Germany and the NSA: Spying BFFs

Germany was a willing and eager partner to the NSA’s vast surveillance, German news magazine Der Spiegel has reported, countering claims by the German government that it was unaware of the NSA’s spying programs.

The reporting by Spiegel is based on a “top secret” NSA document revealed to them by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

According to the document, Germany was the NSA’s “most prolific partner” in Afghanistan.

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, sought to cultivate a relationship with the NSA, meeting with the agency’s secretive Special Source Operations, and, the magazine reports,

And the head of the BND, Gerhard Schindler, showed an “eagerness and desire” for the partnership, while German officials showed a “willingness to take risks and to pursue new opportunities for cooperation with the US.”

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, is also tied to a cozy relationship with the NSA, the magazine reports. Both the BfV and BND were equipped with the NSA’s spy program XKeyScore to “expand their ability to support NSA as we jointly prosecute CT [counter-terrorism] targets.”

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XKeyScore, Spiegel reports,

The hope for the NSA was that the cross-Atlantic cooperation “could benefit both Germany and the US.”

At a press conference on Friday, where she faced a barrage of questions on the NSA surveillance, Merkel said, “Germany is not a nation of surveillance. Germany is a nation of freedom.”

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