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German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the turnabout-is-fairly-played-out dept.
cold fjord writes: According to Foreign Policy, "The revelation that Germany spies on Turkey, a NATO member, should dispel any notion that spying on allies violates the unwritten rules of international espionage. ... For nearly a year, the extent of NSA surveillance on German leaders ... has drawn stern rebuke from the German political and media establishment. ... Merkel went so far as to publicly oust the CIA station chief in Berlin. 'Spying among friends is not at all acceptable,' Merkel said. ... [C]alls made by Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were accidentally recorded. ... 'It's a kind of delightful revelation given the fact that the Germans have been on their high horse.' Christian Whiton, a former ... State Department senior advisor, added that the report on German spying is a perfect example of why rifts over intelligence among allies should be handled quietly and privately." The Wall Street Journal adds, "Cem Özdemir, the head of the Green party and a leading German politician of Turkish descent, told Spiegel Online it would be 'irresponsible' for German spies not to target Turkey given its location as a transit country for Islamic State militants from Europe." Further details at Spiegel Online and The Wall Street Journal."
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German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

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  • ...nation states are always a bunch of hypocritical jerks.

    Color me incredibly unsurprised here - every nation state is built upon a foundation of distrust. Distrust of other nation states, and distrust of even their own citizens.

    Hell, if people could actually trust each other, we wouldn't *need* nation states in the first place.

    • " If men were angels, no government would be necessary." - James Madison, Federalist Papers #51

      • so you're saying there is no governance system in heaven? that makes no sense.
        • by mjwx (966435)

          so you're saying there is no governance system in heaven? that makes no sense.

          Obviously the Kingdom of Heaven is an absolute monarchy.

    • Re:Bottom line... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @02:49PM (#47706013)

      ...nation states are always a bunch of hypocritical jerks.

      Oh please, don't be disingenuous. It's been well known by everybody for decades that every state in the world spies on all the other statse, and that to a certain extent, every state spies on every one of its citizens too.

      The real problem comes when a certain state is outed, and flat out lies about its domestic and international spying activities to the representants of its own people.

      • Re:Bottom line... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @04:39PM (#47707083)

        It's been well known by everybody for decades that every state in the world spies on all the other states

        On balance, that is a GOOD THING. Exactly 100 years ago, the German Army was marching through Belgium, the Russians were preparing to invade East Prussia, and millions of men were being mobilized all over Europe. World War One was a result of a series of diplomatic blunders, secret treaties, and severe misjudgements by many leaders of the intentions of both enemies and allies. It is quite likely that it could have been avoided if better intelligence had been available. Voluntary mutual transparency would be best, but spying is still better than secrecy.

        • On balance, that is a GOOD THING. Exactly 100 years ago, the German Army was marching through Belgium, the Russians were preparing to invade East Prussia, and millions of men were being mobilized all over Europe. World War One was a result of a series of diplomatic blunders, secret treaties, and severe misjudgements by many leaders of the intentions of both enemies and allies. It is quite likely that it could have been avoided if better intelligence had been available. Voluntary mutual transparenc

          • by bhiestand (157373)

            You are the one making an elementary mistake, I am afraid. Your conclusion does not follow, even if we accept your entire argument.

            You have heard the phrase "trust, but verify". It is far too easy to fake transparency and mislead other states. Every state throughout history has done this. At the very least, you need good intelligence sources to verify a state's public pronouncements regarding intentions are sincere. Even if they are sincere, you need to know the intentions/plans/abilities of internal p

        • I don't remember any secret treaties involved.

          Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy were in a public alliance (which Italy construed as being a defensive alliance, and since the whole thing was started by Austria-Hungary didn't require Italy to go to war). France and Russia were in a public alliance. Britain was not formally part of an alliance, but was a guarantor of Belgian neutrality and had close informal ties with France.

          'There were diplomatic blunders and severe misjudgments, in that leaders freq

      • It's been well known by everybody for decades that every state in the world spies on all the other statse, and that to a certain extent, every state spies on every one of its citizens too.

        The real problem comes when a certain state is outed, and flat out lies about its domestic and international spying activities to the representants of its own people.

        But you'd really expect a state to admit to their spying? It's just as well known that covert operations are covered by deniability and secret classifications. At least where Int'l spying is concerned, anyway.

    • Hell, if people could actually trust each other, we wouldn't *need* nation states in the first place.

      Nation states killed 350 million people [hawaii.edu] in the last century alone.

