Europe In Shock Over NSA Activity…”Beyond Comprehension…Methods Used By Enemies During The Cold War”

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Today I’m going off topic to write about an explosive issue – the NSA. Spiegel has uncovered and reported explosive material that for now is only being superficially reported back in the States. Obama, and the free world, have a mega-crisis on their hands.


Image source: US Government, NSA website.

In Europe, especially Germany, the NSA scandal is taking on ever increasingly huge dimensions with each passing day. While the American media are pretty much low-key or even silent on the NSA scandal, in Europe it is taking on alarming dimensions and threatening to become a foreign policy catastrophe.

News magazine Spiegel has received documents revealing that NSA activity also included bugging European offices, including the Chancellor of Germany. The AP writes:

A top German official accused the United States on Sunday of using “Cold War” methods against its allies, after a German magazine cited secret intelligence documents to claim that U.S. spies bugged European Union offices. Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger was responding to a report by German news weekly Der Spiegel, which claimed that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on EU offices in Washington, New York and Brussels.”

At its English language site, Spiegel reports that the full story will be released tomorrow.
Die Welt today writes:

What is illegal for authorities and intelligence services in Germany to do, is apparently done by the US intelligence: It allegedly has spied on the communication of millions of Germans.”

Spiegel writes at its German site that:

The US intelligence services, with approval by the White House, targetedly monitored the German Government, including the Chancellor.”

Die Welt also writes that the spying is clearly shown by “a paper from the NSA from September 2010…referencing secret documents that former US intelligence agency employee Edward Snowden took with him“.

Bild daily writes:

The statistics that Spiegel had seen shows that on normal days up to 20 million telephone connections and up to 10 million internet data sets had been monitored. On Christmas Eve 2012 the Americans checked over and saved 13 million telephone connections and half as much data from internet connections.

On peak days, such as 7 January 2013, the intelligence agencies spied on about 60 million telephone connections. As a comparision, for France the Americans in the same time period recorded about two million connections.”

The Spiegel revelations are developing into a major and highly embarrassing scandal for Washington. While the news is spreading like a firestorm in a tinderbox in Germany, reports from US media have had their volume turned down to almost mute levels.

Spiegel, which broke the story yesterday, reports today that the German Justice Department has filed charges against “unknown perpetrators“. The German news magazine writes:

The espionage affair surrounding the American intelligence agency NSA has now reached the German Prosecutor’s Office. The authority based in Karlsruhe is responsible for investigating criminal acts against internal security and, according to SPIEGEL information, is checking to see whether violations of privacy laws have been committed during the systematic surveillance of German citizens. … The NSA scandal has now become a matter for the German Justice Department.”

Washington’s and London’s relationship with mainland Europe is now so damaged that they are being compared to the Cold War. This is not a foreign policy scandal, rather it is a foreign policy debacle of historical proportions.

In today’s report, Spiegel writes:

According to an internal statistic of the NSA, approximately 500 million communication connections are monitored. The NSA has ranked Germany as a target of attack.”

According to Spiegel, all this is based on “material whistleblower Edward Snowden collected“.

One can only speculate what information Spiegel has received. But so far everything points to the acquisition of huge trove of intelligence information. I suspect this is only the tip of the ice berg and we are going to be seeing a lot more from Spiegel in the days and weeks ahead. “Foreign policy debacle of historical proportions” may be an understatement.


22 responses to “Europe In Shock Over NSA Activity…”Beyond Comprehension…Methods Used By Enemies During The Cold War””

  1. Mike Hancox

    PG, please be careful on this one. A lot of this is already unravelling. Google Telegraph Blogs and look at two recent articles by Damien Thompson. The London Guardian and the Independent appear to be in contact with a number of complete fruitcakes and the WSJ is joining in against them. NSA would not be used for bugging offices, anyone’s; that would probably be more CIA and a pathetic jerk like Snowden would have no access at all to that. When it comes down to spying, we all spy on each other and always have done. After all, we are allies, not bosom buddy pals. Snowden, Wikileaks, Assange et al seem a bit rich for me. There may, just, be some truth in there, but I think you’ll take a very long time to find it.

  2. Mike Hancox

    Oh, as an afterthought, try Guido Fawkes as well.

  3. catweazle666

    So spooks do spook stuff. Surprise!

