Author Topic: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'  (Read 5054 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2014, 08:46:41 AM »
German papers report today that not only Angela Merkels phone was spied on by the NSA, but also her predesessor Gerhard Schröderäs phone. "eason" for that had given his critical stance against the Irak-War. He was number 388 on the "National Sigint Requirement List".
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Offline thaiga

Re: NSA accused of further spying on Germans
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2014, 02:07:46 PM »
The NSA has stepped up its surveillance of senior German government officials since being ordered by Barack Obama to halt its spying on chancellor Angela Merkel, Bild am Sonntag reported yesterday.

Revelations last year about mass US surveillance in Germany, in particular of Merkel’s mobile phone, shocked Germans and sparked the most serious dispute between the transatlantic allies in a decade.

Bild am Sonntag said its information stemmed from a high-ranking NSA employee in Germany and that those being spied on included Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister and a close confidant of Merkel.

“We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the chancellor’s communication directly,” it quoted the NSA employee as saying.

A spokesman for the interior ministry said it would not comment on the “allegations of unnamed individuals”.

To calm the uproar over US surveillance abroad, President Barack Obama in January banned US eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies of Washington.

Germans are especially sensitive about snooping due to their experiences in the Nazi era and in Communist East Germany, when the Stasi secret police built up a massive surveillance network.

Berlin has been pushing, so far in vain, for a “no-spy” deal with Washington. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the foreign minister, is due to visit the US on Thursday but has doubts such a deal would have much effect.

Bild am Sonntag quoted a security adviser to Obama, Caitlin Hayden, as saying: “The United States has made clear it gathers intelligence in exactly the same way as any other states.”

The paper said the NSA was monitoring 320 people in Germany — mostly politicians but also business leaders.

Steinmeier said he was hopeful the US has understood that surveillance of political partners “can have a political price”.

He was quoted as saying in an interview with Der Spiegel yesterday that the task of overcoming differences over US surveillance activities “should not be underestimated”.

He added his voice to growing scepticism over a hoped-for “no-spy” accord with the US, saying: “I doubt that a ‘no-spy’ agreement will get us much further.”

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Johnnie F.

Targeting Huawei: NSA Spied on Chinese Government and Networking Firm
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2014, 10:06:13 AM »
Targeting Huawei: NSA Spied on Chinese Government and Networking Firm

According to documents viewed by SPIEGEL, America'a NSA intelligence agency put considerable efforts into spying on Chinese politicians and firms. One major target was Huawei, a company that is fast becoming a major Internet player.

The American government conducted a major intelligence offensive against China, with targets including the Chinese government and networking company Huawei, according to documents from former NSA worker Edward Snowden that have been viewed by SPIEGEL. Among the American intelligence service's targets were former Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese Trade Ministry, banks, as well as telecommunications companies.

But the NSA made a special effort to target Huawei. With 150,000 employees and €28 billion ($38.6 billion) in annual revenues, the company is the world's second largest network equipment supplier. At the beginning of 2009, the NSA began an extensive operation, referred to internally as "Shotgiant," against the company, which is considered a major competitor to US-based Cisco. The company produces smartphones and tablets, but also mobile phone infrastructure, WLAN routers and fiber optic cable -- the kind of technology that is decisive in the NSA's battle for data supremacy.

A special unit with the US intelligence agency succeeded in infiltrating Huwaei's network and copied a list of 1,400 customers as well as internal documents providing training to engineers on the use of Huwaei products, among other things.

Source Code Breached

According to a top secret NSA presentation, NSA workers not only succeeded in accessing the email archive, but also the secret source code of individual Huwaei products. Software source code is the holy grail of computer companies. Because Huawei directed all mail traffic from its employees through a central office in Shenzhen, where the NSA had infiltrated the network, the Americans were able to read a large share of the email sent by company workers beginning in January 2009, including messages from company CEO Ren Zhengfei and Chairwoman Sun Yafang.

"We currently have good access and so much data that we don't know what to do with it," states one internal document. As justification for targeting the company, an NSA document claims that "many of our targets communicate over Huawei produced products, we want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products." The agency also states concern that "Huawei's widespread infrastructure will provide the PRC (People's Republic of China) with SIGINT capabilities." SIGINT is agency jargon for signals intelligence. The documents do not state whether the agency found information indicating that to be the case.

The operation was conducted with the involvement of the White House intelligence coordinator and the FBI. One document states that the threat posed by Huawei is "unique".

The agency also stated in a document that "the intelligence community structures are not suited for handling issues that combine economic, counterintelligence, military influence and telecommunications infrastructure from one entity."

Fears of Chinese Influence on the Net

The agency notes that understanding how the firm operates will pay dividends in the future. In the past, the network infrastructure business has been dominated by Western firms, but the Chinese are working to make American and Western firms "less relevant". That Chinese push is beginning to open up technology standards that were long determined by US companies, and China is controlling an increasing amount of the flow of information on the net.

In a statement, Huawei spokesman Bill Plummer criticized the spying measures. "If it is true, the irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us," he said. "If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of mis- and disinformation."

