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Angela Merkel says allegations of US spying on Germany are 'serious', and if proven true "would breach expected levels of cooperation between partners."

"If the reports are correct it would be a serious case," Merkel told a news conference in Beijing, standing next to the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang. ... "If the allegations are true, it would be for me a clear contradiction as to what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners."

Germany's relationship with the U.S. is already strained by the Snowden revelations that showed that our NSA was engaged major spying activities in Germany including tapping Angela Merkel's cell phone.

The U.S. has not commented yet on the arrest of the employee of Germany's BND who says he had been selling classified information to the U.S.

Merkel is now visiting China where Germany has also complained to China about industrial espionage by Chinese agents.

"Germany is against [industrial espionage] –regardless of where it comes from," Merkel said. "We have a duty as the state to protect our economy... We are for the protection of intellectual property."

The Chinese Premier Li denied the Chinese government engaged in such spying and claimed they were also victims.

"China and Germany, it can be said, are both victims of hacking attacks. The Chinese government resolutely opposes hacking attacks as well as the use of the internet to steal commercial secrets or intellectual property," Li said. "China will engage in dialogue and consultation to protect the security of the internet."

On the Forth of July I posted this report on the arrest of the German intelligence officer Germany demands "immediate clarification" from U.S. Ambassador after man arrested for spying.

World tensions over excess U.S. surveillance of everyone around the globe escalated today as German demanded an immediate clarification from the U.S. Ambassador after a man arrested for spying said he worked for the United States. Alison Smale of The New York Times reports the details in her article German Accused of Passing Secrets, and Fingers Point at U.S..

BERLIN — In the latest turn in the yearlong tensions with Germany over American spying, a 31-year-old German man was arrested this week on suspicion of passing secret documents to a foreign power that appeared to be the United States, and the American ambassador was called in to the Foreign Office here and urged to help with what German officials called a “swift clarification” of the case.

The arrest came just as Washington and Berlin were trying to put to rest a year of strains over the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, and just months after an effort by Germany to strike a “no spy” accord with the White House collapsed.

While the White House and American intelligence officials refused to comment on the arrest, one senior American official said that the reports in the German news media that the man under arrest had been working for the United States for at least two years “threaten to undo all the repair work” the two sides have been trying to achieve

The man was originally arrested for begin a spy for the Russians, but the man said he has been working for the U.S., which might be exactly what we'd expect a Russian spy to say. With U.S. credibility with regard to global intelligence in tatters, that line of defense is probably not going to get very far.

The German Parliament is already investigating allegations that our NSA tapped the phones of top German government and corporate officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone.

Poignantly Chancellor Merkel was informed of this Thusday morning just before her conversation with President Obama as both parties are working to repair the damages done by our out-of-control intelligence agencies.

The White House did not say if this topic came up and the CIA and NSA were not available to say what their wiretaps indicate about the content of the conversation. (Snark alert.)

Recently, we also learned the NSA has been using the DEA as a cover to tap the telephones of top government and corporate officials in Latin America.

After 9/11, our U.S. intelligence philosophy seems to be that any conversation occurring around the world that is not monitored by the N.S.A. could represent a threat to our national security. What if someone talked about a terrorist act and we didn't spy on it? Would you want the potential loss of a major American city to a terrorist nuclear bomb on your conscious?

Any privacy by anyone anywhere could be a national security threat. Remember, "untapped lips, sinks ships." We could solve all of this is everyone in world would just agree to let the NSA install a RTFF dental implant in their front teeth at birth, so all of your conversations could be recorded and stored, for future reference. (Snark alert.)

Both the CIA and NSA refused to comment on these allegations, for real.  

12:33 PM PT: Exclusive: CIA had role in Germany spy affair
Mark Hosenball of Reuters writes Exclusive: CIA had role in Germany spy affair,

(Reuters) - The Central Intelligence Agency was involved in a spying operation against Germany that led to the alleged recruitment of a German intelligence official and has prompted renewed outrage in Berlin, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Monday.

