Jacques Mattheij

Technology, Coding and Business

German BND Aided NSA in spying on Dutch, French and Austrians

According to this article in ‘Der Spiegel (German)’ Deutsche Telekom (the largest German telecommunications infrastructure operator) aided the BND (the German intelligence service, the ‘Bundes Nachrichten Dienst’) in tapping internet connections to Austria, France and the Netherlands (and most likely others), apparently in collaboration with the NSA which also gained access to the data, which carried traffic from many other countries besides those that the connections led to.

Because of the strength of the German internet backbone and its central location any international traffic involving one of its neighbouring countries is likely to pass through Germany on the way to its destination. So much for ‘spying amongst friends’ being ‘not done’.

The German telco says it simply aided the BND and does not know what happened to the data after it left its premises.

A representative of the green party in Austria says he has concrete proof of the scheme which seems to have involved unfiltered access to the packet stream through one of Europes most important internet transit points, the exchange in Frankfurt (a.M.), which - weirdly - seems to be some kind of arrangement that gave preferential access to international traffic in exchange for not capturing German traffic.