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German Authorities Lack Evidence To Prosecute Anyone For NSA Spying

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the leave-no-trace dept.

Privacy 107

jfruh (300774) writes "The revelations about the NSA's surveillance program caused particular outrage in Germany, a country that is closely allied with the United States but nevertheless found that its leader's cell phone was being snooped on. Nevertheless, the German federal prosecutor's office will not be bringing any charges against anyone, mostly because they lack enough evidence (Google translation). The decision is sparking anger among German privacy advocates."

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talk about terrorists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109295)

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Re:talk about terrorists (0, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 6 months ago | (#47110211)

US prosecutes Chinese Generals and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commanders on the slimmest, "guilt by implication and association" pretexts.

Bless the Germans, for having principles and integrity - unlike the Amerikan rogue state.

General Alexander and Michael Hayden are off the hook. Now, they face only the hellish void of their own souls.

Re:talk about terrorists (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#47110357)

US prosecutes Chinese Generals and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commanders on the slimmest, "guilt by implication and association" pretexts.

No, the USA "brings charges against" these guys. "Prosecution" requires a trial before a Judge and Jury. Which in turns requires a defendant who is PRESENT for the trial. We have no legal provision for Trial in Absentia in the USA (hence Kerry saying Snowden should "come back to the US to stand trial").

Re:talk about terrorists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110471)

No, the USA "brings charges against" these guys. "Prosecution" requires a trial before a Judge and Jury. Which in turns requires a defendant who is PRESENT for the trial. We have no legal provision for Trial in Absentia in the USA (hence Kerry saying Snowden should "come back to the US to stand trial").

Barring the occasional executive order to dispense with all that inconvenient legal stuff... for example [theatlantic.com]

Re: talk about terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47112691)

Kerry is a windbag, completely unsuitable to the task of real diplomacy however appropos his pseudo-aristocratic demeanor may appear to those who desire a return to the good ol' daze of American Exceptionalism. The louder he and Hilary cry out in the name of moral outrage (whether in Libya, Nigeria, China, Sudan or Israel) the more obviously the administration seeks to avoid financially costly engagements, anywhere.

Afghnistan and Iraq have taken an undeniable toll on the economics of our war-bound state, revealing the true genius of isolationism. Waiting 'til the end of the great European wars were in sight and entering just in time to claim victory played out well. By comparison, leading a charge, even in retaliation against a non-state actor, created havoc in terms of domestic economics. But what is nationalism if it can't be used it cynically by those who exist on government services contracts, particularly when theater of war operations drive up costs so dramatically, oversight is all but nonexistent and the risk of being dunned for fraud or failure to perform so low.

The only thing we have to show for our multi-trillion dollar investment in failed aggression is a new bogeyman and nebulous characterization of villainous activity that war mongers may use in order to justify an increasingly costly and technologically complex war machine, a return to Rumsfeld's leaner, meaner techno-heavy military architecture. Terrorism has replaced Totalitarianism as the new arch nemesis. Long live the new arch nemesis!

Heaven forbid we redirect spending from militancy toward solutions to the foreseeable and real threats inherent in avoiding the unmanageable consequence of irresponsible industrial activity or managing the avoidable damage to the ecological systems upon which we all depend.

Have faith, sayeth the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, American Crossroads and Citizens for a New American Prosperity, mercenaries all.

Re:talk about terrorists (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47111811)

No, the USA "brings charges against" these guys. "Prosecution" requires a trial before a Judge and Jury. Which in turns requires a defendant who is PRESENT for the trial. We have no legal provision for Trial in Absentia in the USA (hence Kerry saying Snowden should "come back to the US to stand trial").

No, the USA simply sends drones to kill unwanted persons without any of that.

Re:talk about terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47111863)

screw that, the germans should bring in obama and have him tried and hung. or gas chamber if you prefer

Re:talk about terrorists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47113133)

For what? For the spying that W and the neo-cons did back in the mid 00's?
From neo-nazis to neo-cons, you still have the same warped ideas and logic.
How soone before fucks like you scream that jews and/or blacks screwed over America? Oh wait. You have been here doing it all along.