CIA Director John Brennan has asked to brief key members of the U.S. Congress on the matter, which threatens a new rupture between Washington and a close European ally, one of the officials said.

It was unclear if and when Brennan's briefing to U.S. lawmakers would take place. The CIA declined any comment on the matter.

Adding irony to this sad case this article discloses that the subject of the classified data was the proceedings of Germany's parliamentary investigation of the U.S. spying on Germany revealed by Edward Snowden.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:59:01 AM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, your suggestion (5+ / 0-)

    of the dental implant would probably be accepted by a plurality in this country; I think that phrase "land of the free and home of the brave" should be dropped from this country's national anthem. I'll stand for the N. Anthem then.

  •  HoundDog, Hillary Clinton has already apologized (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    david78209, gerald 1969

    for the whole shebang, being in Germany right now. All is okey dokey now. Do not worry. Merkel has been pacified.

    Her tools to "produce a response" to the scandal are limited. Some demand that US diplomats or US Embassy personal that work as spies (don't they all?) should be expelled from Germany. Some say the TTIP negotiations should be cancelled or slowed down to a crawling nothingness. Some say Edward Snowden should now really testify directly in Germany.

    My bet, nothing of that will happen. In the name of the trust we all have in the US-German relations as long-term friends and allies. Sounds snarky, doesn't it?

    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

    by mimi on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 01:47:54 PM PDT

    •  They could let Snowden testify in person (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and give him permanent asylum. The other suggestions sound pretty impractical.  

      Expelling some or most of our diplomats would probably lead to reciprocal retaliation by us, and both countries probably need full diplomatic staffs even if we can't trust each other.  Stalling negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would be hardest on big business interests in both countries, so that's probably not going to happen.  

      But after all that's come out, Germany might want to be able to question Edward Snowden in an electrically isolated soundproof room.  And granting him asylum would be a nose-tweak to the United States that wouldn't gum up diplomatic business that benefits both sides.  I have visions of Angela Merkel going to Moscow, and she and Vladimir Putin both escorting Snowden on a flight to Germany.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 02:23:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  hi mimi greetings from germany (0+ / 0-)

      if hillary is here ( i didnt know)
      to whom is she talking while Angie is in china or was yesterday

  •  Well we didn't spy on Germany (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    before WWI or WWII and look what happened.
    (Is this snark or not snark?)

    I was a liberal when liberal was cool, I was a liberal when liberal wasn't cool, but I always was and always will be a liberal.

    by LemmyCaution on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 02:20:55 PM PDT

    •  But of course, everyone here knew what was (0+ / 0-)

      happening and we did nothing because of a sense of isolationism and the strong support of fascism from certain elements of big industrialists and the US Government.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:35:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More details from SPIEGEL ONLINE, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969

    specifically, this article and this one.

    The BND man came under suspicion at the end of May when he used a Gmail account to send three secret BND documents to the Russian General Consulate in Munich and offered his services as an informant.  German counterintelligence used a false Russian address to try to set up a meeting with the man, but he declined.  Ironically, they also sent a confidential inquiry to their US partner, thinking that the CIA or NSA would more easily be able to find out more about user of the Gmail address.  The inquiry wasn’t answered, but shortly thereafter the BND man closed the account.

    They caught him by narrowing down who had access to the three documents and was not at work when the e-mail was sent to the Russian consulate. When they searched his house, they found a computer with a weather app that automatically opened a program for encrypted communication when asked for the weather in New York.  They also found a USB stick with secret BND documents.

    In his initial confession the man said that after his first contact at the end of 2012, he always met his controller in Austria.  He also gave a phone number in New York that he could use in case of emergency; investigators are now certain that it belongs to the US intelligence apparatus and functions more or less as a dead drop.  The sheer weight of convincing detail contributed to acceptance of his story.

