Last week the German Minister of the Interior Friedrich went to the US to "learn" about PRISM. He defended the program with what Jakob Augstein called "Mickey Mouse" numbers. The Minister told us that the NSA's around 40,000 employees (classified - Spiegel's estimate) initially overstated their success in stopping terrorist attacks by FIVE or ten percent. Not 50 but 45 terrorist attacks have been prevented altogether twenty-FIVE in Europe and FIVE in Germany.
Of course, it took no more than a few days until it became clear that the "FIVES" had no basis in reality. A spokesperson said that there were "five incidents" and that some of those were "considerations" to plan. It was claimed then that the only two actual attempts that ended in arrests were due to PRISM, which is strange since the "Sauerland-Gruppe", who had rather advanced plans and already had explosives, got parts of their equipment, including the fuses, from a CIA contact. In fact the wannabe terrorists called the CIA person "the boss". He gave the orders and therefore it seems unlikely that PRISM played any meaningful role in preventing their plans, since that would mean that the CIA went rogue, and actually planned to conduct attacks.
It makes more sense to connect other group mentioned the "Dusseldorf cell" to PRISM. Their leader downloaded a Al Qaida manual on building bombs. One of the group then went shopping. Here is the actual conversation accourding to "Welt" after they failed miserably to get the necessary tools (in broken German - my translation):
So, we can safely assume that the NSA might have helped in catching four slapstick morons and only costs around $ 10 Billion a year which seems "reasonable". Of course, Friedrich also said that the NSA is not conducting industrial espionage. How could they? They have no resources available at the moment since they are preoccupied catching hikers. I am not making this up. Somebody invited his friends on Facebook to hike with him near the Dagger Complex in Germany to "research the NSA spies in their endangered natural habitat." He advised to take flowers to "spice up their biotope." For that he got one visit by the police and one by the internal secret service. The German side was informed of the hiker by the US military police, but I think we should give credit where it is due and this is exactly what PRISM was made for.
What is starting to piss me off the most is that our politicians aren't even trying to make up good lies anymore. The government defends what the US does with fantasy numbers and the opposition pretends that they were not involved in setting up this system designed to undermine the constitutional rights of German citizens. Of course they were. The Dagger Complex became what it is today in 2003. Both the Greens and the SPD were in power at the time. A five is the grade at German universities to indicate failure. perhaps the person responsible for making up those numbers wanted to tell us something about the competence of our leaders. They are all a bunch of fives.