[cryptome] Re: Obama vs Merkel Sorry Angela, But Berlin does it too and Embassy Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy Hub in Berlin

  • From: Jeremy Compton <j.compton@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:48:38 +1300

Is this not Ironic, but many nations do it to each other, to see what they are 
really saying in real time. Its the game nations play.

Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy Hub in Berlin


Also, this article in todays The Australian, a great paper. 


                                SORRY, ANGELA, BUT BERLIN DOES IT TOO 
                                        The German Chancellor should have known 
the US was listening
WHEN Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was told last week that her 
trusty Nokia 6210 Slide had been monitored by the US National Security 
Agency from Fort Meade, Maryland, her reaction seemed to be one of 
genuine outrage.

 spying on who? German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have been 
outraged; Barack Obama, below left, uses a $US14,000 spy-proof mobile; 
French President Francois Hollande has voiced indignation; but Britain’s
 surveillance agency GCHQ, below right, was likely listening in also
What she might have paused to consider, however, was that if the phone, 
which she had for four years before swapping to a BlackBerry Z10 in 
July, was so insecure then the Chinese and the Russians were probably 
also listening in.

It is highly likely as well, according to US intelligence sources, that 
officers at Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, along with French spies,
 were eavesdropping too.

If the Nokia had been fitted with a conference call function, one former
 US official joked, then everyone could have joined in on an interesting
 discussion about just who was spying on whom.

Ironically, the GSM phone network in Europe is so easy to penetrate 
largely because it was designed on the advice of continental spy 
agencies eager to monitor conversations.

The NSA was so concerned about President Barack Obama’s commercial 
BlackBerry when he took office in 2009 that it persuaded him to use a 
secure one at a cost of $US14,000.

Obama may lose even that if Lenovo, the Chinese-owned computer company, 
buys the BlackBerry brand from its Canadian owner. In 2008 the Obama 
campaign website was hacked by the Chinese for information about his 

‘‘The dilemma here is it’s so easy to do this that there’s an 
embarrassment of riches,’’ says James Lewis, a former State Department 
official and cybersecurity specialist at the Centre for Strategic and 
International Studies in Washington. ‘‘The only problem is resources. 
There aren’t that many people at NSA.’’ The NSA’s monitoring of Merkel’s
 phone, he says, was likely to have been sporadic and for a specific 
reason, such as an approaching summit.

This may be the case, although NSA documents obtained by the German 
magazine Der Spiegel revealed that Merkel’s mobile was put on the 
agency’s target list in 2002 — and still featured on it several weeks 
before Obama visited Berlin in June. It said NSA and CIA operatives 
monitored German government communications from a unit called the 
Special Collection Service in Berlin’s Pariser Platz, close to Merkel’s 
office. Similar listening posts, all set up at the end of the 1970s, 
exist in about 80 other cities round the world.

Merkel’s public indignation and the shocked reaction of Francois 
Hollande, the French President, have been met with eye-rolls not only 
from Americans but also among their own spies. Bernard Squarcini, head 
of intelligence under Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, said
 Hollande’s outrage sounded ‘‘disconcertingly naive’’. The French 
President would not have been so shocked about the American snooping if 
he had read the reports from his own spy chiefs, Squarcini says.





‘‘All countries, even allies cooperating in the anti-terrorist struggle,
 are spying on each other,’’ he says. ‘‘The Americans spy on us in the 
commercial and industrial field and we also spy on them because it is in
 the national interest to defend our companies. Everyone knows it.’’

There is a long and colourful history of the French spying on the US. In
 1991 another former head of the French secret services revealed that 
microphones had been placed under first-class seats on Air France 
flights to eavesdrop on US businessmen.

                                                American and French 
intelligence chiefs signed an agreement in 
1988 not to steal each other’s commercial secrets, but both sides appear
 to ignore it. Tales abound of French agents slipping into Parisian 
hotel rooms in the 1990s to search through the briefcases of visiting 

                                                Sarkozy had no doubts that he 
was being spied on. Countermeasures 
recommended by his security t eam had included a mobile phone supposed 
to be safe from eavesdropping. But he did not use it because it took 30 
seconds to get a dial tone.

                                                In a further apparent sign of 
Hollande’s hypocrisy, according to 
documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, France 
shares information with the US and Britain under a program codenamed 
Lustre, the German media reports. So do Israel, Sweden and Italy.

                                                Anthony Glees, director of the 
Centre for Security and 
Intelligence Studies at Britain’s Buckingham University, says that 
despite such co-operation it is routine for allies to spy on each other.
 ‘‘Any agency worth its salt would do it. You would want your money back
 if they didn’t do it,’’ Glees says.

                                                ‘‘We have done it. MI6 had a 
spy in the Bundesbank (about 20 years
 ago), whether a person or a bug I don’t know. The British government 
wanted to know about interest rates and the policy on the single 
currency. So they all do it.’’

                                                Merkel, he says, was 
‘‘completely idiotic’’ if she did not suspect the NSA might try to eavesdrop on 
her conversations.

                                                Last week, the German newspaper 
Bild claimed the 
Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German equivalent of Britain’s MI6, 
monitored telephone calls as well as text messages and emails in the US.
 The BND told Bild: ‘‘We take what we can get. If someone offers us 
information, for instance, about the Americans, we will not throw it in 
the bin.’’

                                                Lewis accepts that Snowden’s 
leaks, which he believes were 
calculated to portray America as engaging in ‘‘uniquely evil activity’’,
 have badly damaged relations with Germany.

                                                The ‘‘Five Eyes’’ agreement, 
which began with Britain and the US 
agreeing not to spy on each other and was later extended to Canada, 
Australia and New Zealand, regulates spying among the leading 
English-speaking nations, but there is no such deal with Germany. Now, 
Lewis says, there may have to be ‘‘some kind of common understandings 
and maybe constraints, maybe a degree of transparency’’ in order to 
mollify the Germans.

                                                For now the US administration 
seems unrepentant.

                                                ‘‘People at a senior level are 
still in the mode of, ‘Well, 
everybody spies and no one should be surprised and it’s our right to do 
this and if we’re quiet maybe this will go away’. They have not yet 
realised the scope of the damage,’’ Lewis says.

                                                German indignation, driven by 
public opinion, could endanger trade
 talks, hamper the effort to formulate better rules for cybersecurity 
and even affect US companies doing business in Germany. Most serious 
would be a decision by the Germans to scale back on sharing 
counter-terrorism intelligence. Senior NSA officials have contemplated 
going public with details of German and French spying on the US, but 
have been dissuaded for now.

                                                ‘‘If the uproar continues, 
people will be made to realise just how
 pervasive surveillance is by at least a dozen countries,’’ Lewis says.


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