Re:talk about terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47113843)

Yes, if for no other reason than because he knew about it and had the power to stop it, yet did nothing. Obama even advanced the program, heck Obama even began and admitted to the use of programs using unmanned drones to carry out assassinations during peace time. How is that what W did, what W did is not right either, but you do not get to pick the guy you like and absolve him of any wrong doing because the guy before him also did it. That is like saying I was driving 120mph in school zone just as school let out, ya I hit 3 kids but I am blame free because that guy in front of me did it before I did.

The whole practice of blaming the guy before you never made any sense to me. You can only do that if you were both unaware of what was being done, or as soon as you became aware you did everything within your power to end it, and rectify the situation. If neither of those conditions are true then you are just as much to blame as the guy before you, and if you knowingly make it worse then you are even more to blame than he was.

That's too bad (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47109319)

People in power should have to prove their innocence.

Re:That's too bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109383)

You can't prove a negative. How in the world would you prove you did not do something? Presumption of guilt until proven innocent is never a good thing.

Re:That's too bad (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47109439)

If you can't take the heat.. well, you know the routine. If you want the power, you must pay the price.

Re:That's too bad (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#47110029)

If you want the power, you must pay the price.

This attitude ensures that we are governed by people that love power.

Re:That's too bad (1)

qeveren (318805) | about 6 months ago | (#47110095)

You already are. XD

Lotteries (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110111)

If you want the power, you must pay the price.

This attitude ensures that we are governed by people that love power.

That's why I think we should have lotteries for political service. Once you hit voting age and legally able to vote, you are automatically entered into the service lottery and you serve one term and one term only in that office.

Once you do one mandatory service period, one can choose to volunteer to be placed back into the lottery pool for another office other than the one you served in.

This will take a bit of the money out of politics, end career politicians and I really think it would lead to a much fairer democracy and republic.

Re:Lotteries (1)

njnnja (2833511) | about 6 months ago | (#47110275)

Sounds like jury duty. Which was (and still is) one of the best technologies to fight tyranny.

Re:Lotteries (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110435)

Yeah. And it'll also end these political dynasties. We are developing a political aristocracy in this country and it's deplorable.

I don't care what their platform is, I will not vote for a Bush, Kennedy, Clinton, or anyone else that has family in higher offices. It's one thing if it's a Congressional, mayoral or city council candidate, but President or Senator? NFW.

Re:Lotteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110551)

I won't even vote for Reggie Bush, Jamie Kennedy or George Clinton if they decide to get into politics.

Re:Lotteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47111195)

I'd vote for George Clinton. The national anthem would be changed to "One Nation Under a Groove" and funk would be mandatory.

Re:Lotteries (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 months ago | (#47110755)

Prosecutors don't like that so they overcharge defendants. Most people (the numbers are pretty shocking) take a plea bargain. No jury, no trial.

Re:That's too bad (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#47110279)

Politics has always been about people seeking power. You're laughably naive to think otherwise.

Re:That's too bad (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 6 months ago | (#47111333)

Actually, it ensures that we are governed by people who are willing to give up THEIR personal liberties to hold their position, which is very different than the kind of people we are governed by now.

Re:That's too bad (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#47109473)

You can prove negatives. What you can't prove is that something is true by the absence of any proof that it is false.

Re:That's too bad (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 6 months ago | (#47110503)

I think you have just invented Science!

Re:That's too bad (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#47110697)

Nah nothing that profound. Just a statement of basic logic. Too many people trot out the pseudo-logic statement "can't prove a negative" when that is simply a misunderstanding of the real fallacy. Mathematics, for example, contains tons of negative proofs.

Re:That's too bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109479)

That's kind of funny. Citizens are considered guilty and treated like criminals until proven innocent. I think all he's asking for is a little bit of equality.

If we, the people, are losing our rights, I damned well expect that politicians should lose theirs, too.

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110637)

So I can't prove I'm not a computer?

Re:That's too bad (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#47109423)

That would just result in political prosecutions.

Re:That's too bad (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47109465)

Sorry, they must be put under the Sword. It's the only way to keep the riff-raff out of the running. Cut them no slack.

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109871)

Sorry, they must be put under the Sword. It's the only way to keep the riff-raff out of the running. Cut them no slack.

And when YOU get put under the sword?

Re:That's too bad (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47109897)

Not until I seek power over others.

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110071)

Wanting to put someone under the sword is seeking power over things (namely, the person being put under the sword).

