imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Stasi's New Incarnation

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Jul. 09, 2013 at 8:56 PM

police state

Stasi's New Incarnation

by Stephen Lendman

Stasi was East Germany's secret police. It suppressed opposition to Stalinist power. It was one of the most repressive state apparatuses in modern times.

When East Germany collapsed in 1989, Stasi had over 90,000 full-time employees. Another 300,000 were paid informants. They spied on East German citizens. Thousands of West German collaborators did so on theirs.

Stasi infiltrated NATO headquarters. Legendary spymaster Markus (Mischa) Wolf ran things. He did so for 34 years. He had Jewish roots. In the early 1930s, his family fled Germany. It did so to escape nazi persecution.

Wolf was educated at Moscow's Comintern Academy. He worked as a journalist. He observed Nuremberg trial proceedings. Post-WW II, he returned to Germany. He was part of a communist Berlin delegation.

He showed leadership qualities. He rose rapidly in the ranks. Stalinists trusted him. In 1953, he was among others in charge of foreign intelligence.

He and Erich Mielke ran East Germany's Ministry of State Security (Stasi). It was justifiably feared. Historian John Koehler called it "an instrument for the ruthless oppression of East Germany's population as well as one of the world's most effective intelligence services."

Wolf became known as "the man without a face." For years, Western intelligence agencies had no photos. He was lucky. In November 2006, he died peacefully in his sleep.

Mielke was convicted of murder in absentia. After reunification, he was arrested. In 1993, he was convicted. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment. After less than two, he was paroled.

In May 2000, he died in a Berlin nursing home. He was aged 92. He's buried in an unmarked grave. Stasi's infamous history represents the worst of police state repression.

Its modern-day incarnation lives. On July 7, Der Spiegel headlined "Snowden claims: NSA Ties Put German Intelligence in Tight Spot."

"They're in bed together," said Snowden. NSA partners with foreign intelligence in other countries. Its "Foreign Affairs Directorate (BND)" does so.

It's done in ways to "insulate their political leaders from the backlash." It's precautionary in case people learn "how grievously they're violating global privacy."

BND/NSA cooperation is far greater than previously known. According to Der Spiegel, NSA provides "analysis tools."

They're for "BND's signals monitoring of foreign data streams that travel through Germany."

Besides other areas, BND focuses on "the Middle East route through which data packets from crisis regions travel."  

Der Spiegel said "BND pulls data from five different nodes that are then analyzed at the foreign intelligence service's headquarters in Pullach near Munich."

Gerhard Schindler heads it. He "confirmed the partnership during a meeting with members of the German parliament's control committee for intelligence issues."

Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is responsible for counterintelligence. It's investigating whether NSA "gained access to Internet traffic traveling through Germany."

Berlin approved construction of a new US army base in Germany. NSA plans operations there when completed.

A new Wiesbaden-based Consolidated Intelligence center is being built. US contractors are doing so. Supposedly it'll be bug-proof. It may not turn out that way.

Snowden told Der Spiegel that German outrage over NSA spying was pretense. Both countries work closely together. Relations are longstanding.

Current operations far exceed Stasi's. They're conducted with technological ease. Decades earlier spying was crude compared to today's.

Modern methods operate in unprecedented ways. Virtually everyone can be monitored everywhere at all times. Nearly everything about targets is known.

Almost nothing's too secret to escape scrutiny. There's no way to hide. There's no place to do it.

More than BND is involved. Snowden provided "new details about Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)."

Its Tempora system "is the signal intelligence community's first 'full-take Internet buffer.' " It accumulates and saves all data passing through Britain.

"The scope of this 'full take' system is vast." According to Snowden:

"It snarfs everything in a rolling buffer to allow retroactive investigation without missing a single bit."

"As a general rule, so long as you have any choice at all, you should never route through or peer with the UK under any circumstances," he stressed.

German Internet experts said doing so's nearly impossible.

Snowden stressed the importance of meta-data collection and retention. Authorities having it know who communicated with whom, when and about what.

They can sift through information for what's most important.

Meta-data, said Snowden, "tells (them) what (they) actually want." It provides "tips on which communications and content might be" most relevant.

Simple pointing and clicking lets them "retrieve or permanently collect the full content of communications that have already been stored for a specific person or group, or they can collect future communications."

Anyone can be "selected for targeting based on, for example, your Facebook or webmail content."

Britain, Germany and most other Western countries are longstanding NSA partners, said Snowden.

Angela Merkel alluding to Cold War tactics doesn't wash. Der Spiegel said NSA monitors about 20 - 60 million German phone calls daily. On average, it collects information on 10 million Internet data sets.

Der Spiegel interviewed Snowden earlier. He was in Hawaii. He hadn't left for Hong Kong. He communicated by encrypted emails.

It was done with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and computer security researcher/hacker Jacob Applebaum.

Information Snowden provided showed some allies exceed NSA's "zeal for gathering data."

Britain's GCHQ spying is notorious. Intelligence sources call it a "full take" operation.

"It sucks up all information, no matter where it comes from and which laws are broken," said Snowden.

"If you send a data packet through Britain, we'll get it. If you download anything, and the server is in Britain, we'll get it."

"If the NSA is ordered to target an individual, it virtually take over that person's data "so the target's computer no longer belongs to him, it more or less belongs to the US government."

Der Spiegel's Interview with Snowden

As explained above, it was conducted from Hawaii. It was before Snowden revealed Germany's longstanding cooperation with NSA.

Question: What is the mission of the National Security Agency (NSA) - and how is their job in accordance with the law?