    A number of CDU/CSU representatives in parliament are starting to call for the expulsion of US agents.  Karl-Georg Wellmann:

    If it should emerge that the BND employee really was controlled by American agents on German soil, then it is incomprehensible that US employees can continue to make trouble here.
    Wolfgang Bosbach says that it’s hard to imagine that the American partners of the BND employee were acting without the knowledge and approval of their superiors.  
    But then the question arises, whether the Americans see the BND as a partner or as a target for espionage.  It can’t be both at the same time.  It’s hard to imagine the Federal Government allowing the US contact persons of the BND employee to continue operating in Germany without repercussions.  That is a massive breach of trust; we cannot just shake our heads and go back to business as usual.
    Wellmann notes that the US has itself shown that it takes being spied on by a friendly power very seriously, mentioning the case of Jonathan Pollard, who in 1987 received a life sentence for passing classified documents to Israel.
  •  I thought everybody (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    spied on everybody??

    "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around..."

    by cgvjelly on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 02:51:50 PM PDT

    •  Yes when I had a security clearance I was warned (0+ / 0-)

      that MI6 -- Britain's intelligence unit -- might approach me and that I couldn't give it any information any more than I could give Soviet agents information.  

    •  Yes, but are they monitoring Obama's phone? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Are they attempting widespread, full data capture of all the transmissions in the country? It is both a question of degree, and a question of arrogance to the point that EU countries, and everyone else with the resources, will do as much as possible to interfere or compete with the US. Kind of a data "cold war."

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:33:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  of course they do (0+ / 0-)

      what is strange about this story is
      that when he wrote his email to the us embassy he was not captured but the email to the russian was caught immediatly.
      When the BND was asking for help from the usa about the gmail there was nothing.
      let me put my CT glasses on for just one minute.
       Could it be that our former enemy told us that we had a double agent at the BND and gave us a tip to get him
      while our former friend's and allies just used the double agent
      to get even more infos and payed him for espionage against his country.
      at least a little

    •  I don't think you checked the source (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for that ONE HuffPo writer's claims. Here, let me do it for you (my bolding):

      Germany has been accused of using computer intrusion techniques and SIGINT to gather information on foreign competitors to be passed on to German companies.[15] There are no indications of a HUMINT effort against United States corporations, however, it is likely that German trade officers are collecting economic intelligence through open-source analysis. The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is alleged to have created a classified, computer intelligence facility outside Frankfurt designed to permit intelligence officers to enter data networks and databases from countries around the world. This program, code named Project RAHAB, is alleged to have accessed computers in Russia, the United States, Japan, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.[16]

      Now isn't that quite different from what you are trying to make people here believe is true? Please note that it is all about "accusations", "allegations" and a "likelihood" thrown in, with nary a mention of proof whatsoever. The writer of the HuffPo cherry-picked and misrepresented the information as fact, which you then posted here as fact, which it is not. Typical HuffPo, and unfortunate that you choose to link to a single article that is a source of misleading information.  

      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

      by translatorpro on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:45:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A significant issue is that the EU will build out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969, Tweedledee5

    its own internet infrastructure to bypass US spying. So all the NSA "we listen to everyone" spying will actually reduce the effectiveness of so-called anti-terrorism efforts.  Of course, it's my belief that what the massive data collection is about is the ability to control the domestic activities of US citizens.
    Try Teh Googles with "eu internet spying" for instance:

    Brazil, Europe plan undersea cable to skirt U.S. spying

    The blowback will cripple US intelligence operations. I think the spy agencies act from a sense of invincible superiority and a total lack of responsibility for their actions, for example giving $4 billion to Al Queda to fight the Ruskies back in the '80s. "Seemed like a good idea at the time."
    And if they keep fucking around, our European allies will implement their own spy programs. Wait until some pissed off employee of German intelligence does a dump of ugly US secrets. It potentially will dwarf the release by Mr Snowden.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:25:39 PM PDT

  •  Who is considered ostensible ally by the US? (0+ / 0-)

    Another cold war within the new cold war between “allies”

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