Tag Archives: phone tapping

The NSA’s House of Cards Is Crumbling: Their German Double Agent Just Got Arrested

A man identified by media as a German intelligence officer was arrested this past Wednesday (7/2/2014) on charges of leaking information to the U.S.’s National Security Agency (NSA).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far declined comment on the arrest, but her spokesman Steffen Seibert called the issue a serious matter, adding,

“I will have to leave the conclusions to you.”

German media hasn’t been so mute. Though they refuse to release their sources, a number of news outlets have reported that the man works for the German foreign intelligence service BND.

One of the gates into the BND headquarters

The double agent reportedly told German interrogators that the Americans were particularly interested in information about the German parliamentary inquiry into the activities of the NSA following the revelations that one of the victims of the NSA hacking scandal had been Chancellor Merkel herself.

The popular Bild newspaper reported that the man had been working as a double agent for two years, meeting with American officials at least three times in Austria during that span.

The double agent was reportedly paid $34,000 for hundreds of documents he passed on to the NSA. 218 of these stolen files were found on a thumb drive at the agent’s home.

Click to enlarge

German media adds that if the allegations are true, this is,

 “the biggest scandal involving a German—American double agent since the war.”

So far, the only American response was a short, “no comment” from the National Security Committee’s spokeswoman in Washington.

You would think the NSA would’ve at least tried to be a bit more careful in how they handled such a delicate operation.

It’s hard to ignore the irony of the agency getting caught spying on an investigation that was about them spying in the first place.

Meanwhile, our global image will take yet another hit because of a government agency that has shown a lack of respect for the citizens it’s supposed to protect as well the countries who are supposed to be our allies.

Read the original story from the National Post here.

WikiLeaks Reveals the Other “Mystery” Country Under Total NSA Phone Surveillance: Afghanistan

This past Tuesday, The Higher Learning reported on an article from The Intercept which revealed (via documents released to them by Edward Snowden) that the NSA has been monitoring and recording virtually every single phone conversation in the Bahamas.

In their article, The Intercept admitted that the documents named another country as also being monitored under this extremely invasive program, but chose not to release the identity of the country because they worried that the revelation would almost certainly cause deaths.

Despite their worries, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange vowed that his organization would reveal the identity of the mystery country. Yesterday, he delivered on his promise:

The revelation has sparked worry amongst the intelligence community, who don’t believe that WikiLeaks has full access to the Snowden documents.

It’s still unclear whether someone sent them a copy of the documents or whether they just got a tip from someone working with The Intercept. The leak site Cryptome even suggested that WikiLeaks may have just assumed that Afghanistan was the mystery country based off other already public information.

The MYSTIC Program was also collecting metadata from Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines

I must say I don’t think many people will be shocked to hear that the NSA has Afghanistan under heavy surveillance. Personally, I think the surveillance in the Bahamas is much more odd and unwarranted.

However, I do understand why The Intercept and Edward Snowden were worried about revealing Afghanistan. It’s highly likely that this revelation will be used to help fuel anti-American sentiment in the already unstable country. Whether or not that leads to violence remains to be seen.

Read more from Time here.

Federal Judge Rules NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Unconstitutional

Larry Klayman, a conservative activist and a Verizon customer, filed a lawsuit in June of this year which challenged the NSA’s collection of metadata following the revelations of Edward Snowden. 

Federal District Judge Richard Leon sided with the plaintiff, saying that the NSA’s surveillance program was “indiscriminate” and an “arbitrary invasion [of privacy]”, describing the practice as an,

almost Orwellian technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States.

Judge Leon filed a temporary injunction against the NSA, but suspended the order to allow the government to appeal the ruling.

Judge Richard. J Leon

Stewart Baker, former NSA general counsel, spoke to the BBC’s Katty Kay about the ruling, saying while it was “overcomeable” through appeals, the detailed opinion written by Judge Leon would make reversing the decision very difficult and that, 

“This issue is going to get litigated and it’s going to be difficult for the government for some months or even years to come.”

Read the full story here.

German Chancellor to US Government: STOP TAPPING MY PHONE

Dear USA, Would You Please Stop Tapping My Phone? Sincerely, the German Chancellor

(click link above for full story)

The Edward Snowden fallout continues. It was recently discovered that the US had been monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell-phone, the final straw in a series of embarrassing revelations about the NSA’s overzealous spying activity. Merkel demanded that the US strike a “no-spying” agreement (similar to the one we have now with Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand) with Germany and France, the two most dominant players in the European Union.