Germany to pour cash into mass surveillance

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MAILMASTER __Subject: Emailing: dreamstime On 2014-05-01, at 3:13 PM, Stocks, Kathryn wrote: Dreamstime surveillance image for Opinion, May 2, 2014. dreamstime_l_25233703.jpg

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DW.com
Germany to pour cash into mass surveillance

Germany’s spies will be working with significantly increased resources next year, if a budget report leaked to three media outlets is approved. The federal domestic intelligence agency, the Verfassungsschutz (BfV) is bidding for an 18-percent budget boost in 2017, up to 307 million euros ($345 million), while the foreign intelligence agency BND will get a 12-percent rise to 808 million euros, according to a report released Thursday by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” along with public broadcasters NDR and WDR.

A special parliamentary committee must now approve the increase – which, like all secret service budgets, are classified – but opposition parties have already voiced their concern.

The majority of the increased funds are expected to be plowed into mass surveillance – particularly decrypting what the report calls “non-standardized telecommunications” – meaning widely-used messaging services, such as WhatsApp.
Such online services appear to be a particular concern to the BND. “Encryption means that of the more than 70 available communication services … only less than ten can be gathered and the content read,” the budget plan read.

The BfV says it needs extra cash for ‘cyber defense’

The BND says it needs much of the extra money – some 73 million euros over the next few years – to set up “Panos,” a new project specifically aimed at decrypting such messaging systems by finding weaknesses in the apps. The leaked plan also says the intelligence agencies need extra money to buy expertise from “external companies and service providers.”

This is a dangerous game to play, according to opposition parties, as it likely means using taxpayer’s money to shop in the so-called “Darknet” – where anonymous purchasing is made easy and often used for criminal purposes.

“It’s a spiral that has no end,” said Frank Herrmann, privacy spokesman for the Pirate Party in North-Rhine Westphalia. “No one can guarantee that these security gaps won’t be sold on to other bidders. It’s a black market. Security gaps are sold on the darknet by hackers, and we already know that government agencies have bought from them, too.”

Herrmann says that instead of exposing flaws in services so that they can be corrected, the intel agencies will be getting extra money to make sure that such gaps remain open – which will have consequences for businesses as well as private citizens, since foreign competitors could also exploit those gaps. “Gaps aren’t just used to find criminals – gaps are dangerous to everyone,” he told DW. “It will create extra insecurity for everyone and feed the black market.”
Competing with the NSA?


In the leaked plan, the BfV said it needs extra money because its own resources are currently inadequate to fulfill its mission. This echoed a complaint made by German intel agency chiefs to the German parliament’s inquiry into the NSA affair, when they justified providing intelligence to the US National Security Agency by saying they needed access to data from the NSA’s mass surveillance programs like XKeyscore – one of the NSA projects revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

But Herrmann doubts whether the BND can ever really be independent of the NSA, since its budget is less than a tenth of the estimated $10.8 billion the NSA has to work with.

“Given that most of the manufacturers of software are American companies, and that American law gives the NSA all kinds of powers to force those companies to cooperate, the NSA has the power to spy on communications worldwide,” said Herrmann. “It doesn’t make it better to copy that with our own money here.”

Opposition anger

Other budget plans revealed by the leak include 1.6 million euros, and 15 new jobs, to link Germany’s Central Register of Foreign Nationals (AZR) – a database containing the details of 20 million non-Germans – with the databases of the BfV, and 55 new jobs to help network databases kept by Germany’s federal and state agencies on far-right, far-left and Islamist extremists.

The BfV also wants an extra 4.5 million euros to strengthen its “cyber-defense” capabilities – the budget where it might need to go shopping from shadowy external contractors. Should the plans be approved, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” said the BfV would end up employing some 2,900 people, plus 800 freelance contractors, in 2017 – a tripling of its personnel since 2000.

Other opposition parties were also appalled at the agencies’ alleged plans, not least because the parliamentary inquiry into the NSA scandal had uncovered, they argued, illegal practices by the BND. “With its behavior the government is not only showing that it still does not have the will to draw the necessary legal consequences from Edward Snowden’s revelations, it is also showing that the protection of the basic rights of citizens is in very bad hands,” the Green party’s Internet policy spokesman Konstantin von Notz told DW in an email.

