This was also posted yesterday (was on yesterday's front page of Spiegel):
Article says that the NSA used bugs to spy on EU offices.
Both articles, the comments of SPON (SPiegel ONline): Germans are pissed (We take privacy serious ). They're expecting the EU and chancellor Merkel to do something or she's going to have a really tough time being re-elected in the fall.
Thers is way more comments on this article than many other front page articles. From experience they usually accumulate around 50-100 comments. This article has more than 650 as of now. People are definitely not amused.
How is this affecting the Pirates' poll ratings? If they hold the balance of power in the Bundestag, it's likely the next German government would have to do something.
It might as well be called the 4chan party.
(You need 5% to enter the Bundestag.)
Not that the media would be particularly wrong with this. When the party was founded I had some hopes ... now I have given up on them.
See here in the UK, our media represent the whole of the EU like that.
Don't give up, get involved.
I wish it was just that. But you don't need the media to get the full drama experience. Their twitter flame wars are famous and the fall-out from certain actions (like devastating a congress centre and blowing up the bill to over 20k eur where initially 1700 eur were planned as expenses) can be read in their official wikis.
I was a member in the SPD party (some of the bigger German parties) some years ago and quit shortly after becoming a member because it was all about internal power struggles - even with a local 'branch' in a 30k pop town. I decided politics wasn't for me. I had better things to do than wasting them on bullshit.
Then after I got invited by a friend to come along to one of their meetings (for a 250k pop city) I decided to give politics a second chance. And I swear - it was the same like what I had experienced before with the SPD. Only there were significantly more mobile computing devices around. It was 90% about administration (who and how should do what and why that someone was a bad choice mixed in with some feminism/sexism debate) and the real issues (data retention, privacy, etc) weren't even discussed.
In politics I think there are many people who do care about the core issues - but there are far too many egomaniac assholes around destroying every constructive discussion with their bullshit. And after what I've seen I don't believe that the pirate party is immune to that.
For example, they did recreate a lot of the problems voting machines have with their 'liquid feedback' system, and when called out on that answered that they do not know, but since 1337 pirate party instead of evil(TM) Diebold suggested it, there is surely a way. ( And to rant a bit, at their last party convention they did petition that the parliament publishes their schedule on the INTERNET, which the parliament of course does. But there is no one left in the pirates who is able to google.)
So by now I tend to think of the German pirate party as the party of cargo cult modern, in the sense that modern does not mean a opinion informed by deep technical understanding, but modern in the sense of the latest Techcrunsh fad, independent if that is Instagram, Stasibook or Anonymous.
They're trying to form a party out of a fraction of a full platform, with the result that they will either need to find a way to agree to disagree about large swathes of politics, or they will drive away large parts of their potential supporters.
This is our only chance. Remember, even though some of the Berlin scene wish to "reboot" the Pirate Party in a way that is more to their liking, it is far too late for that. The Pirate Party has seats in west German state parliaments, which is a lot more valuable as a gauge for the chance of success than what the blogosphere thinks. If we fail now, after having come so far, then the project is eternally burned. We are at 2-3 % and the party is well beyond 10000 members. This is the window of opportunity to make a difference.
I think these polling results are not very meaningful in regard to the Pirate party. At the last election only one
pollster saw them at 1% all the others at NA .
In the end they won 2.0 %.
Pollsters still rely primarily on land line telephone interviews,
and Pirate voters are therefore
heavily underrepresented. Of course pollster know that and try to compensate for this effect but as long as they don't change the sampling method the error for the Pirates will be large. Peter Norvig's FAQ about the U.S. Presidential Election  has some excellent explanations of these effects.
I think the green party (Bündnis 90 / Die Grüne) will profit considerably more from this. They are know promoters of privacy and personal rights.
"Die Linke" could also profit from this.
With Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger they also have the last privacy wall before the Constitutional Court.
They of course have absolutly no problems with corporate data mining...
If it weren't for their neo-liberal/laissez-faire approach to economics, I'd consider voting for them...
That would be a bit ironic, given that Die Linke includes former PDS.
(for those not following German politics: PDS was "Party for Democratic Socialism", formed from the remains of the old "SED" - Socialist Unity Party, better known as the ruling party of DDR and originators of Stasi)
I find it hard to believe them, though. They seem to be against anything as soon as it gets unpopular.
Also, if, during coalition negotiations, there is a choice between more privacy for everybody or Westerwelle retaining his post as Minister of Foreign Affairs, what will they chose? Bringing up that question is usually sufficient to get people to distance themselves from the thought of voting for the FDP.
with El Pais, Le Mond, The Guardin and NYT.
For this very story: It has received some new presentation slides in the recent days that it's currently publishing. The FAZ and other German newspapers are referencing SPON for this particular story. So for this story SPON is the first/primary source.
