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German Intelligence Employee Arrested On Suspicion of Spying For US On Bundestag 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-you-thought-the-NSA-thing-was-winding-down dept.
New submitter Plumpaquatsch writes: Deutsche Welle reports: "A member of Germany's foreign intelligence agency has been detained for possibly spying for the U.S. The 31-year-old is suspected of giving a U.S. spy agency information about a parliamentary inquiry of NSA activities. During questioning, the suspect reportedly told investigators that he had gathered information on an investigative committee from Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag. The panel is conducting an inquiry into NSA surveillance on German officials and citizens; yesterday an ex-staffer told it the NSA was 'totalitarian' mass collector of data."
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German Intelligence Employee Arrested On Suspicion of Spying For US On Bundestag

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...we've found ourselves a scapegoat.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      That would be exceedingly stupid. The real problem is that the US paid this guy and thereby demonstrated that it does not have "friends", just servants and victims. That is not an attitude that is compatible with being a member of the modern world.

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        All workers get paid, since when is being an unpaid volunteer (read: independently wealthy) a requirement for assisting the US? Or anybody?

        As far as him getting paid by America goes, Germany has an data-sharing pact with us and he was collecting data for them just by sharing it with us. I'm not sure how they can accuse somebody else of them spying on themselves, or how they can claim it is spying.

  • the Americans spy on YOU!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:33PM (#47384751)

      He was arrested on suspicion of being a Russian spy. He told investigators that he was actually spying for the Americans. Would he have been arrested if that had been the initial suspicion?

      • Would he have been arrested if that had been the initial suspicion?

        Likely yes. In is illegal to spy on your own country, even for the benefit of allies. Just ask Jonathan Pollard [wikipedia.org].

        • by Anonymous Coward

          That's the theory. In practice, Generalbundesanwalt Range didn't even want to start investigating the illegal surveillance of Angela Merkel's mobile phone by the NSA. He still refuses to investigate any of the other allegations of US spying on German territory. The two major political parties in Germany refuse to hear Snowden, because they fear damage to transatlantic relations.

          • This is beyond obvious by now. I'm somewhat surprised that the two major political parties don't suffer a larger loss of popularity over this (the SPD is gradually losing in the polls, but arguably for other reasons).

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Three ideas to bring the arrest into focus, Economic Espionage, Industrial Espionage and Extortion. So no matter the country, no matter the origin, get busted being a "FOR PROFIT" double agent and you are screwed. That the US was paying him will in fact piss off the Germans more than if the Russians were doing, they would expect if from the Russians, from the US, oh yeah, they will be hunting down those doing the paying as a matter of principle. Don't forget the US just made the German intelligence service

      • He was arrested on suspicion of being a Russian spy. He told investigators that he was actually spying for the Americans.

        hell both are probably true...he probably started out working for the US & got disillusioned & flipped

        once these guys have been out in "the field" for awhile they get sociopathic...hard not to...your "work" is basically hacking society & everyone you know is part of the con

        it's just rough work...and they **get turned**....then **turned back**

        at some point, after double spying,

      • by fazig (2909523)
        Most certainly he would have been arrested.
        At this point in the "NSA-incident" the current government probably would like nothing more than to get some dirt on Russia.
  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:18PM (#47384659)

    You idiots! This is all happening because you insist on spying on your fellow citizens. I will support any politician who votes to gut your damn budget.

    Now you're going to spy on me, I'm sure. Because you're not good Americans.

    Get the message, dammit!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They are already spying on.

      Both because they already spy on everyone, and because you are visiting Slashdot and the NSA considers anyone that knows a thing or two about technology to be an extremist [slashdot.org].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Devil's advocate : They all do it in secret. Even Germany. NSA got caught and exposed. Right or wrong, it's become ubiquitous.

      • by Sique (173459)
        Devil's advocate: Does a wrong become right if you are caught?
      • I have a more devilish advocacy for you.

        This is a solid way to get evidence for a court case if you can get a foreign country to recruit your loyal. It's not exactly a double-spy spiel (hah!), but sort of a one-and-a-half one.

        You just have to get the courts to play along, so that your guy who is actually a patriot becomes a traitor in name only. Perhaps establish a penal colony on some tropical island. Get three witnesses like this and you have some very specific, irrefutable things to accuse a nation of.

    • You idiots! This is all happening because you insist on spying on your fellow citizens.

      Err, no - this is all because the NSA spies on Germans.

      • by cpghost (719344)
        Well, Germans are Americans too (in a certain way...).
        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Generations of West Germans who tapped into the copper, grew up with the change to optical and digital where all happy to help the NSA.
          Later they selected Germans who tapped into the to optical and digital networks. They where all happy to help the NSA.
          Generations of trusted, cleared German staff who know nothing but ensuring the NSA gets its 24/7 "collect it all" feeds and other special tasks.
          In East Germany you had generations of trusted, cleared German staff who ensured Moscow got its daily updated o
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  • The US has no problem trading a few prisoners to secure the release of their operatives. Surely they can find 6 Germans in US prisons.