      The onus is on nation states' defenders to show that neighborly spats and other small disputes would do worse than that. It's not like private conflict-resolution services don't already exist (and are always preferred in business contracts). Every lack-of-imagination excuse people have for "needing" nation states must be justified vis-a-vis

      • by Old97 (1341297)
        Who would enforce the contracts? Contracts of all kind are enforced by government, i.e. the states you think are unnecessary. It's the states that provide the mechanisms to make and enforce laws, contracts, private property, etc. How would you replace that? How does anarchy work exactly?
        • Re:Bottom line... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by neoritter (3021561) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:55PM (#47706693)

          That's exactly the point. The problem with anarchists is that there is no such as anarchy. Humans naturally create social circles and tribes. Removing "governments" or "nation-states" would only result in tribalism. Hatfields vs McCoys, etc.

          • That's exactly the point. The problem with anarchists is that there is no such as anarchy. Humans naturally create social circles and tribes. Removing "governments" or "nation-states" would only result in tribalism. Hatfields vs McCoys, etc.

            Absolutely this, spot on. Where are my mod points?

        • by digsbo (1292334)
          Much as with credit ratings. All voluntary transactions include a mutually agreeable arbitrator in case of contract dispute. If you fail to fulfill your contract, the arbitrator marks it as such on your contract fulfillment rating. Fail to abide by the arbitrator's corrective directives, and your contract rating falls more severely, to the point you have to accept very bad terms on future contracts until you repair your rating. That's the anarcho-capitalist, totally government-free version of the solution.
          • by digsbo (1292334)
            Also, it's government that often *prevents* contract enforcement. Limited liability is a great example. One saying in anarcho circles is "a free society is a full liability society". There are lots of examples of companies and people getting out of contracts. Thus, this suggests the government is not effective in enforcing contracts.
          • Re:Bottom line... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by jratcliffe (208809) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @04:59PM (#47707267)

            Much as with credit ratings. All voluntary transactions include a mutually agreeable arbitrator in case of contract dispute. If you fail to fulfill your contract, the arbitrator marks it as such on your contract fulfillment rating. Fail to abide by the arbitrator's corrective directives, and your contract rating falls more severely, to the point you have to accept very bad terms on future contracts until you repair your rating. That's the anarcho-capitalist, totally government-free version of the solution.

            This scenario doesn't do much for the party injured, however. If your roofer caused your house to collapse, the fact that it's going to be a black mark in his book, and make it harder to get contracts going forward, doesn't help you keep the rain out of your living room.

            • by idontgno (624372)

              More to the point, dead former customers can't seek arbitration. So a sufficiently failed roof (i.e., lethally collapsed) is a guaranteed win for the roofer.

              Every system is gamed. The system described by GPP is optimized for the gamer, to the fundamental detriment of anyone "playing fair".

            • by digsbo (1292334)

              This scenario doesn't do much for the party injured, however. If your roofer caused your house to collapse, the fact that it's going to be a black mark in his book, and make it harder to get contracts going forward, doesn't help you keep the rain out of your living room.

              Sure it does. You write damages into the contract, and/or require insurance as part of the contract. You can choose to only engage in contracts with insured parties. This isn't really that complicated, once you figure out the three or four standard clauses and things to check. And you'd use a super Angie's List type company to whitelist insurers and arbitrators for you.

          • Not going to work. Sorry.

            If I don't pay my roofer in your suggested situation, I find it harder to buy things. If I walk over and shoot the wife of the first person (presumably a straight male or lesbian) who refuses to sell me goods and services, I may find it easier to buy things. I won't make many friends, but many people will think it safer to cooperate with me.

            Now, suppose I team up with several other gunmen and start running the town. Nobody wants to mess with us, because we're mean and nasty

            • by digsbo (1292334)
              I think you are conflating the concept of criminal and civil legal issues. There is a lot of debate in the libertarian sphere how to deal with the former with either minimal or no goverment, but in what universe do you think people would permit a known murderer (who wasn't a president, or police chief) to walk free, without social and economic consequences?
              • In a universe where people get afraid. If I'm the toughest guy in town, and have some friends, I can keep the town under my thumb, with everybody afraid to attract my attention in any way. Cause great anguish to those who oppose me, and few individuals will oppose me. It's worked before on various scales.