And I think that using "on their front page" when talking about the website of a magazine is misleading, in part simply because it suggests magazine not website, and in part because being on the front page of their website really means absolutely nothing when it comes to importance - or at least, it means no more than saying "Spiegel wrote a story about it". The front page of their website is just the hub where they link off content as and when it gets published, both important and less important items.
Look at the table on the bottom . Note that the data is a little bit older and Bild is yellow press and recently introduced a pay wall.
If a topic is prominent on the Spiegel homepage mainstream Germany will talk about it.
I mean, on Spiegel.de right now, sure the NSA story is at the top, but other items that could be described as being "on the front page" include BBC Nature: The man who lives with the grizzlies, F1: Hulkenberg Sauber team threatens to bankrupt and Jennifer Lopez in Turkmenistan, to pick out a few.
I wasn't complaining about the original comment, I was literally curious to check whether I had misunderstood the publishing schedule of the magazine, or whether it was just worded in a way that didn't quite make sense to me.
(in case it is modified, this is the headline as of writing: "NSA: Germany considered an enemy. Intercepting 500mill messages per month")
... sees Germany as a "military target".
You're right, I should've used "military target" instead of enemy
Maybe "country of interest"?
> Maybe "country of interest"?
Yeah maybe, but that sounds a bit harmless, doesn't it?
"Attack destination" made me smile. The English word destination doesn't work like that, but maybe it should.
Still I really don't like what the NSA is doing to us...
Europe is an US ally today not because of the geography, but because of the Europeans. But the Europeans have mostly given up making babies and will in 1-2 generations be mostly replaced by more fertile Muslims hostile to the US.
For example the English population in the capital of the UK, has fallen below 50%. The English are already a ethnic minority in their own capital. It is just a matter of time when the people making decision about the UK nuke arsenal and military infrastructure are Muslims loyal not to the Queen but to Pakistan, Somalia or some other Jihadi US hating shithole.
It would be silly to declare a quickly dying/changing continent an perpetual ally and stop monitoring them just because they have been allies 20 years ago.
The ethnic breakdown of London is far more complex than that:
At the moment, about 8.5% of London's population is Muslim:
Also worth noting is that across the UK the Muslims only make up 2.7% of the population:
I'm completely mystified how anyone could see this tiny minority as a threat - especially, as far as I can see, the overwhelming majority of this community are as decent and law-abiding as everyone else.
Paul Weston - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG77qpLi4oc
There are a lot of people in the UK (near or in the parts that are "diverse", or "multicultural") that will disagree with you about the disproportionate amount of crime (murder, rape, mugging, etc) and destruction that is committed by the non-"White British", and the effects this has on the stability and prosperity of the country (and more than likely so will basic crime statistics).
Just a few months ago there was a couple of non-"White British" guys trying to cut off a guy's head with a knife, hands covered in blood, while proclaiming something about their religion, god, and kin, on camera and in front of witnesses.
> Also worth noting is that across the UK the Muslims only make up 2.7% of the population
Yes. The fastest growing demographic in the country that will blow up in just a decade or two...
It's not the 2 year olds you have to worry about, nor the 80 year olds, it's the 16-2x age group.
Most agitators will pose some "fact" as "crime rate among muslim is double as high". Yeah, right, but still the rest of the population is committing way more crimes. There's no reason to feel more threatened by them. If you are going to get mugged, killed or whatever, most likely it will be by the majority population - except if you are living in a neighbourhood or city where the majority has segregated the minority...
When it comes to birth rates, they vary a lot depending on a family's country of origin. Take Pakistan: in general first generation Pakistani immigrants do have more children than Europeans - but after a generation or two, the demographic pattern is very similar to that of the host country.
There is a radicalisation issue, but it's dangerous to start implying that all or most muslims are "hostile to the US" or "Jihadi". It's a very small minority, and especially in England. Almost a quarter of the world's population is muslim, they're just regular people. It's xenophobic to assume that they all hate you.
Same with the UK. What islamophobics also conveniently ignore is the unequal distribution and segregation due to subtle and not so subtle discrimination, similar to the Schelling effect. Basically, if London has more than 50% "immigrant" population (most of which aren't muslim), that's not any indication for the rest of the UK.
I haven't seen an argument why we shouldn't extend human rights to Muslims. And yes, what most people who talk about muslims committing more crimes on average (which is true, if you restrict it to the relative proportions and avoid any proper statistical analysis) are talking about is a violation of constitutional rights:
It's impossible to punish millions of people for the crimes of the few.
NB From what I can see most of the members of this group were not German nationals
I'm also stressing that I don't find the surveillance "surprising", while I don't condone it in any way.
It's much more plausible that everyone has been spying on everyone else and countries with restrictions regarding spying on their own citizens have backroom deals to get access to intelligence via other nations.
