German aid for deadly US drone attacks

The BND offers ‘language assistance’ in African languages.

The filtering system the German spy agency, the BND reportedly uses does not reliably prevent German targets with .com and .org domain names from being monitored by the US.

In response to questioning about the close cooperation in Bad Aibling, the BND said that the Joint SIGINT Activity and the Joint Analytical Center were discontinued “in 2012 and 2011, respectively.” In addition, the BND noted in a statement, no joint surveillance took place prior to the facility’s discontinuation: “Even before, signals intelligence was performed exclusively by the BND.”

The NSA documents, though, tell a different tale.

A map from the spy program Boundless Informant, published by SPIEGEL in the summer of 2013, indicates that the NSA collects vast amounts of data in Germany.

One document, which explains the program, says that data is collected “against” a target country.

In the Wharpdrive program, BND specialists are even taking the lead. According to one document from the Edward Snowden archive, Germany’s cooperation with the NSA’s Special Source Operations is meant to provide “unconventional special access” to fiber-optic cables.

As far back as 2006, the BND was working in Schöningen on algorithms that could detect patterns or anomalies and thus enable it to exploit social networks for intelligence purposes.

BND surveillance could very well contribute to guiding the deadly drones to their targets. Indeed, the former head of NSA and CIA Michael Hayden recently confirmed, “We kill people based on metadata.”

Other documents state that the BND offers “language assistance” in African languages. It is also clear that the BND shares the results of its monitoring of two foreign ministries as well as Internet telephony originating from a crisis-plagued country in the Middle East.

These days, tensions between the upper echelons of government in Germany and the United States are at their highest in years, but these documents suggest a smooth relationship between the eager BND and the covetous NSA.

There was only one point on which the United States expressed reserve: A request by the Germans to use information from NSA surveillance in “open court.” The document, from April 2013, said there were concerns that the disclosure of surveillance capabilities in a German court could have ramifications and that the “desired and planned level of cooperation” could not be maintained.

In this instance, Germany’s adherence to its own constitution seems bothersome to the Americans.

Source: Der Spiegel