                • by digsbo (1292334)
                  And some of those scales include doing this within a government agency. There are a LOT of blacks who would say this perfectly well describes their local, publicly-funded police departments. If you don't believe me, look at the indictment and conviction rates, and sentencing averages for blacks vs. whites for nonviolent drug crimes. What you're describing doesn't have *anything* to do with free market vs. government systems.
        • How would you replace that? How does anarchy work exactly?

          There are entire sections of libraries about how this has worked in the past, works now (every unregulated transaction), and what kinds of improvements could be made in the future, but you can YouTube Bob Murphy [youtube.com] for some gentle introductions. Just be careful of the "but who would pick the cotton?" arguments.

        • Who would enforce the contracts?

          Local courts, backed up by the local police. Courts and police both predate the concept of the modern nation state.

          How does anarchy work exactly?

          This is the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle [wikipedia.org]. Anarchy is NOT the only alternative to sovereign nation states. There are many other alternatives. Anarchy is only the most extreme. World government would be another extreme. Between the two, there could be partial surrendering of sovereignty to international courts, and dispute resolution mechanisms such as the WTO. There are plenty of examp

          • by Old97 (1341297)
            Courts and police do not predate the concept of a government. Even the Greek city-states were states. The alternative to states were tribes. Not all state's are nations and not all nations have states. Germany is a nation state, but the USA is not. Nor are most if not all African countries and other countries created by colonial or other imperial powers. The Kurds are a nation that has no state. Israel is an attempt to create a nation state by reassembling the nation into a geographic area and decla
            • Courts and police do not predate the concept of a government.

              Of course not. But they do predate the nation state. My county has a court, and police. But they are not a nation state, and they do not attack and wage war on other counties. Likewise, California doesn't attack Arizona. Disputes are settled peacefully. The same could work at a higher level, but it would require nation states to surrender part of their sovereignty.

              The alternative to states were tribes.

              That is ONE alternative. But it is not the only one.

          • The EU is working pretty well? Where? When? How? All I see is a means for governments to get laws (or binding directives, same shit different pile) passed on the EU level that they'd never get through their own legislature, at least not without friction. This way, they'll shamelessly deny ever having known about this and blame everything on the EU, the unfathomable hydra of beaurocracy. I guess in that respect, it works. For some.
            • The EU is working pretty well?

              Yes. EU members have some of the highest per capita incomes in the world, high longevity, and low violence. It is one of the best places in the world to live, and is desired destination for millions of potential immigrants. If you compare that to Europe before the EU, especially 1914-1945, it is a profound improvement.

      • Nation states are not artifiical constructs and do not need defending. They are naturally forming political entities based primarily in cultural and ethnic ties. For example the Kurds are a nation but they are not a nation state because they do not have political borders dictating the scope of their nation. Humans naturally form nations of like individuals and then seek to dictate their scope of control thus creating a nation state. Essentially, my people live here we control this farm land and river ways f

      • if nation states killed 350 million people, then how come there are so many people in the world?
      • by cforciea (1926392)
        I've got a question for you. How do you think the first nation states came to be? Can you explain why you think that if we somehow managed to demolish them today, it would leave us in a different enough situation that they wouldn't just form again, with or without the consent of those who would be governed? Wouldn't it happen even more quickly, given the much larger wealth and power concentrated among fewer people?
    • Re:Bottom line... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gtall (79522) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:46PM (#47706613)

      Spying serves a valuable purpose. It allows a country to ascertain whether another country's pols are lying or telling the truth. It can also help prevent surprise attacks, and it can help explain another country's behavior. We should want countries to spy on each other, then there are fewer secrets.

      Nation states arose not because of mistrust, but from shared language, culture, and so on. Trust has almost nothing to do with it.

      • loooool look at all the snowden amerians saying nononono spying is good as long as it's not on us!!! loooooooooooooooooool
        • I'm not saying spying on allies is good, I'm saying that it's expected, everybody who cares knows that it's happening, and bringing it up is a diplomatic faux pas. Snowden's reports on domestic spying were extremely valuable. His reports on foreign spying told few people things they didn't already know, and made Merkel have to take exception to it.

  • No surprise here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @02:32PM (#47705825) Homepage Journal

    Anyone who thought that Germany's protests over surveillance was anything other than hypocritical bullshit is an idiot. All countries spy on all other countries. They always have and they always will.

    • the guy who screams loudest about (insert issue here) is hiding their own little sin pad of the same.

    • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:19PM (#47706327)

      Anyone who thought that Germany's protests over surveillance was anything other than hypocritical bullshit is an idiot. All countries spy on all other countries. They always have and they always will.