Left party spokesman Jan Korte was equally scathing. “The grand coalition is clearly continuing to march on towards a surveillance state,” he said in a statement. “The dwindling trust of people in the state also has something to do with the expansion of surveillance. For who would trust a state that doesn’t stick to the law? On top of that, it’s clear that this doesn’t create more security, but more insecurity.”


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9 COMMENTS

  1. They are tapping on each others toe like in the MAD-Comics “Spy&Spy” (Spion&Spion) and have no time to spy on people. Good for us.

  2. Plz read
    “Die deutsche Karte”
    about the games of those spyagencies written by former General Gerd-Helmut Komossa, the former chief of MAD (militärischer Abschirmdienst) which was only published by an austrian publisher.

  3. Greenhalgh´s article is a good reminder of the entity that controls Germany and the US. The recent sentence by a German court of eight (8) months to prison of 87-yr-old Mrs. Ursula Haverbeck, the extradition of John Demjanjuk from Cleveland in May 2009 with subsequent conviction in May 2011, and Germany´s Merkel-Maas enablement of ISIL to drive Arabs from their homelands into the E.U., all reflect the fraudulent workings of “Judaism”, NOT justice. Neither the policy of the alias, B.H.Obama – an alleged Christian in 2009 – nor his policy of illegal immigration more recently as Moslem, fits his professed religious belief. Neither Christian nor Moslem, Obama copies the practices of Sheiks dressed as Saudi Moslems, carrying out the policies of Judaism´s MOSSAD.
    In their book, “The NAZI Hydra in America,” suppressed history of a century, Yeadon and Hawkins document that about 1947 Allen Dulles and OSS leadership returned NAZI general Gehlen to his HQ in Pullach, near Munich. Gehlen resurrected his former spy network, naming it the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) which functioned as the extension office of the CIA. Currently dominated by the MOSSAD, the BND remains affiliated with the CIA.

  4. You’re welcome Steve K. I though it would be a good idea to point out some things that are absolutely not speculation since I myself keep a very close watch what is truely going on here. Maybe you recall the soccer world championship that took place here in Germany 2006. The MSM here was bragging ahead of it that they not only intended to become world champion in soccer, but also world champion in leadership by introducing and managing RFID chips in all entrance tickets. That was 10 years ago. They didn’t really succeed as they stated afterwards, but even that I don’t believe at all. It gave them the perfect coverup of a general acceptance in public to introduce the technology, but what happens what they keep to themselves is a complete different story. And to add a bit to my own story these inventions were even published in 1965 in a magazine called ‘Bild der Wissenschaft’, the German copy of the American magazine ‘Science’. I was reading that kind of stuff at the age of 15.

  5. Steve K, I live here in Southern Germany and I can confirm much of what you’re pointing out. The announcement IS a kind of distraction because of the very nervous situation here surrounding the policy that has been created. From my own biography I can assure you that there is no such thing as independence from BND and NSA. They work hand in hand, but on a level behind the screens better known as NATO. Then there is a special secret service you hardly hear mentioned in MSM and that is the MAD (Militärischer Abschirmdienst). Anything that even comes close to being produced or constructed in Germany concerning the Military is closely monitored by these people. When I started my apprenticeship at IBM Germany in 1967 it only took me one week to realize that I was caught up in situation that would have influence on my life right up to today even though I left the company 4 years later. Need I say more? I lived thru the cold war even then. And it was chilling at times. Very chilling. But I also have to point out that I am actually Canadian citizen with no military background whatsoever. I am pure civilian but with a lot of insight concerning the political agendas on either side.

  6. 307 + 808 Million Euros — a mere pittance compared with NSA & other U.S. intel agencies. Not counting ‘Black Budget’ & U.S./’other’ intel-gathering agencies & groups. Germany is outclassed & outspent by one or more orders or magnitude — except for Germans working with U.S./other SSP groups.

  7. Boy, what a surprise, another government spending copious amounts of their citizens money to further expand their bloated budgets, line their own pockets, and yet, it never serves their nations real needs.

  8. Their fear their own people because all lies since 1945 are blown out of the water and a mass protest will result, maybe a revolution

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