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BND watched by its big brother

Germany
29.04.2015
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Reports: German spy agency helped NSA monitor French government, EU
Germany's intelligence service helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy for years on the French government and the European Commission in Brussels, German media reported Wednesday.
GALLERY
Berlin (dpa) - The Bundesnachrichtendienst‘s monitoring station in Bad Aibling in the southern state of Bavaria was misused to spy on high-ranking officials in France‘s Foreign Ministry and Elysee Palace as well as the commission, the EU‘s executive body, the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the broadcasters NDR and WDR reported, citing internal investigations by the intelligence service and Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s office.
All of the search terms requested by the US since the beginning of the cooperation in 2002 were checked only once. Even that task was enormous. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR reported that alone in 2013, 690,000 telephone numbers and 7.8 million IP searches were requested.

The inquiry turned up isolated incidents of spying on businesses, the reports said. Earlier, it was thought the United States was targeting businesses because it was searching for indications of illegal exports.

Last week, a Merkel aide conceded the leak to German lawmakers, saying the NSA might have used the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) as a puppet to spy on Europe‘s EADS and Eurocopter defence and aerospace companies and European politicians.

The NSA asked the BND to use its huge computer servers to monitor web traffic and look for keywords, IP addresses of computers and names. The BND determined long ago that the searches were contrary to German and European interests.

The magnitude of the scandal, the biggest to hit the BND in its 59-year history, remains unclear.

All of the search terms requested by the US since the beginning of the cooperation in 2002 were checked only once. Even that task was enormous. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR reported that alone in 2013, 690,000 telephone numbers and 7.8 million IP searches were requested.

The opposition is accusing the German government of deliberately hiding the cooperation.

"Parliament was blatantly lied to for years," said Jan Korte, a leader of the leftist Die Linke party.

The chancellor‘s office is now providing important internal BND files on the affair to lawmakers.

The opposition Die Linke and Greens as well as the Social Democratic Party, which is in the coalition government with Merkel‘s Christian Democrats, are demanding a list of the search terms. The government said it had asked US authorities whether they could be released to the lawmakers, but it said it has yet to receive an answer.

 

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