Snowden: It is the mission of the NSA, to be aware of anything of importance going on outside of the United States.

This is a considerable task, and the people there are convinced that not knowing everything about everyone could lead to some existential crisis.

So, at some point, you believe it's all right to bend the rules a little. Then, if people hate it that you can bend the rules, it suddenly becomes vital even to break them.

Question: Are German authorities or politicians involved in the monitoring system?

Snowden: Yes, of course. (NSA officials) are in cahoots with the Germans, as well as with the most other Western countries.

US intelligence operatives "warn the others, when someone we want to catch, uses one of their airports - and they then deliver them to us.

The information on this, we can for example pull off of the monitored mobile phone of a suspected hacker's girlfriend - who used it in an entirely different country which has nothing to do with the case.

The other authorities do not ask us where we got the leads, and we do not ask them anything either. That way, they can protect their political staff from any backlash if it came out how massive the global violation of people’s privacy is.

Question: But now as details of this system are revealed, who will be brought before a court over this?

Snowden: Before US courts? You're not serious, are you?

When the last large wiretapping scandal was investigated - the interception without a court order, which concerned millions of communications - that should really have led to the longest prison sentences in world history.

However, then our highest representatives simply stopped the investigation. The question, who is to be accused, is theoretical, if the laws themselves are not respected. Laws are meant for people like you or me - but not for them.

Question: Does the NSA cooperate with other states like Israel?

Snowden: Yes, all the time. The NSA has a large section for that, called the FAD - Foreign Affairs Directorate.

Question: Did the NSA help to write the Stuxnet program? (It's malware contamination used to infect Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility.)

Snowden: The NSA and Israel wrote Stuxnet together.

Question: What are the major monitoring programs active today, and how do international partners help the NSA?

Snowden: The partners in the "Five Eyes" (meaning other US intelligence operations, UK, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian spying) sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves.

Take the Tempora program of the British intelligence GCHQ for instance. Tempora is the first ("Full take") "I save everything" approach in the intelligence world.

It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. This buffered storage allows for subsequent monitoring; not a single bit escapes.

Right now, the system is capable of saving three days' worth of traffic, but that will be optimized. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it's not just about connection metadata.

"Full take" means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it.

And if the data about your sick daughter is processed through a London call center, then. Oh, I think you have understood.

Question: Can anyone escape?

Snowden: Well, if you had the choice, you should never send information over British lines or British servers.

Even the Queen’s selfies with her lifeguards would be recorded, if they existed.

Question: Do the NSA and its partners apply some kind of wide dragnet method to intercept phone calls, texts and data?

Snowden: Yes, but how much they can record, depends on the capabilities of the respective taps. Some data is held to be more worthwhile, and can therefore be recorded more frequently.

But all this is rather a problem with foreign tapping nodes, less with those of the US. This makes the monitoring in their own territory so terrifying. The NSA's options are practically limitless - in terms of computing power, space or cooling capacity for the computers.

Question: The NSA is building a new data center in Utah. What is it for?

Snowden: These are the new mass data storage facilities.

Question: For how long will the information there be stored?

Snowden: Right now it is still so, that the full text of collected material ages very quickly, within a few days, especially given its enormous amount.

Unless an analyst marked a target or a particular communication. In that case the communication is saved for all eternity, one always get an authorization for that anyway.

The metadata ages less quickly. The NSA at least wants all metadata to be stored forever. Often the metadata is more valuable than the contents of the communication, because in most cases, one can retrieve the content, if there is metadata.

And if not, you mark all future communications that fits this metadata and is of interest, so that henceforth it will be recorded completely. The metadata tells you what you actually want from the broader stream.

Question: Do private companies help the NSA?

Snowden: Yes. But it's hard to prove that. The names of the cooperating telecom companies are the crown jewels of the NSA.

Generally you can say that multinationals with headquarters in the USA should not be trusted until they prove otherwise. This is unfortunate, because these companies have the ability to deliver the world's best and most reliable services - if they wanted to.

To facilitate this, civil rights movements should now use these revelations as a driving force. The companies should write enforceable clauses into their terms, guaranteeing their clients that they are not being spied on.

And they should include technical guarantees. If you could move even a single company to do such a thing, it would improve the security of global communications.

And when this appears to not be feasible, you should consider starting one such company yourself.

Question: Are there companies that refuse to cooperate with the NSA?

Snowden: Yes, but I know nothing of a corresponding list that would prove this. However, there would surely be fewer companies of this type if the companies working with the NSA would be punished by the customer. That should be the highest priority of all computer users who believe in the freedom of thoughts.

Question: What are the sites you should beware, if you do not want to become targeted by the NSA?

Snowden: Normally one is marked as a target because of a Facebook profile or because of your emails. The only place which I personally know where you can become a target without this specific labeling, are jihadist forums.

Question: What happens if the NSA has a user in its sights?

Snowden: The target person is completely monitored. An analyst will get a daily report about what has changed in the computer system of the targeted person.

There will also be...packages with certain data which the automatic analysis systems have not understood, and so on.

The analyst can then decide what he wants to do - the computer of the target person does not belong to them anymore, it then more or less belongs to the US government.

A Final Comment

Venezuela granted Snowden asylum. Bolivia and Nicaragua suggest doing so. His time in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport's transit area may be near ending.

Venezuela awaits word on his plans. It's offer remains firm. Perhaps Snowden prefers communicating privately. His safety depends on doing so. He'll explain when and if it's wise.

Hopefully he'll relocate safely quickly. Millions support his courage. He risked everything to expose lawless US spying. He deserves his just reward.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy