two thirds of the supporters of our current grand coalition government, want less cooperation.

    In other news, Germany just told the CIA Berlin Chief of Station to leave the country this afternoon btw (edit: the Chief of Station was summoned and presented with this by the Chief of the German Federal Constitutional Protection Service in person).
    Obama is supposedly pissed at the CIA for not telling him about the (then already starting) investigations since he was phoning Merkel just a few hours after the arrest.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I think Germany is more likely to increase ties with China than Russia.
    Economically? Sure. Russia for buying semi-finished resources, China for the reselling market for those resources turned into working products. That's what our economy has been based on since WW2.
    Politically? We'll stay with the EU, thank you very much. Continental EU, that is.
    Last edited by kato; 10 Jul 14, at 18:37.

  15. #120
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    The German Foreign Minister has cancelled a planned visit to the USA. Steinmeier and Kerry therefore won't meet until Kerry comes to Vienna for the next upcoming round of talks on Iran.

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