Saturday, 3 December 2016

WikiLeaks reveals secret collaboration between US and German intelligence agencies

Wikileaks bombshell could DESTROY Merkel's plans for EU domination, Julian Assange warns

A TROVE of WikiLeaks documents revealing the true scale of cooperation between the German and US spy agencies risks derailing Angela Merkel's hopes of dominating the EU, Julian Assange has warned.

2 December, 2016

A 90GB cache containing almost 2,500 top-secret documents, now made public by the whistleblowing website, sheds light on the murky relationship between Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and America's National Security Agency (NSA).

Amongst them are administrative documents, correspondence, agreements and press reactions, WikiLeaks said.

The leaked files were submitted to a German parliamentary inquiry into the surveillance activities of the BND foreign intelligence agency and its US counterpart last year.

WikiLeaks said its revelations of NSA spying on Angela Merkel and other top German, French and EU officials helped bring about the inquiry.

Commenting on the latest release of classified papers, Assange claimed they could derail Germany's ascendancy within the EU.

He said: "This substantial body of evidence proves that the inquiry has been using documents from Mr [Edward] Snowden and yet it has been too cowardly to permit him to testify.

"Germany can not take a leadership role within the EU if it's own parliamentary processes are subservient to the wishes of a non EU state."

WikiLeaks is funded by donations, it received more than $200,000 after the release of the Apache helicopter video

Julian Paul Assange studied at the University of Melbourne where he studied programming, mathematics, and physics, but he did not complete the degree
According to US reports, Julian Assange was not seen as a 'journalist', but as a 'spy' and a 'terrorist'

In 1991, Julian Assange hacked into the computer system of the Canadian telecom powerhouse Nortel, he was arrested and convicted of hacking but did not go to jail

In November 2010, Julian Assange was alleged t
o have committed several crimes against woman during a visit to Sweden
WikiLeaks revealed in 2015 how the NSA had spied on Germany, and how Germany's own BND intelligence agency had cooperated with the NSA to spy on officials and companies elsewhere in Europe.

Subsequent revelations alleged to show how the US spy agency was also snooping on former French presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy as well as incumbent Francois Hollande.

WikiLeaks' latest statement added: "Whilst a number of facts have already come to light as a result of the inquiry including WikiLeaks' publication of inquiry transcripts last year this substantial new collection of primary source documents provides significant new evidence.

"The collection contains early agreements between the BND and the NSA and internal processes at the BND, but also more recent details on the close collaboration between the two agencies.

"For example, one document from the BND states that a BND employee will be tasked to use and write software for XKeyscore, an NSA system for searching and analysing data collected through mass surveillance.

"A number of the documents show how intelligence agencies find ways to work around their own government."

Fear of testimony’: Ruling parties try to block Snowden’s questioning on German soil – media

Edward Snowden © Berit Roald

3 December, 2016

Germany’s ruling CDU and SPD parties have filed an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court to revise its earlier decision that allowed the US whistleblower Edward Snowden to testify before the German parliament on the NSA scandal and Berlin’s ties to it.

The respective document was sent by the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) to the Supreme Court on Thursday, Berliner Zeitung reports. Martina Renner from the opposition Left Party (Die Linke) has slammed the move, saying the government has “fear of the witness testimony,” the outlet notes. 

© Toru Hanai

In 2013 the former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Snowden, revealed that the agency widely spied on own citizens as well as international leaders and officials, while getting significant help from German intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

In 2014 the German parliament launched a parliamentary inquiry and set up a special committee to investigate the matter. Snowden, who is currently living in exile in Moscow, is wanted by the US on espionage charges following his disclosures.

The CDU and SPD have staunchly opposed the questioning of the whistleblower in Germany, fearing that might lead to tensions with Washington. In order to avoid any “adverse” publicity for Merkel, the government simply “violated the rights of the minority,” the Green MP and parliamentary chief in the Bundestag, Konstantin von Notz reacted to Thursday’s BGH appeal, as quoted by the BZ.

In November the Supreme Court ruled that the German Parliament (the Bundestag) had to “establish the preconditions” for Snowden’s testimony before a parliamentary committee investigating NSA surveillance in Germany.

The ruling followed a request by Die Linke and the Green Party (Bundnis 90/Die Grunen), who wanted to initiate a vote in the Bundestag on whether to invite Snowden for the testimony. Among the conditions demanded by the opposition for his questioning was that he would not be extradited to the US.

Edward Snowden © Marcos Brindicci

A CDU MP and a chairman of the parliamentary NSA committee, Patrick Sensburg, is now mulling an appeal to the Germany’s Highest Constitutional Court, should his party’s appeal be rejected by the Supreme Court.

According to Berliner Zeitung, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the CDU and SPD appeal in March next year. Yet the NSA parliamentary committee is expected to be done with the witness hearings already in February, in order to present its final report. However, a potential extension of the time frame for the witness hearings till April is also possible.

Berliner Zeitung notes that any potential decision on the constitutional appeal would be made only after the legislation period of the current government and also the end of the current NSA parliamentary committee’s inquiry in September 2017. To invite Snowden to give later testimony before the German lawmakers would require the Bundestag to set up a new committee.

On December 1, the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks released a fresh batch of secret documents regarding the work of the German NSA parliamentary committee and the ties between the BND and US intelligence. The 2,420 documents also contained information regarding other key ministries and facilities linked to the investigation.

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