Re:That's too bad (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 6 months ago | (#47111361)

Except that these people would be willing to be put under the sword, negating your argument. If you don't want to be potentially put under the sword, stay out of politics.

Re:That's too bad (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 6 months ago | (#47109443)

Whats the issue here? While indeed "allies", Germany is still an international rival to the USA and thus the NSA targeting the German political leadership is perfectly acceptable as that is, surprisingly enough, their job - espionage and intelligence gathering! Gathering information which gives the USA an advantage in talks or negotiations (trade agreements et al) is what is supposed to be going on.

What the Germans should be asking close questions about is why their counter-espionage agencies are not protecting them - where is the failure?

Re:That's too bad (2, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | about 6 months ago | (#47109483)

Even accepting your idea that there should be no limits on espionage, one big problem here is that the espionage was discovered. If you are going to spy on me, I'd better not find out about it. That's just the way the game is played. If it were OK to do, they wouldn't call it "spying," they would call it "looking."

Re:That's too bad (1, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#47110233)

Well, apparently the Germans figured out that the spying wasn't "discovered", so much as "leaked by Snowden".

Alas, without names, dates, actual evidence, it's pretty hard to turn "Snowden said..." into actual prosecution and prison sentences and all that.

Especially if it turns out that the guilty parties are in the USA, and have been the whole time. Do you REALLY think we're going to extradite our intelligence analysts to Germany to stand trial?

Re:That's too bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109501)

Stop with the "it's their job!" nonsense. Nobody is buying it. Our president was just saying a few months before the NSA revelations that China was hacking into our government systems and considered it a breach of treaty and an illegal act of aggression. The only difference here is that the "bad guys" are on our side and you are buying into their propaganda.

"Everybody else is doing it" also is not an excuse. It didn't work when you were a child and sure as fuck doesn't work when you're a adult. Do not make excuses for those that are actively making themselves your enemy.

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109701)

agreed

Re:That's too bad (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47109519)

What the Germans should be asking close questions about is why their counter-espionage agencies are not protecting them - where is the failure?

It's all faux outrage for political expediency. I won't consider Snowden's a success until I see a very dramatic turnover in elected offices. In fact, it looks more like an attempt to manipulate the stock markets than anything else. The politicians and their political parties are in no danger of losing anything.

Re:That's too bad (1)

Osiris Ani (230116) | about 6 months ago | (#47110617)

It's all faux outrage for political expediency.

Absolutely. German politicos don't really care about this, because the existence of this particular type of spying is something they've always understood. For decades, all diplomats everywhere, if wise, have made the presumption that their unsecured lines are under surveillance by any number of different nations. The only reason they're pretending to care is because their naïve constituents apparently didn't know. They can't simply let the rabble go unanswered.

Re:That's too bad (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47109537)

That's Snowden's efforts...

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109551)

The issue is that the Germans are not happy being spied on and having done so has strained relations with an ally. Sure, the NSA according to the US governmen can spy on them but at the same time you must accept that when found out people will be angry. Many of us don't see alienating our closest allies is a good thing.

Re:That's too bad (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 6 months ago | (#47109619)

The problem is not that people are angry, its that they want legal recourse to be had - they want NSA chiefs and ex-chiefs et al to be prosecuted, which is pure fantasy land demands imho, very much like the recent "charging" of Chinese military personnel with hacking US institutions.

I have no issue with people being angry, or there being very real political ramifications between "allies", but for privacy groups to demand prosecutions just shows how far out of touch with reality they actually are.

Re:That's too bad (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#47110263)

The problem is not that people are angry, its that they want legal recourse to be had

No, they don't really want "legal recourse". They want revenge. Punish those guys! What, they didn't do anything illegal? Tough! Punish them anyway!!!

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110529)

Lol, what an oxymoron. Of course they did something illegal, spying in another country without their explicit consent is a breach of the laws of said country and of course is illegal. Breach of laws committed in other countries fall under their own legislation, not US and of course their citizens have the right to demand that their laws are applied.

Re:That's too bad (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47112555)

...for privacy groups to demand prosecutions just shows how far out of touch with reality they actually are.

Um, the US and various other countries prosecute spies every chance they get, and probably with less evidence than what we have here. This is a show. You're not making any sense.

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110823)

The issue is that the Germans are not happy being spied

And the germans can go fuck themselves.