Responding to the allegations, NSA spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said she should could not comment on specific collection activities or on the intelligence operations of specific foreign countries, "but I can tell you that our intelligence activities are focused on the national security needs of our country." She also said, "We do not give intelligence we collect to US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line."

Spiegel online

Will the Chinese be as lenient as Merkel? :uhm
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Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2014, 08:20:16 AM »
NSA Scandal

Former NSA chief Hayden apologizes to Germans, but not for spying

Michael Hayden has issued an apology to Germans in an interview with news magazine Der Spiegel. Yet he said he had no regrets about the NSA's surveillance practices, only that the group failed to keep its actions secret.

The former NSA director Michael Hayden told this week's Der Spiegel that attending the recent Munich Security Conference made him realize how much value German people place on their privacy.

"I admit that we Americans did not just underestimate the effects on the chancellor, but rather on the whole German population," Hayden said. "Perhaps the Germans have some different sensibilities because of their history. During the Munich Security Conference I sensed that the Germans regard their privacy in a similar way that we Americans see perhaps the freedom of speech or religion."

In an interview with DW during the Munich Security Conference earlier this year, Hayden had also mentioned how he was struck by "the depth of feeling" on the issue.

Germans retain comparatively fresh memories of oppressive secret police services, first under Adolf Hitler and then in former Communist East Germany. Parliamentarians in the Bundestag this week unanimously approved launching a special parliamentary inquiry into the extent of NSA espionage.

Schröder tapped over Iraq, Russia

Hayden was at the head of the NSA in 2002, when it began monitoring the telephone of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, later continuing to observe his successor Angela Merkel. He told Spiegel that Schröder's opposition to the Iraq war and his comparatively close political and business ties to Russia and Gazprom first piqued the interest of US secret services.

He said he was not prepared to apologize for conducting such espionage against another country, but was willing to apologize for "making a good friend look bad."

Irrespective of what the NSA had done in secret, Hayden said, "we could not keep it secret and therefore put a friend in a very difficult position. Shame on us, that's our mistake."

Deutsche Welle

Is he trying to mock? Or is he deliberately exposing himself as insensitive? :uhm

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  • Guest
Re: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2014, 09:26:54 AM »
He's showing arrogance and a lack of empathy with just about anyone, not just those of German nationality. The references to Germany's past have the look of gratuitous snide comments.

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2014, 04:55:21 PM »
The General Federal Attorney Harald Runge has opened criminal investigations into the affair of spying on Merkel's mobile phone now. He sees an early suspicion as given. At the moment the investigation is directed against 'unknown'. I wonder what will become of it. But it happened before that a German court sentenced CIA operatives for kidnapping. Of course all that happens is that those CIA agents gotta stay away from Germany to avoid arrest. Obama will have to take the newest criminal investigation against employees of his secret service as another sign for vanishing power over an ally.
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Offline coolkorat

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Re: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2014, 08:48:01 PM »
Bear in mind Germany has sophisticated spy tools at its disposal: every highly-developed nation does, to monitor internal and external threats. Germany is faced with these threats as much (perhaps more) than other western European nations.

Whether Germany feels the need to spy on its allies is a different point: if the conversation were reversed, and Berlin had to explain why it had bugged the White House, what would the outcry be? The US would apply de facto sanctions, and the sanctions would be targeted at Germany's economy: Mercedes, BMW, Miele, Audi, VW, Leibherr, Siemens etc. Germany has a well-earned reputation for quality engineering: I think there are many US companies who would relish their removal from the market.

I think Germany has bigger problems, Putin being the main one. Why would Germany rock the boat with it's most significant ally over eavesdropping on a (temporary) politician when the big bad bear next door might cut off the gas. I think I'd want the reassurance of a squadron or two of F18's nearby to keep the peace, and worry less about Frau Merkel's conversations. And Frau Merkel knows well enough her mobile is vulnerable: I am sure her secure conversations are exactly that.


Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2014, 09:39:15 AM »
As expected, the US Foreign Ministry isn't too happy about this. They said, the "most appropriate" way would have been to clear this through "diplomatic channels".

Sounds like they never heard of the separation of forces in a democracy. Politicians and diplomats can't command the judiciary; well, maybe in the USA!
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Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Merkel calls Obama about 'US spying on her phone'
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2015, 08:18:14 AM »
Double standards of politicians are well-known. Helping the NSA spy on EU institutions and France must be something different than being spied upon. What is she going to say now?

German BND spy agency 'helped US target France'

Germany's national intelligence agency, the BND, spied on top French officials and the EU's headquarters on behalf of US intelligence, German media report.

The leaks from a secret BND report suggest that its monitoring station at Bad Aibling spied on France's presidential palace and foreign ministry, and the European Commission.

The US National Security Agency also allegedly spied on some European firms.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere denies claims of a cover-up.

The BND reportedly collected information on European firms at Washington's behest to check if they were breaking trade embargos.

According to the reports, the BND did not target German or US officials in the surveillance, as they are protected by a BND-NSA agreement signed in 2002.

However, it has emerged that the German government knew about NSA spying on European arms businesses as early as 2008. The government found "shortcomings" in the BND's operations, German TV reports.

Read more: BBC
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