      True, and in general it was dealt with in a low key manner with the occasional low level diplomat getting expelled and then a bit of tit for tat. Both sides knew the game and had no desire to escalate the situation.

      With the germans, I'd guess domestic political considerations necessitated a stronger response, spiced with a bit of schadenfreude, while at the same time the very same politicians were thinking, "Mein Gott I hope we don't get caught as well."

      • The whole reason they made noise was the leak. It was public, so they had to Do Something(tm), There was no real surprise at spying allegations, just a public show.

    • Exactly,
      There is a lot of internet tout that Europeans somehow do things that much better then the US, is actually a lot of BS. They just have a different set of problems that the US does.

      Germany probably just made the biggest fuss about it, just because they could, and distract their public from their own problems. We do the same in the US.

    • Yes, countries spy on other countries. All of their hands are dirty to some extent.

      The difference is the method and extent of targeting. As a wartime example, it is the difference between a sniper rifle vs Agent Orange.

      There are various 'socially acceptable' levels of international espionage. Military groups are going to spy on other military groups, sure. Installing listening devices inside embassies, I understand that. Under international law it is well regarded that those INDIVIDUALS who engage in a

    • by gtall (79522)

      On the other hand, you are assuming the parts of Germany's gov. that were "shocked" by U.S. spying even knew about their own. They may not have been hypocritical at all. Similar things happen to the U.S. government. Some agency does something and immediately the other side assumes a conspiracy. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of it. It is sort ingrained in human nature to "connect the dots". The same silliness occurs with the WTC "truthers".

  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @02:34PM (#47705853)

    The Speigel article states that the person responsible for making the call recordings of Clinton/Kerry and Kofi Annan was the same person the BND now believes to be a double-agent working for the US. The headline here makes it seem like the German government ordered the BND to do it, but it doesn't seem to be the case here.

    • by Yokaze (70883) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @02:54PM (#47706057)

      Also the same article states that
      * they were not targeting either officials, but the party they were happening to call.
      * and were ordered to delete the records, as soon as the involved parties were identified.

      Sounds not quite like hiring a double-agent from an allied secret service.

    • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:14PM (#47706285)
      Not quite. If you RTFA, the BND made the recordings and dutifully transcribed the calls. They got passed along to higher-ups, who once they realized who was talking ordered the transcripts be destroyed. The person believed to be a double-agent for the U.S. was responsible for destroying the transcripts, and didn't. So no, he's not responsible for making the call recording - that falls squarely in the BND's lap. He just didn't follow through on the BND's good faith effort not to spy on the U.S. (or to cover up their spying on the U.S. depending on how you want to spin it).

      It does raise questions about the allegations that he's a U.S. agent though. Why would he be so keen to keep a transcript of a call between Clinton and Kofi Anon to send back to the U.S., knowing full well that the U.S. would already know everything about that call? The only explanations I can think of are that he wasn't a double-agent as Germany is claiming (or at least not a double-agent for the U.S.), or that he was a U.S. double-agent and included that transcript to implicate Germany in case the story ever blew (which would've been remarkably far-sighted).
      • by dave562 (969951)

        Or that the United States leverages multiple sources for the same information. Redundant systems and all of that.

        • by forand (530402)
          Redundant system for what exactly are you referring to? If the US isn't recording important calls made by their Secretary of State's then there is something wrong.
          • by matfud (464184)

            The US is not legally allowed to record the secretary of state talking to anyone (snigger). So why do you think that someone would think that they are recording it? An why do you think that the person with the recording would necessarilly know that the recording was recorded by another agency anyway?

            So who knows who is recording who and who has access to those recordings and who needs access to the recording and why they need to know who is talking to who and whether you should notify your chain of control

      • If he was a double-agent, in the vein of your latter option, it could simply be he was informing the US that the Germans were tapping US officials' calls. I'm more of the vein that he wasn't a double-agent and was more a leaker upset over the hypocrisy of Germany's actions.

      • maybe one US agency hired a double agent in a foreign country to report back on activities of another US agency!!! it's not that farfetched.
      • by hey! (33014)

        Or he may have spent years building up a tolerance to iocaine powder...

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        The ability to pass back that US calls where not at all secure or where collectable at times, places would have been a good task for any German working for the US with wider German security access.
        The spin can be seen as to try and not ask why US communications where not secure...
        The spin can be seen as to try and not mention too much about German issues with German staff working for the US.
        Beyond that its just Germany collecting all as they where tasked to by the the UK and US gov since the end of ww2.
      • I don't believe for a millisecond that there was any actual intention to destroy the transcripts. There conceivably could have been, but it would take a whole lot of evidence to get me to believe it.

