NSA and German intelligence sharing powerful online surveillance tools

By on July 22, 2013, 2:00 PM
nsa, germany, privacy, surveillance, prism, german intelligence, xkeyscore, federal intelligence service

After reports early last month pointed at a deep level of NSA data surveillance in Germany, documents obtained by Der Spiegel show that German intelligence is actually working with the NSA and making use of one of its network surveillance tools.

German agencies for domestic and foreign intelligence, the Federal Intelligence Service and Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, are both using a mass NSA internet collection tool XKEYSCORE, according to the documents. They go on to talk about how it allows for further cooperation between the German and American intelligence communities along with what appears to be allowing the NSA much deeper access to this region of the world.

The documents say the program is meant to help German intelligence "expand their ability to support NSA as we jointly prosecute CT (counterterrorism) targets." A cooperation that has recently been ramped up, the documents mention head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service Gerhardt Schindler's  "eagerness and desire" along with the German agency "willingness to take risks and to pursue new opportunities for cooperation with the US."

Earlier this month XKEYSCORE was reveled in powerpoint presentations seen in Brazilian publication O Globo. The presentation detailed the powerful surveillance tool as having to do with "digital network intelligence" that allows for various degrees of analysis of IP addresses, keywords typed into search engines, and other online communications. Users can access specific targets, capture massive raw data dumps from several days at a time and even review information that has been recorded retroactively.




User Comments: 14

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Users can access specific targets, capture massive raw data dumps from several days at a time and even review information that has been recorded retroactively.

I think the word 'massive' is the internet's favorite form of hyperbole; it's very overused. I also believe 'recorded retroactively' is redundant.

Anyway... it's good to see the NSA is cooperating with someone... the reputation of American intelligence is that they never help anyone but themselves. Now if we can get the NSA to cooperate with the CIA and FBI we'll be all set.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Now if we can get the NSA to cooperate with the CIA and FBI we'll be all set.
I'm thinking more along the lines of NSA, CIA, and FBI cooperating with the people they were hired to protect.

2 people like this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Goerge Orwell's 2014.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 - 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell

I'm lost! How does 2014 fit into the topic of George Orwell? There must be another George Orwell.

1 person liked this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 - 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell

I'm lost! How does 2014 fit into the topic of George Orwell? There must be another George Orwell.

I was being a jackass.

George Orwell's book about Uncle Sam keeping an eye on everyone is called 1984.

George was just off by a couple years.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 ? 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell

I'm lost! How does 2014 fit into the topic of George Orwell? There must be another George Orwell.

I was being a jackass.

George Orwell's book about Uncle Sam keeping an eye on everyone is called 1984.

George was just off by a couple years.

The book is about more than just keeping an eye on the people. It's Orwell's idea of the most extreme possible oppression of freedom he could imagine. The closest thing in reality to that book was Iraq under Saddam Hussein, but even he couldn't pull off the stuff in that book.

The problem with comparing the govt to 1984 is that it's so extreme theres nothing else to compare it against. It's become a joke... like calling a leader Hitler, except Hitler was real and 1984 was fiction. We may as well say the US is like the capital in Hunger Games because the average salary of a congressman is higher than your average Joe.

To be fair though... many people probably use the analogy who haven't read the book, and like Animal Farm, just because it's fiction doesn't mean you can't learn from it.

Renrew Renrew said:

Merkel should have never denied Germanys links with the NSA. It will probably cost her Septembers election.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

To be fair though... many people probably use the analogy who haven't read the book, and like Animal Farm, just because it's fiction doesn't mean you can't learn from it.

I've read the book twice. Its analogy fits quite well with today's unauthorized surveillance and control of people's choices. To say its an extreme analogy depends on what part you are referring to, and overall is inaccurate in my opinion.

What do you call something that monitors every phone call, text message and email without your consent?

Camikazi said:

So USA, UK and Germany so far, how many more countries will be found using these programs together? I'm guessing most all the major countries are using these tools.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I've read the book twice. Its analogy fits quite well with today's unauthorized surveillance and control of people's choices. To say its an extreme analogy depends on what part you are referring to, and overall is inaccurate in my opinion.

What do you call something that monitors every phone call, text message and email without your consent?

I would call it what it is.. monitoring. It isn't unauthorized, it was authorized by congress... who we elected. It's completely different than 1984. In the book there was a camera in everyone's house with someone on the other side making sure you were smiling while watching the govt's propaganda. Today your emails and texts go through some algorithm to see if you're talking to known terrorists. They're not read... they don't even have content, just metadata, and it's 'read' by a computer not a person It's not even close to 1984.

In the book they did it to keep you in line, today it's to protect you. People don't disappear never to be heard from again because their neighbor thought they didn't love the govt. In Afghanistan when the army arrests someone the first thing they ask if they are being arrested as a terrorist or a criminal. They know that criminals get turned over to the Afghan police and that's a big problem. Terrorists are given food and a bed and must be charged within 72 hours. You can believe whatever you like, but America treats it's enemies better than Big Brother treated it's citizens.

And I don't even know what you mean by control of people's choices... what choices of ours is the govt controlling?

Guest said:

Echelon, PRISM, and now XKEYSCORE.. how much they need these kind of surveillance tools to stalk on us?

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

We're all jumping to conclusions over this Prism scandal but all we've seen so far is the tip of the iceberg, if that. If we knew the full extent of the story we'd probably be mortified. Does anybody have Snowdens mobile number...

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Milwaukee, your taking my comments/analogy WAY too seriously. Easy there champ.

If we knew the full extent of the story we'd probably be mortified. ...

Or really annoyed!

Tygerstrike said:

More annoyed then anything else really. Im annoyed at all the paranoid idjits out there. I live in a town chock full of crazy. So I get to hear how the govt is doing this...or the govt is doing that...or the congress is owned by X group. Its all just media hype.

On one hand, if this program stopped a 9/11 style attack, the american citizens would be cheering and praising the govt. But since no proof of any "real" attack on the US soil has been derailed, the american populace has its nose out of joint.

The reality is we are being controlled, just not by the govt. We are controlled by little men on a screen telling us what our opinions should be. Telling us we need hair transplants to make us more appealing. Or the little suzy really need that name brand jeans or she will be shunned at school. Everyone is so quick to point to 1984 as a benchmark. When the truth is far more devious. We are told what to think by our media outlets. Everyone wants to blame the govt, when the real criminals will continue to get away with their grand works. All the while showing you how much less you are as a individual, that is unless you buy this.........

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