To give an example how tight the relations are between the US and Germany, start reading how our secret service came to be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehlen_Organization
Application in an embassy is not possible. If he would manage to come to Germany he could not be extradited if there is a real risk of torture or death penalty.
That said, we do extradite citizens, so don't come here.
Yes, the US has stationed troops and nuclear missels in Germany but this is far from "running the shop".
I disagree that the US runs Germany.
Also, the occupation authorities were instrumental in establishing the German intelligence service from the get-go, liberally making use of the existing NS personnel (Wikipedia lists Reinhard Gehlen, Klaus Barbie, Alois Brunner, Wilhelm Krichbaum, Franz Rademacher, Walther Rauff, Konrad Fiebig, Franz Alfred Six as prominent examples).
And yes, the US army bases in Germany are left overs from the allied occupation after WW II
As with any other country with a large standing army (Germany sits somewhere between South Korea and France in terms of capabilities), it would probably begin with large scale air strikes with stealth bombers against military targets. Within the first 4 hours, most militarized airfields and radar installations would be destroyed. The ground forces would invade from probably Italy and Poland, both highly US dependent states, assuming that France and the UK would stay neutral in such an attack. You'd probably see some guerrilla warfare because the Germans are strong-willed, but the vast majority of the population is westernized enough to not put up a real fight. But none of this would happen until the US has at least 2 carriers in the Baltic Sea, so Germany would definitely have advance warning, and hopefully the foresight to negotiate.
Germany has no nuclear deterrent, as it simply hosts US missiles by way of NATO .
EDIT: This spells it out pretty clearly, the US has more helicopters than Germany has tanks ships and planes combined: http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.a...
Merry Christmas, German friends.
To gain some perspective here, imagine this scenario where Germany was in the US' position and it makes a list of countries: Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland as nations to exclude from espionage attacks. Imagine that we are in a military alliance with them (NATO) and Germany has military bases spread across the US.
Would that not make you feel uneasy to suddenly learn one day that not only you are a possible military target but also that you are an active espionage target? How can you trust someone who does not trust you and feels the need to spy on everything you do and every word you say?
These are the "Five Eyes" countries and have been closely linked for national intelligence since World War II. The U.S. will monitor literally everyone else that it can, and has done so since WWII proved how useful national security intelligence is for toward national security.
For years you've been able to Google "In God We Trust; All Others We Monitor" and find various intelligence community posters, unit patches, etc.
The leak to SPON helps confirm that with numbers. But Germany's leaders have undoubtedly known it was going on, just as France's, Russia's, etc.
It's a "spy-on-everyone including our own citizens under whatever excuse we can get away with".
Politicians of all major parties are pressuring chancellor Merkel to react. One party is proposing to question the American ambassador.
I can see this having far-reaching consequences in international relations, all of them negative, for America.
Not that I'm not one bit surprised by any of this. Every government with the technical capability to spy, does so. On allies, on enemies and on civilians; everyone is a fair target. NSA was just caught red handed.
So why was COINTELPRO not required to keep the US from being destroyed by, uhh, black supremacists? The CIA did it, it's concerned with "criminals", that's in the name -- good enough, no?
The cell planned and coordinated with AQ while they were living in Germany and the BND did not detect their activities.
Yes, and as I said elsewhere, I can totally see why they wouldn't leave anything serious that could possibly be a threat to the US to German intelligence. But I still don't see how 500 million messages per month could figure into this, unless they are spying on everyone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who visited a jihadist website...?
If guessing how much it costs to wash all windows in Seattle is a normal job interview question for some, maybe they can help? I wouldn't even know where to begin, myself. But 500 million seems like a lot no matter how I look at it.
Since then the US intensified their activities in Germany.
Oh, so they "intensified it", and that explains everything? 500 million messages, or 500 billion, who cares?
To me that sounds like chocolate rations are up 5%. And I don't mean you, either: without anything to go by, no solid ground to stand on, both of us are pretty much guessing. You inherently trust, I inherently distrust, but I can't see a way for us to find out who the NSA is spying on and why. But even just the acceptance of that annoys me :/
How many phone calls, e-mails and SMS does Germany generate per month in total, by the way? I would assume corporations generate a lot more than individuals, but it seems fucking bad either way.
Which is actually one of the reasons they seem so incompetent, they're not very good at that. [also, did you perchance confuse the BND with the Verfassungsschutz? Not that it matters, the Verfassungsschutz is probably worse than the BND, they help Neonazis more than harming them] Also, BND officials say some hilarious stuff when it comes to computers.
While the Germans used regular police work to find their own terrorists, we decided to spend more money attacking an unrelated nation than the United States had ever spent on a war before.
So who do you trust more in finding and stopping terrorists? I'll take Germany and competence over America's war profiteering on flimsy pretext any day, thanks.
