The "magnitude is is staggering", [Peer Steinbrück SPD] wrote in an op-ed. "Half a billion German meta-data were vacuumed"[..]. Staggering is in this context probably only the extent of the fallacy wich the chancellor candidate of the SPD fell for. Because the data, which this was about, had nothing to with German telephones or computers.Well, really? He goes no to write that Steinbrück claimed that Merkel broke her oath"on the basis of unverified statistical information and allegations of a former secret service employee". This is how deceit in the modern media functions. This is about Boundless Informant. The Guardian has a info graphic, which the NSA (not Snowden) put into a presentation, which clearly shows that Germany is the most spied on country in Europe. The graphic shows according to the NSA (via the Guardian):
"The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against that country."So we know for a fact, that the spying on German citizens is massive, we are talking China levels here.So what makes the FAZ pretend otherwise? They mixed up the whole story. There was a claim a few days ago (Spiegel wrote about it and I picked it up) that the BND (Federal Intelligence Service) was the source of the the vast amounts of meta-data, the NSA collects on Germans. This and only this seems to be not the case. I wrote:
Update: According to Zeit the BND supposedly removes German phone numbers and e-mails with the German top-level domain. If that is true, the intelligence service "only" gives away personal data of Germans with a .net, .com, .org or any other TLD that isn't .de; additionally "only" Germans, who live abroad, are affected by the BND giving the NSA their IP addresses.So, it might be true that the source of the data on Germans is not the BND, but this does not change the fact that the NSA does collect an enormous amount. In fact, if the Zeit information is correct, then in the BND worldview, then Peter Carstens, who wrote the FAZ article, is not German. For FAZ chose .net instead of .de. So, he is actually one of many Germans which could be sold out by the intelligence service, if what we know about the filters is correct. But the BND not only possibly - for all we know - selling out FAZ.net reporters, like Mr. Carstens, but also every other German would have been quite the icing on the cake.
The NSA operates the - strangely named - Dagger complex (let's not talk about Ramstein) within Germany, but on US soil (yeah German laws don't matter at all in some parts of Germany), probably not as a vacation destination for stressed out operators. So, it is fully capable of collecting the relevant data all on their own.
The reporter seems quite triumphant that the SPD also sold out to the US, but actually, we know that every single government (thank God for Süeddeutsche) since the 50ies has done so. So, the BND working together with the NSA in Bad Aibling (small town- former NSA facility), on orders of the SPD government in 2002 does not come as a surprise.
It is not only one reporter. The whole newspaper does not understand the story. First they report that, NSA data helped finding German terrorists and now their story is that there was no data. Daniel Deckers, who wrote the comment above, also wrote an article TEN DAYS AGO, in which the German Minister of the Interior clearly admitted that the NSA has access to some German meta-data.
"The authorities have to know about those who, from Berlin, communicates with those phone numbers (sic!) [from other African, Asian like Somalia, Pakistan countries] ."Of course, the claim that it is only Germans who talk with people from Mali, Somalia and Pakistan is obviously nonsense (look at the boundless informant map). The whole point of the, let's call it, NATO spy network was that each country would uphold the liberties of their citizens, while they spied on the citizens of their friends. So nobody has a right to privacy anymore, but at the same time the governments can pretend to not be responsible.They are gutting the constitutions of all countries, and the FAZ has nothing better to do than to jump on what is nothing more than a misunderstanding; and now they pretend as if nothing ever happened. This is disgraceful.