THE NSA, THE BND, AND SIEMENS…May 21, 2015
That saga of NSA electronic spying in Germany is not going to go away. You'll recall a few days ago I blogged about the revelations about the "no spying deal" policy of the USA and the headaches it is causing Chancellorin Angela Merkel's government.
But wait! There's more, according to this article shared by Mr. S.D.:
Now, besides the deliciously ironic fact that it's Russia's RT which is supplying the story about an alleged connection between the massive German electronics firm, Siemens, and Russian intelligence, there's perhaps a subtext here. That subject, I suggest, occurs in the first three paragraphs:
"The NSA has reportedly sought the help of Germany's intelligence agency in spying on Munich-based Siemens over the company’s suspected business with Russian intelligence, Bild am Sonntag newspaper revealed. Siemens has denied any connection with Russia.
"The revelation came from an unknown US intelligence source speaking to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag, and is the latest report in a spy scandal involving a widening gap in trust between the Americans and the Germans.
"According to the report, the NSA had asked Germany's intelligency agency, the BND, to spy on European defense company Airbus and on Siemens. For the latter, the US explained its request by alleging that it had a contract partnership with a Russian intelligence agency. The NSA supposedly suspected the Munich-based Siemens supplied communication technology to Russia’s Special Communications and Information Service."
Now, the obvious part of the text here is that the USA is upset that Siemens is doing business with Russian intelligence, so, in the spirit of good neighborliness, the USA asked the German BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst, you all remember that one, the little organization founded by Generalmajor Reinhardt Gehlen on the remains of the wartime Fremde Heere Ost) to spy on the German company Siemens to find out what it was up to with the Russians, and thus ultimately on what the Russians were up to.
Ok, that's clear enough.
And adding to the delicious irony that it's RT running this story, is the added irony that the BND, which is simply really a "name change" for the old Fremde Heere Ost - same corporation, different name, different...er... "directors" (well, maybe not...) - is being asked once again to spy on the Russians.
So what's the "high octane speculation"? What's the subtext here? Well, this I suppose is a subjext in three levels:
Level One: Germany, being justifiably pissed off that the USA is spying on everyone, including Her Chancellorship's private cell phone calls, has probably been wanting to see how the whole intelligence-communications infrastructure of the USA can be challenged. Enter the Russians, who have their own space architecture and a considerable history of doing just that. Additionally, they're known to be pretty good at "cyber warfare", which is, of course, state-sponsored computer hacking. A convenient "deal" can be made, in the guise of corporate contracts of course, for a swap of a little German technology for a little Russian know-how, and voila.
Level Two: the USA knows that Germany and Russia are playing footsie under the table, and politely signaled this knowledge in the most byzantine fashion possible, by pointing out the existence of the arrangement and, in classic Robert Ludlum - John leCarre spy-thriller style - asked the Germans to keep running the deal, but to turn it into an espionage op, courtesy of the historically duplicitous BND.
Level Three: the Russians know that the USA knows that Germany and Russia know that Germany and Russia are playing footsie, and is letting Berlin and Washington know that it knows that they know. You know? The effect here would be carefully calculated to create a climate of opinion within the German business community - "little" concerns like Siemens - that they just cannot do regular business in such a surveillance climate. This will, of course, manifest in opposition by said "little" concerns to any policy of espionage cooperation, and drive a further wedge between the European side of the Atlantic alliance, and Washington.
The problem(if this high octane speculation be true) is that Washington continues to play poker, Berlin checkers, and Moscow chess.
It is also, however, perhaps yet another indicator that Germany is playing a very long term game, as is Russia, of trying to become less subservient to Washington.
See you on the flip side...