  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:31PM (#47384739)

    The relationship between the CIA and the BND predates the CIA : ) and is at times complex. This book goes into some of the background for those that are interested:

    http://www.cambridge.org/us/ac... [cambridge.org]

    and volume 2.

  • Before (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arbiterxero (952505) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:32PM (#47384745)

    What the article gets wrong and EVERYONE forgets is that the spying did not start AFTER 9/11 but BEFORE new york was attacked.

    This was not in response to the twin towers, this was well under way before then.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah but yanks love to glorify 9/11 and rub the rest of the worlds noses in it and use it as an excuse for their past, current and future actions.

      I personally regard 9/11 vocallers, like car alarms, i am desensitised to the cries of 9/11 and just switch to listening to Weird Al Yankovich songs in my head.

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Obama and his cursed time machine!

  • A member of Germany's foreign intelligence agency has been detained for possibly spying for the U.S. The 31-year-old is suspected of giving a U.S. spy agency information about a parliamentary inquiry of NSA activities.

    So the investigation into the NSA's secret spying activities, is itself being conducted in secret under penalty of espionage charges should any German violate that secrecy?

    We seem to be forgetting why people object to the NSA's activities. Something about governments being open and trans

    • by jiriki (119865)

      Unless that is the German government has something it wants to keep secret from its own people. But in that case they become the pot calling the kettle black.

      Well the parliament has the oversight over the secret service (in theory at least). So they have to be told what the secret service does. This information should be secret, because why bother having a secret service, otherwise? While I agree that most political decisions should be transparent, it makes some sense to keep things secret in this case.

      Also I don't think the US would react in a positive way, if the BND published all information it has on the CIA in the parliament.

    • by cpghost (719344)
      Suppose the inquiry board wants needs the testimony of anonymous whistle blowers (NOT Snowden, he's known). How do you suppose the anonymity of those testifying can be granted, if the inquiry is being public? I guess the NSA through the BND wanted to know who was testifying there, and what they exactly said.
    • by tomhath (637240)

      Better yet, a member of the German agency that spies on foreign countries is accused of helping a foreign country spy on Germany...Karma, etc.

      Calling him a double agent would be like calling Snowden a traitor. Oh wait.

    • A member of Germany's foreign intelligence agency has been detained for possibly spying for the U.S. The 31-year-old is suspected of giving a U.S. spy agency information about a parliamentary inquiry of NSA activities.

      So the investigation into the NSA's secret spying activities, is itself being conducted in secret under penalty of espionage charges should any German violate that secrecy? We seem to be forgetting why people object to the NSA's activities. Something about governments being open and transparent in their operation so the public can be assured their actions are trustworthy. Any investigation into the NSA's activities should be done publicly and openly, to demonstrate a contrast with how the NSA operated. Unless that is the German government has something it wants to keep secret from its own people. But in that case they become the pot calling the kettle black.

      So when is the NSA going to publish all the data it liberates from foreign governments?

  • Maybe if you are spying on an inquiry about your spying, you should take extra measures to not be caught doing so, or just not do it in the first place.
  • How could this be? I thought noone but the USA had foreign intelligence types, from all the howling I've heard over the last few months whenever it was mentioned that the NSA's job is to spy on foreigners.

    And yet, here we have a German, working for Germany's foreign intelligence agency, at least theoretically spying on foreigners (by German standards - note that spying on Americans would count, since we're foreigners to Germans)

    Yeah, he was working for the US's foreign intelligence agency at the same tim

    • Re: Wait a minute! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's not wrong to spy on other countries. But it is wrong to spy on friends, allies and their heads of states, the entire world population, subverting encryption standards, undermining and ultimately destroying any trust into US companies by knowingly and unknowingly bugging services and devices (like the Cisco stuff), bypassing conventional laws and democracy by using FISA and national security letters, destroying every single bit of privacy, etcetera

      There is a difference between normal intelligence work a

      • by cpghost (719344)
        Is it really wrong to spy on the worldwide communication infrastructure, as long as you can? This ubiquitous spying can only spur the deployment of more encryption, anonymizing protocols and generally hardening the infrastructure. As long as that infrastructure is so easily vulnerable to snooping, why should the NSA, GCHQ and other spying agencies refrain from exploiting it? After all, it's our fault that we keep communicating in the clear, and that we keep trusting commercial companies that provide closed
    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Spying on your enemies makes sense, they are after all your enemies.

      Spying on your allies makes sense to a degree as well in that everyone has always done it. You might for example want to develop your own assessment of their military readiness and capabilities. You might try to obtain information about their long term economic prospects such as total mineral reserves and stuff like that as well. What you generally do not do is industrial espionage and you probably should not be directly spying on their

      • Spying on your enemies makes sense, they are after all your enemies.

        Spying on your allies makes sense to a degree

        . . . if you spy on your allies enough . . . you can make them your enemies.

        . . . and if you spy on your own citizens enough . . . read "The Open Society and its Enemies"

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