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Weakness in intelligence rankles Germans – The Washington Post
WASHINGTON – According to a now well-established media narrative, German outrage over National Security Agency spying has historical roots. Today’s uproar reflects yesterday’s bitter experience of domestic surveillance under Nazi and, more recently, East German Communist rule, we are told.
“It is not just about a wiretapped phone — it is a reminder of the fragility of free societies,” wrote Dagmar Hovestadt, spokeswoman for an agency that preserves the Stasi archives in Berlin. Even a country without Germany’s past might be upset to learn the NSA was tapping the phone of its elected leader. Why was Germany kept out of the deal under which the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not eavesdrop on one another and cooperate fully in signals intelligence?
The origins of that decision lie in World War II, when Washington and London agreed to work together to break the codes of enemy Germany. The NSA is the lineal descendant of the Anglo-American signals intelligence organizations that helped defeat Hitler. After the war, the NSA’s target was the Soviet Union, as Germany lay prostrate and occupied, a divided nonfactor in global politics.
Even after West Germany’s economic recovery and its rise to NATO membership, the U.S. and Britain excluded it from the “SIGINT” circle. The potential benefits of including the Bonn government were outweighed by the risks of Soviet and East German infiltration. West German governments gave the NSA access to U.S.-occupied German territory, anyway. …… weiterlesen
via Weakness in intelligence rankles Germans | The Japan Times.