    • The Speigel article states that the person responsible for making the call recordings of Clinton/Kerry and Kofi Annan was the same person the BND now believes to be a double-agent working for the US. The headline here makes it seem like the German government ordered the BND to do it, but it doesn't seem to be the case here.

      Oh come on! That's like saying: "The Germans made it seem like the Americans are excited about the NSA's actions. In reality, the NSA is really a triple agent for Germany through Russia, so it really isn't America's fault that the NSA was spying on other countries, right?"

      Germany, despite all their protestations about spying, had the infrastructure in place to record calls by other political officials. If they did it accidentally (which sounds like BS), they they are automatically collecting ALL calls an

  • The germans keep coming into World of Warcraft as your allies only to look at your gear then they suddenly stop aiding in the battle... They switch sides and use the intel against you... Worst of all they only play gnomes for maximum humiliation. Damn you German Gnomes! Damn You!

  • ... 'It's a kind of delightful revelation given the fact that the Germans have been on their high horse.' Christian Whiton, a former ... State Department senior advisor

    Yup, Germany stepped off their high-horse and dived right into our cesspool. But just because everyone is violating our fundamental civil liberties en-mass doesn't make it any less evil.

    The only thing this tells us is what our threat model should have been from the start.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sorry, but spying on the government officials of a foreign nation is not a violation of whatever civil liberties you are imagining.

      Why they get caught spying on allies, the Germans call it an "accident". When they spy on you, it really is an accident.

      Here's a hint: They don't WANT to spy on you. You don't matter. You are so utterly insignificant you are considered a HINDRANCE when they get any information about you, because they could have been intercepting data on people that matter.

      • by Jiro (131519)

        They don't WANT to spy on you. You don't matter.

        Spoken like a man who has never heard of the term "false positive".

        If you don't matter, but they think you matter, they can make life hell for you.

      • Here's a hint: They don't WANT to spy on you. You don't matter.

        On the other hand, we have FBI infiltration of peaceful groups and idiots who vaguely want to do something jihady but couldn't come up with a plan until the FBI suggested one. "They" are looking at an awful lot of people, and seem to have a considerable ability to get people in trouble. As long as I don't rock the boat, they don't care about me, unless they get a false positive result in surveillance. Once I start being politically active i

  • Trust, but verify (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @02:44PM (#47705957) Homepage

    doveryai no proveryai

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I love that phrase. "Say you trust, but don't trust."

    • I dont' like this proverb. I don't understand the different from this to "don't trust"
      • by hey! (33014)

        I disagree. It means trust but don't rely entirely on trust when you have other means at your disposal.

        Consider a business deal. You take the contract to your lawyer and he puts all kinds of CYA stuff that supposedly protects you against bad faith. But let me tell you: if the other guy is dealing in bad faith you're going to regret getting mixed up with him, even if you've got the best lawyer in the world working on the contract. So you should only do critical deals with parties you trust.

        But if the de

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The fundamental rule of spying is not that gentlemen do not read other gentlemen's mail.

    It's that you are not supposed to get caught doing it.

    It's a sad state of affairs when two supposedly first rate intel agencies get caught.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:00PM (#47706127)

    'Spying among friends is not at all acceptable,' Merkel said

    And I doubt very much Turkey is a true friend of Germany: it's a economical, immigration and to a certain extent, religious threat to Germany - or at least perceived as such by a sizeable part of the German population. It's also a liability, as it's capable of singlehandedly dragging Germany into the huge Iraqi and middle-eastern quagmire if it starts to get involved and calls on NATO members to provide help.

    Turkey just happens to be a member of NATO like Germany, is all. That doesn't make the two friends.

    • No true Scotsman? That's convenient. By that logic, Germany is probably not a true friend of the US, given its history of dragging us and others into wars, its recent Soviet connections, and the fact that they were just caught spying on us. So, hey, let's all be frenemies, right?

      • By that logic, Germany is probably not a true friend of the US

        Hardly any state is a true friend of the US these days - apart perhaps the UK, and even that is far from certain.

    • by gtall (79522) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:52PM (#47706665)

      Yep, after Western sanctions on Putin's Russia, Turkey recently announced they were going to make trade deals with Russia to make up for what the sanctions were stopping.