    Naturally, no European company would even dream of having a sniff round US embassies in their counntried, would they?

    Perish the thought!

    And just as a matter of interest, who is going to monitor and take action on all these hundreds of millions of bits and pieces of data?

    This all reminds me of the furore when Menwith Hill opened, and everyone was getting excited because the dreaded CIA were going to listen in to their telephones and descend mob handed because some hippy had bought an eith of weed.

  4. George B

    Intelligence agencies collect intelligence in and on foreign countries. This seems to be an attempt to blow something beyond all reasonable proportion. Every government that has an intelligence agency attempts to collect intelligence to the extent of its ability from any possible source.

    So basically we have a scandal here that an intelligence agency is actually collecting intelligence.

    This is what happens when an education system raises a nation of morons. More importantly, this looks like a coordinated effort (going back to the Bradly Manning releases) of The Guardian doing whatever it can to destroy US intelligence collection efforts globally.

    Anyone who has ever served in government or the military should know that any public communication method is subject to intercept by any number of people. Every government on the planet tries to collect intelligence on what is going on around the world. That is the PURPOSE of intelligence and this is particularly so when we have a level of even industrial espionage that we have. For example:

    How do you stop these rings without collecting intelligence? You can’t. And that is the entire purpose of what Snowden has done. It isn’t “whistle blowing”, this is sabotage.

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  6. BobW in NC

    Thank you, Pierre, for breaking this. You’re right—back here in the U.S., there’s barely a whisper from the media. Mustn’t ruffle feathers of the most high, you know, or inform the electorate that all that there is some really bad stuff going on.

    Good on the German media!

  7. Stephen Richards

    Sicialists spying on Socialists, never 🙂

  8. M E

    Read Spy Catcher.. a book published in 1987 about routine “spying ” on ‘friendly’ embassies etc. Author Peter Wright. with Paul Greengrass.about two decades in MI 5 You may get it in a second hand bookshop. I’m surprised you don’t know about it.

  9. Juergen Uhlemann

    Are we all guilty until proven innocent?

    1. Ed Caryl

      No, we are all guilty. Full stop.

    2. Casper

      No, it depends on an investigation…

      Feliks Dzierzynski – director of the Cheka

  10. John F. Hultquist

    I note that Fox News has a story on this – taken from the Associated Press.

    I think the various MSM folks have very little in the way of investigating reporters anymore and the proliferation of scandals has them taxed beyond their means. Fox News has very few updates on any weekend and not much on week days after posting the morning reports. Other main sources are likely more biased than Fox in favor of the current US Administration and didn’t give a hoot about any of this until they became a target. Anyway, I think this is going to take some time to sort out and sink in – and it is scandal number 4 or 5 or 6. It has to get in line.

    Maybe the new climate agenda speech was launched to help dilute attention from these other things.

  11. DirkH

    The question is, when does a nondemocratic superstate begin to treat its proles as enemies?

  12. mwhite

    I wonder if the “Russian Trawlers” still “fish” along those microwave communication links???

  13. Lorie C. Crane

    According to Ahrenkilde, EU commission premises are “regularly swept and communications networks are checked against spying and eavesdropping.” However according to a spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief who oversees EU offices abroad, EU diplomatic missions in Washington, DC, and New York had moved premises since 2010, which is the year the reported spying took place.

  14. R. de Haan

    It’s total BS. Germany delivered NSA data voluntarily. They signed a data exchange agreement.

    Germany despite all the political cabal about freedom is turning into a totalitarian police state.

    New Law: Police get’s access to your pin and puck codes:

    If the West ignores any diplomatic rules as they force the jet of a foreign head of state to land in Austria, don’t expect them to respect your civil rights.

    In the mean time I am waiting for the big crash.

    Germany is bankrupt.

    The Deuatsche Bank (and at least 2 French Banks) are in a deplorable position, ready for nationalization. This will mean the end of the world as we know it.

    Only the Deutsche Bank has 57 trillion, yes, you read this correct, 57 trillion in liabilities. That’s 10 x the entire German GDP and 100 x the total sum of saving accounts.

    Either Germany will destroy it’s self by continuing it’s EU membership sinking the entire Union (and the world economies) or they bail out, introduce a new currency and start from scratch.

    The entire EU region will be a bad place to stay for the next decades.

    Time is running out.

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