Re:That's too bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109783)

that is, surprisingly enough, their job

Bam, Godwin! (Hint: Nürnberg processes)

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109801)

Whats the issue here? While indeed "allies", Germany is still an international rival to the USA and thus the NSA targeting the German political leadership is perfectly acceptable as that is, surprisingly enough, their job - espionage and intelligence gathering!

Then you think it is OK to execute all American spies that are encountered?
What you are arguing for is the kind of realpolitik that makes any means justifiable. That is the kind of reasoning that makes it acceptable to take over Crimea or to assassinate political opposition.
If we don't follow laws or morals, is there any particular reason you shouldn't be shot on sight?

Re:That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110001)

Good point!

We should do as the Chinese, blanket ban American security products; switch out any Cisco supplied hardware and block Microsoft products from goverment.

The sooner the better, because the American says themselves that they will never stop spying on allies.

Re:That's too bad (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 6 months ago | (#47110381)

No, it's not 'their job.' Their actual mission statement is much more nuanced than that, the job descriptions of those within the agency are much more complicated, and the reality is that even job descriptions tend to miss a huge share of what someone actually does. So, when you say it is 'their job', you are saying that you don't believe that these people with lots of power should be properly checked. The notion of 'perfectly acceptable' and 'their job' is the heart of the problem. It's also assuming 'their job' needs to exist at all. If you wanted to improve US national security, one of the first steps would be to destroy the NSA.

Germany can't prosecute Americans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109327)

I would advise Germany to mind its own business unless they want America to make an example of them similar to what America did to Japan at the end of WWII. Why people should act surprised that countries spy on each other is beyond me. They need to spend more time securing their communications rather than crying about how unfair it is that they are being spied on. This is something the Nazi's understood quite well, and something that the current crop of Germans apparently does not.

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (2)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 6 months ago | (#47109387)

I would advise Germany to mind its own business

I don't think it needs to, the NSA is minding Germany's business for them.

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 6 months ago | (#47109477)

Is it a school holiday again?

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109645)

It's the summerfags. They will be on slashdot all summer.

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109755)

making this community exclusive inhibits the free nature of information and sharing information. People on /. always complain, myself included, that our media sources are better than the general populations' media and that the media of the masses is corrupt. How is the general population ever going to see our ideas and process our musings if people shit on them everytime they try to contribute...

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (1)

njnnja (2833511) | about 6 months ago | (#47109637)

The Nazi's what understood quite well? (check your possessive apostrophe)

I'll let someone else make the appropriate joke about a grammar nazi comment about real Nazis. So to feel like I contributed something serious to the discussion, I'll simply add that, whatever they understood about SIGINT, the Nazis were pwned [wikipedia.org] by the English-speaking world too.

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#47110297)

whatever they understood about SIGINT, the Nazis were pwned [wikipedia.org] by the English-speaking world

The Nazis had, at best, a limited grasp on SIGINT. They came up with a world-class solution, then stopped development, since their then-current ideas were so perfect noone would be able to crack them.

Someone should have explained to them that signals security is an ongoing process, not an idea....

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110647)

If the grammar nazis and the real nazis put up a united front, they might have won the war.

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109959)

I would advise Germany to mind its own business unless they want America to make an example of them similar to what America did to Japan at the end of WWII

Widespread NSA spying in Germany is actually a consequence of WWII: it's under the post-war agreements that US intelligence agencies were given nearly complete freedom. And why not, given Germany's history? Later on, it became a collaborative effort, in which US and German government institutions spied jointly on Germans.

They need to spend more time securing their communications rather than crying about how unfair it is

Germany's government and corporations like the arrangement with the NSA; all those goings-on have given them the political muscle and cover to remove any semblance of privacy from Germany's own laws. The "crying" is just for the public, and blaming the US for all of this is just a way to deflect responsibility from themselves.

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110061)

I would advise Germany to mind its own business unless they want America to make an example of them similar to what America did to Japan at the end of WWII.

Wow, if this is the prevailing attitude in America, then the rest of the world needs to bomb you moronic douchebags back into the stone age before you do any more harm.

Go wave your little penis elsewhere.

God Americans are assholes.