      I think in the past, Turkey was a real member of NATO. Now, they are not really and Erdogan is creating another theocracy. In 10 years, there will be no democracy left in Turkey and no reason to keep Turkey in NATO.

      • by mbkennel (97636)

        Did Ergodan suddently think "Oh maybe Russia was right about Assad & Syria after all?"?

        Yes, Turkey was a very reliable ally until Ergodan's Islamism. Ataturk was right all along.
      • For years the Turkish military saved the Turks from themselves. Now they are not. Erdogan got re-elected (!!) by the people. They are bringing ruin on themselves like every other Muslim/Arab country that wants violence over peace, religious intolerance over progress, etc.

  • The Germans spy on the United States and other NATO countries?

    Yea, so?

    If Kerry is dumb enough to have sensitive conversations in ways others can monitor, then the Germans need to listen. Even as a USA citizen, it matters not to me. Please, listen in. Just don't cry crocodile tears when we listen to you.

    What bothers me about all this is that it's being talked about in public. Everybody used to just accept this and quietly go about their business. Now it's policy to rake your friends over the PR coal

  • Turkey is a terrorist country...supporting Hamas and other violent Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, preaching a hatred against Jews and others not seen by most other "westernized" countries. Not to mention they have been bombing their own people as well as northern Iraq for years now. They are Europe and the USA's enemy in sheep's clothing.

    • Re:Turkey, ha! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swb (14022) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:40PM (#47706553)

      Your explanation is extreme, but Turkey is very much a wild card in the current scheme of things.

      Erdogan's Islamist politics alone make Western powers nervous after years of dependable pro-Western/anti-Islamist governments, enforced as needed by the Turkish military.

      Throw in Turkey's desire to play a leadership role in the Middle East coupled with the fact that what we call "the Middle East" was basically territory of the Ottoman Empire through about the end of the 19th century and it's not hard to see the guys who move around chess pieces on maps get a little curious as to what's happening there.

      • if I recall, the ottoman empire was named such after Neil Ottoman, who was the emir of Constantinople.
  • Do Germans eat crow with bratwurst?

  • ...when it became known that the US were bugging her phone. Probably her reaction was "What's the hubbub, it's not like we don't...".

    • by slew (2918)

      ...when it became known that the US were bugging her phone. Probably her reaction was "What's the hubbub, it's not like we don't...".

      Of course when things like this become public, you have to make a good show, though...
      Feigning outrage and going viral. Isn't that what the modern internet is all about?

  • Alliance, n.:
    In international politics, the union of two thieves who have
    their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that
    they cannot separately plunder a third.
    -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"

  • Government is for the people, not to control. Transparent government is needed and then spying would be unnecessary. Only murderers have secrets. Nothing about the administration of a country should be hidden.

  • ... and always has.

    What makes the NSA revelations unacceptable is not what they're doing but how well they're doing it and how insidious they are at it.

    THAT is the issue. Not that they're doing it. EVERYONE IS DOING IT.

    The NSA is just really good at it.

    Which actually means that what we should be doing is upgrading network security and generally being a good deal more paranoid about how we connect things. I have no interest in telling the NSA what they can and cannot do. For one thing they'll just lie to me

    • There are two things about the NSA I find unacceptable.

      The first is their mass surveillance in the US. This can't be stopped by security. I can encrypt my email, and the NSA still knows that I sent email, to whom, and when, and the rough length. If I had a phone scrambler that would actually stop the NSA, they'd still know who I was calling. This can only be stopped politically.

      The second in their disregard for our security. The NSA has been trying to put NSA-specific holes in encryption. This no

  • ...on the revelation that Turkey spies on Germany and others.
    And --particularly-- the precious toned-down reaction. Such as is displayed now, all of a sudden.
    Go Turks -- GO!

  • ...I find the concept of "German intelligence" an oxymoron.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      They where looked after well by the USA and UK as far as hardware and software went. Lots of nice equipment and top quality West/German staff that got to go on work related trips to the USA to learn more about new US methods.
      The problem for real German intelligence is how many of their own staff now work for the US and UK and have done so for decades.
      Who did they promote, how far did they get into vital German bureaucracies and the wider German mil.
      Germany cannot trust its own staff, the German tested,
    • by mjwx (966435)

      ...I find the concept of "German intelligence" an oxymoron.

      What's contradictory about it? It's German Intelligence, not German Humour.

  • One for me too, thanks Annan.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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