Outraged US intelligence chief says Germans can no longer be relied on

Image and video hosting by TinyPic English translation of an online article by Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting, BR) a public-service radio and television broadcaster (23.5.2015):

Outraged US intelligence chief says Germans can no longer be relied on

US intelligence director James Clapper has evidently lost confidence in the BND, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service. He complained that secret US documents have been continually leaked from the German parliament’s investigative committee on the BND. According to German newspaper BILD, Clapper even goes so far as to call for a review of cooperation with the BND. This emerged from a directive that was classified as secret, in which it was stated, among other things, that the Germans cannot be relied on when it comes to protection of classified documents. It is claimed that cooperation with the BND is under consideration, and that some existing and planned projects had already been stopped. Clapper also mentioned the option of working more closely with other allied intelligence agencies rather than the BND. For some time now, politians in Berlin have been discussing whether the Federal Chancellery should hand over the so called “Selektorenliste” to parliament. This is a list of serch terms (selectors) which the BND used to spy on behalf of US intelligence.  The Americans have been following this debate with suspicion.

“What the German Government is doing there is more dangerous than the Snowden revelations,” the US intelligence agency told BILD.  

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  1. The German government declined to comment on a report that U.S. intelligence agencies were reviewing their cooperation with German counterparts and had dropped joint projects due to concerns secret information was being leaked by lawmakers.

    Bild newspaper reported on Saturday that U.S. spy chief James Clapper had ordered the review because secret documents related to the BND’s cooperation with the United States were being leaked to media from a German parliamentary committee.

    A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Berlin said it does not comment on intelligence matters.

    Allegations the BND intelligence agency helped the National Security Agency (NSA) spy on European companies and officials has been major news in Germany for weeks. It has strained Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition and damaged her popularity.

    „The German government puts great faith in the intelligence cooperation with the United States to protect our citizens,“ a government spokesman said when asked about the Bild report.

    „The government doesn’t comment on the details of that cooperation in public but rather in parliament committees.“

    The newspaper said it had seen documents in which Clapper, director of national intelligence, expressed concern that information on the cooperation from Merkel’s chancellery to the parliamentary committee was leaked and harmed U.S. interests.

    Clapper said Germany could no longer be trusted with secret documents, according to Bild, and as long as that is the case U.S. intelligence agencies should examine where to limit or cancel cooperation with Germany.

    Bild quoted a U.S. official saying the leaks were worse than those attributed to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    „What the German government is now doing is more dangerous than what Snowden did,“ the U.S. official was quoted saying.

    Critics in Germany have accused Merkel’s staff of allowing the BND to help the NSA spy on European companies and officials.

    A poll last week found one in three Germans feels deceived by Merkel regarding a row over spying on Germans.

    Revelations by Snowden about wide-ranging espionage in Germany by the United States, including allegations that it bugged Merkel’s mobile phone, caused outrage in Germany when they emerged two years ago.

    Merkel argues the BND must work with the NSA to fight terrorism, but privacy is a sensitive subject in Germany, after decades of snooping by the Gestapo and then by the Stasi secret police in East Germany.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/23/us-germany-spying-usa-idUSKBN0O80F220150523

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  2. Wikileaks releases BND-NSA inquiry transcripts of ‚unclassified sessions‘

    Wikileaks has published transcripts of „unclassified sessions“ of the Bundestag inquiry into the BND-NSA colloboration. The leaked documents show discrepancies between public and private sessions of the inquiry.

    http://www.dw.de/wikileaks-releases-bnd-nsa-inquiry-transcripts-of-unclassified-sessions/a-18445803

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