Re:Germany can't prosecute Americans (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 6 months ago | (#47110939)

Aren't you Mr. High and Mighty? Way to take one douche bags comments, assume he's an American (probably is), and then extrapolate that he represents all 310+ million Americans. I wouldn't say you're clear of the asshole label yourself.

Yeah, right (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109355)

Translation: The NSA has some information about their politicians that would be... Unfortunate if it was accidentally revealed in a trial.

Re:Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109811)

Real translation: The NSA knows the Germans were spying on them too, so if they were bothered enough, they'd reveal it, and all the FDR's secrets.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | about 6 months ago | (#47110777)

If the Germans were going to reveal FDR's secrets, you'd think they'd have done it by now. The man's been dead for 70 years!

Re:Yeah, right (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 6 months ago | (#47112673)

That's one possible translation. Another is that they don't know which people were doing the spying.

For that matter, my wager would be that they can't even prove which organization was doing the spying. All they can really prove is that they were spied upon, and possibly a few IP addresses.

NSA surveillance in Germany is most probably legal (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109431)

We have treaties left over from WW2 that interestingly were put in place. There is a Professor at Freiburg University who says what the NSA is doing in Germany is basically legal. He even claims that the German secret service can legally assist the NSA.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/historiker-foschepoth-ueber-us-ueberwachung-die-nsa-darf-in-deutschland-alles-machen-1.1717216

We also have a quite unspecific exception clause in Artikel 10 (section 10) of our Grundgesetz (constituiton), that restricts applicability of telecommunications secrecy.

http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gg/art_10.html

Re:NSA surveillance in Germany is most probably le (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110179)

Good. The Germans have earned their 1,000 year bitch status. In 2945 they can ask the USA to stop spying.

Re:NSA surveillance in Germany is most probably le (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#47110689)

Good. The Germans have earned their 1,000 year bitch status. In 2945 they can ask the USA to stop spying.

How has asking the fox to guard the henhouse worked out historically? Good for the hens?

Sounds like a good way to save face (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 6 months ago | (#47109491)

"Ja, Ve investigated but der Amerikans undt Birtish vouldn't answer zee question and zee others vent all Sgt Schulz on uns"

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, leaders realized such a prosecution would open a can of worms that could lead to very embarrassing disclosures about German activities and complicity in the spying. No politician wants to be caught in that mess, and the spymasters are quite happy to keep working together while the politicians publicly denounce the spying for their own political ends. I would not be surprised if sone of the professionals are going "We have too get some of that stuff for ourselves" and "Holy crap. They can do that?"

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109583)

The Common snipe (a bird species) appears to be more important [youtube.com] than the spy attack (to use a lobo term).

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (3, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 6 months ago | (#47109981)

"Ja, Ve investigated but der Amerikans undt Birtish vouldn't answer zee question and zee others vent all Sgt Schulz on uns"

...Holy crap...

I have always found it strange how you Anglo Saxons see so much sanctity in feces. To us Germans it is a revolting substance but for you it is the focus of much religious reverence.

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110067)

I have always found it strange how you Anglo Saxons see so much sanctity in feces. To us Germans it is a revolting substance but for you it is the focus of much religious reverence.

I've been mystified how being called a pig and a dog at the same time in German is supposed to be more insulting than either alone.

Language is what it is.

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47110165)

I have always found it strange how you Anglo Saxons see so much sanctity in feces. To us Germans it is a revolting substance but for you it is the focus of much religious reverence.

That's OK, we've never understood why your toilets have shelves so you can inspect your own feces.

So, whose the one obsessed with poo?

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47110231)

Oh, and the Saxons were German.

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 6 months ago | (#47111115)

Oh, and the Saxons are [wikipedia.org] German.

FTFY.

Also, the Angles [wikipedia.org] are Germans. (Nearly Danes, I suppose, but Germans nonetheless.)

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47111857)

That's OK, we've never understood why your toilets have shelves so you can inspect your own feces.

It avoids the splash.

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 6 months ago | (#47113341)

I have always found it strange how you Anglo Saxons see so much sanctity in feces. To us Germans it is a revolting substance but for you it is the focus of much religious reverence.

That's OK, we've never understood why your toilets have shelves so you can inspect your own feces.

So, whose the one obsessed with poo?

Well, we may examine the turd before despatching it onwards on its journey to the sewage treatment facility, but we have not yet accorded fecal matter the status of a venerated holy relic. Your religious veneration trumps our slightly unusual scientific curiosity.

