Remember when the Obama administration spied on German media as well as the German government, and specifically Angela Merkel.
The Duran remembers.
In 2015 CNN‘s Jake Tapper reported…
An investigation by the German parliament is raising questions on whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country, but also interfered in the exercise of the free press under the guise of U.S. national security.
That the NSA was spying on German officials is not new, though it continues to upset free press advocates and those with memories of repressive governments both Communist and Nazi. In 2013, the German magazine Der Spiegel, using information gleaned from files stolen and leaked by Edward Snowden, first reported that the NSA was intercepting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone communications.
On Thursday, WikiLeaks released more information, presumably from that surveillance, from a conversation between Merkel and her personal assistant in October 2011, saying the Chancellor “professed to be at a loss” between two courses of action to take in the Greek financial crisis. The WikiLeaks release also suggested that the NSA was spying on German ministers in addition to Merkel. The U.S. ambassador to Germany, John Emerson, was summoned to meet with the Chancellery chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, to discuss the news.
Less observed this week was news that the NSA was eavesdropping not only on Merkel, but also in some capacity on Germany’s free press, specifically Der Spiegel.
Merkel appears to have forgiven and forgotten the FACT that the US hacked and spied on Germany.
American “factual” hacking of Germany…no problem. Russian “imaginary” hacking of Germany…problem.
Following on Obama’s “Russian hacker” witch hunt, Germany is also sounding the alarm bells of Kremlin influenced hacking meant to weaken Germany and the European Union.
Reuters reports that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is reported an increase in Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns “aimed at destabilising German society, and targeted cyber attacks against political parties.”
The German agency’s statement to Reuters seems to be perfectly timed with the CIA claim of Russian election hacking. Coincidence?
“We see aggressive and increased cyber spying and cyber operations that could potentially endanger German government officials, members of parliament and employees of democratic parties,” Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV spy agency, said in statement.
Maassen, who raised similar concerns about Russian efforts to interfere in German elections last month, cited what he called increasing evidence about such efforts and said further cyber attacks were expected.
The agency said it had seen a wide variety of Russian propaganda tools and “enormous use of financial resources” to carry out “disinformation” campaigns aimed at the Russian-speaking community in Germany, political movements, parties and other decision makers.
The goal was to spread uncertainty, strengthen extremist groups and parties, complicate the work of the federal government and “weaken or destabilise the Federal Republic of Germany”.
The agency said it had seen a “striking increase” in spear-phishing attacks attributed to Russian hacking group APT 28, also known as “Fancy Bear” or Strontrium. It is the same group blamed for the hack of the U.S. Democratic National Committee this year and a cyber attack on the German parliament in 2015.
The attacks were directed against German parties and lawmakers and were carried out by government bodies posing as “hacktivists”, the agency said.
German officials have accused Moscow of trying to manipulate German media to fan popular angst over issues like the migrant crisis, weaken voter trust and breed dissent within the European Union so that it drops sanctions against Moscow.
But intelligence officials have stepped up their warnings in recent weeks, alarmed about the number of attacks.
Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could not rule out Russia interfering in Germany’s 2017 election through Internet attacks and misinformation campaigns.
Russian officials have denied all accusations of manipulation and interference intended to weaken the European Union or to affect the U.S. presidential election.
For an economy in “tatters”, as Barack Obama famously noted, Russia sure has a lot of power in hacking election systems, and manipulating global media. Zerohedge adds…
Either Russian intelligence officials have suddenly become extremely efficient at disrupting national elections in the world’s largest democracies or the establishment leaders of those democracies have intentionally launched a coordinated, baseless witch hunt as a way to distract voters from their failed policies. We have our suspicions on which is more likely closer to the truth…
Like accusations made by Hillary and Obama in the U.S., German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have asserted that Russian intelligence agents and media outlets have attempted to spread “fake news” in an effort to “fan popular angst over issues like the migrant crisis.” Of course, it can’t simply be that voters disagree with Merkel’s “open border” policies which have resulted in a massive influx of migrants that have been linked to increasing crime, terrorist attacks and sexual assaults on German citizens…that would just be silly and racist and xenophobic.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.