1: US foreign intelligence is incompetent. Viewing Germany or France as a military threat to America in 2013 is just nonsense.
2: The US uses its foreign intelligence to gain competitive advantages in businesses. I can't help wondering what kind of information flows the other way, i.e. from US government to US businesses, now that so many US companies have readily granted access to user data to the US government.
3: The US targets Germany and other European countries because it's easy to spy on us. More American government agents know German or French than Arab or Chinese, and a bigger portion of Europeans have internet connection and we host more data in the Cloud than the Chinese or Iraqi population, especially we host more with the American companies that NSA has direct access to.
4: Germany has more internet traffic than other european countries and therefore the absolute number of monitored connections is higher in Germany than in the other countries.
I don't have hard numbers to back up 4., but
- Frankfurt DECIX overtook Amsterdam as the largest exchange
- Internet Census 2012 , Germany lights up like a
Christmas tree, you can almost see the German borders
- Broadband coverage is fairly good 
Plus, I'm not sure if everyone actually thought their e-mail is being collected and could be easily accessed by NSA and others. Maybe they would suspect NSA could do that, but to the bad guys. Not to them. Isn't that what they keep saying in public now? That they only look at the "bad guys' data"? So the outrage, and even surprise to some degree, is very warranted.
Me too. People who could put two and two together knew what Snowden 'leaked' to the mass media.
These terrorist cell must be quite chatty if they intercept 500M messages per month.
Now it turns out our friend betrayed us. It views us as the enemy. Everything imagined as a paranoid bad joke is true.
But the worst of all: In the USA there is no outcry. The people don't even care about this. Thus: We are not seen as friends.
Greatly done, USA. From now on you are alone. Fuck yourself.
"...will find them and have the NSA start an investigation. Lyle also deposits $140,000 into _______'s bank account to make it appear that he is taking bribes.
Recent examples: Opel attempting to buy itself out of GM (saved by Gov't bailout), Creditor Deutche Bank National Trustcompany (housing debt), most SV chip machinery comes from DE such as Zeiss etc.
Overall, the single biggest problem is the € and the success of western Europe (it seems one might take Bruxelles bureaucrats for terrorists). Most of the decisions for the € is taken from Frankfurt given it is almost a refitted DM, and which needs to be countered by all means (ie. proxies such as Greece).
1) a decoy outfit whose entire purpose is meant to deflect criticism from China and Russia - who are in all likelihood the biggest receiving parties of American intelligence attention - which often complain about America's far-flung surveillance activities.
2) a conventional operation, by the NSA, involving "listening station" activities for the entire European region ( like at RAF Menwith Hill in the UK )that listens to chatter and helps thwart terrorist threats in conjunction with mainland intelligence agencies.
3) some other unknown listening operation that keeps tabs on primarily homegrown threats from militant Islamists and converts to Islam, in Germany.
a. CIA is said to have recruited Danish agent (and convert to Islam) Morten Storm to find a bride for radical anti-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Croatian Muslim convert 'Aminah' - born Irena Horek - was recruited on Facebook by Morten Storm who claims he worked with the CIA to infiltrate al-Qaeda and became a matchmaker to the terrorists. )
b. The members of the Hamburg cell were the key operatives in the 9/11 attacks.
Around 4.3 million Muslims live in Germany, one of the larger compositions in Europe (5.4% of
the population) or in any Western nation.
* Germany was at the frontline in the cold war. So Germany is traditionally both a target and a host of US spy activities.
* Germany hosts important US military facilities: US nuclear bombs, US central commands for Europe and Africa, military airports, military logistics, military hospitals.
* Germany was reunited with a communist part, which was under the influence of the soviet union. Thus it hosts a lot of former communists, former Stasi (East German State security, ...), a lot of KGB contacts, etc.
* from Germany it is easy to spy on East Europe
* Germany has a successful industry which is a great target. Germany has about 1500 so-called hidden champions, SMEs active in (often high-tech) niche markets and dominating them. Germany has SAP, one of the largest software companies world-wide, whose software is used at the core of the business of most of the large companies world-wide.
* Germany is a part of the EU, something which the US likes to understand and influence
* Germany has no direct border controls to neighbor countries, so there is a lot of illegal immigration to Germany, which makes it interesting for the US
* Germany is very active in high-tech and especially the Internet. Germany hosts one of the most important Internet exchange nodes.
* Germany has deep trade and diplomatic relations with Russia and China.
* Germany hosts some international relevant institutions, above all the European Central Bank.
* Germany has a relatively large military industry and exports military goods (tanks, airplanes, submarines, ships, satellites, ...).
* Germany has active left and green parties. Suspicious!
Plus Germany lost WWII and had to give up rights, some of them the US still has - so it may be still legal for the US to spy in Germany.
In fact, hello US gov, what do you have to hide?