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BND-NSA Scandal Rocks German Political Scene

May 7, 2015 (EIRNS)—As the magazine Frontal 21 of Germany’s ZDF TV network reported May 4, a non-public report of the German government admits that a BND expert team reported in October 2013 that the NSA had spied on German companies and citizens, using 2,000 data “selectors” smuggled into the software of the tapping center at Bad Aibling.

Frontal 21 also leaked that the Chancellor’s office in 2008 had received an “offer” from the NSA to have the BND engage in joint surveillance at German Internet nodes. The BND accepted, warning though, that this would provide an opportunity for the Americans to also spy on things not in the German interest. In 2010, then-coordinator of intelligence affairs at the Chancellor’s office, Günter Heiss, received evidence that the NSA (and BND) had spied illegally on EADS, Eurocopter, and French institutions.

All this will come up at the planned hearings of the Bundestag committee for the oversight of the intelligence services beginning on May 6, and at the subcommittee on the NSA and GCHQ activities. All former heads of the

of the Chancellor’s office since 2000 will be summoned to testify, including Frank-Walter Steinmeier (now Foreign Minister). Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to be summoned as well.

The further broadening of the scandal does imply the potential for a break of government coalition, because the former unity in suppressing all delicate facts is gone: On May 4, Vice-Chancellor and Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel explicitly backed the plans of the Bundestag committees, saying the affair required “detailed scrutiny, because German relations and friendship with the Americans” and also with the French were affected.