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Iran Press TV

Germany sent metadata to US spy agency: Report

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 8, 2013 4:53PM GMT

Germany's foreign intelligence agency BND has sent massive amounts of intercepted communications data to the United States National Security Agency (NSA), a report says.

The new information was recently published by German weekly magazine Der Spiegel and was based on secret documents recently leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

According to the documents, at least 500 million pieces of phone and email communications metadata were sent by Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) to the NSA's giant databases in December last year.

The US spy organization received metadata - telephone numbers, email addresses, IP connections - on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis from two data collection sites in Germany, Der Spiegel reported.

Meanwhile, the BND insisted that no data contained information on German citizens, and the two collection sites were "associated with telecommunications surveillance in Afghanistan."

This revelation deals a fresh blow to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers, who all claim that they first learned about the NSA spying programs from press reports.

Merkel said a list of questions had been submitted to the US, including where in Germany the metadata was obtained.

In addition, the chancellor repeated her message from Obama's visit to Berlin in June that surveillance measures in Germany could not be allowed to grow out of proportion with what is actually needed.

The recently leaked documents also showed that the BND head, Gerhard Schindler, had an "eagerness and desire" for Germany's intelligence agencies to intensify cooperation with the NSA.

"The BND has been working to influence the German government to relax interpretation of the privacy laws to provide greater opportunities of intelligence sharing," the NSA stated in January.

Moreover, the documents show that a 12-member high-level BND delegation was invited to the NSA at the end of April to meet with various experts on "data acquisition", just a few weeks before first revelations by the NSA surveillance programs were published.

In June, Snowden, an American former technical contractor for the NSA and a former employee of the CIA, leaked documents showing the US spied on the European Union and monitored up to a half-billion German telephone calls and internet activities each month.

GMA/KA



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