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 6 months ago | (#47110249)

"Ja, Ve investigated but der Amerikans undt Birtish vouldn't answer zee question and zee others vent all Sgt Schulz on uns"

...Holy crap...

I have always found it strange how you Anglo Saxons see so much sanctity in feces. To us Germans it is a revolting substance but for you it is the focus of much religious reverence.

Well, it started out out as bing referred to as "wholly crap" as in "completely crap" but given the deep Anglo Saxon religious roots it got misinterpreted as "Holy crap" and that is what stuck. Or something like that...

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110753)

How do you explain this?
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scheisse%20film

Re:Sounds like a good way to save face (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#47114521)

Why is this acceptable humor but not the "Wi Tu Lo" Korean pilot jokes?

translation (5, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#47109633)

The NSA couldn't spy and monitor in Germany without the close and widespread collaboration of the German government and German corporations.

What they are really saying is that they couldn't find someone to shift the blame to outside the government or the corporations close to the government.

Re:translation (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 6 months ago | (#47110365)

Yup, they were GLAD to hand it over, because that means they get to look at the big pile sometimes. Same with the rest of our allies who were "outraged!!!"
Outrage the public found out more like it.

translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47111319)

Interestingly or not; anti-American-spying sentiment in various countries on the European continent were at their highest a week before the Maidan Square protests. Same time, the Russian Navy was the only thing stopping a full-on Israeli backed assault on Syria (the Russian ships were to receive Syrian chemweapons for disposal in line with Oslo).

  Over the last two decades or so, the americans window into European policy (in terms of the war on weed) was through Sweden. America, through that window, prevented legalisation efforts on numerous occasions over the years. The same window is being used to attack Snowdon and wikileaks, in turn, attacking the freedoms of all Peoples on (and off) the European continent.

  So the Israelis want a war with Syria or Iran, and to that end, we all have to be considered "turd errists", because then they can justify their AMDOCS phonetaps, their AKAMAI packet-exchange filtering, and all the other data-hoards they amassed. When the public realise we`re all getting shafted, and bring contention against their data-misdeeds, they foment a "crisis" in the Ukraine.

    Germany is an old dog, been beaten, bled within an inch of it`s life, but not put down; the hardworking nature of the German folk has been conducive to savings rather than debt, and they buy cars and homes outright, rather than take loans. That's why the subprime didn't hit them; but the "eurocrisis", that hits out like when the proverbial hits the fan. For the yankees to NOT SPY ON EVERYONE would be akin to letting the countries` Peoples be FREE. So they had to do it, and cover it up.

If the French right wing, or the BNP ever found out that the Israelis have been touting them as "tud errists" to be eternally spied on, well then, the Ukrainians would never wanna join the jEUROCRAZY CLUB.

If you wanna learn about the all-intrusive surveillance-state, ask the Palestinians.

Wimps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109963)

Coward, corrupt scum. Paid from our tax monies. I'd fire them if I could.

Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110309)

It was probably like this.
If you try that shit we'll fucking nuke you!

maybe it really is the money (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#47110331)

"follow the money" has gotten trite, but I have to wonder if the German federal government's decision not to pursue this is in any way tied to the large amount of German gold we are holding for them. As I recall, they asked for it back a couple years ago and the US declined to ship it.

Re:maybe it really is the money (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#47115259)

Yes the cash flow post WW2 is the key.
West Germany was rebuilt on French, UK and US terms and ideals. Staff where vetted and kept their old ww2 jobs or where in the UK, France, US under Operation Paperclip like plans.
Operation Paperclip https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
Reinhard Gehlen and start of West German/CIA work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
Operation Gladio US/EU long term staff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
So long term the people selecting the next generation of West German telco/crypto staff where very thankful to France, the US and UK for forgetting their WW2 work.
Over many years this has build up a cadre of West Germans with a very strong bond to the US/UK.
Add in a flow of US and UK tech to support West Germany at a signals and mil effort and you have a very skilled, very dependant class of German bureaucrats, officials and officers.
Germany has crypto skills but still handed its top elected political leader junk US crypto that gave the USA voice and text over generations of the telo product.
Too many shared facilities, further education on US and UK methods, systems and products have produced German staff that enjoy working with 5+ other countries.
How are German firms, gov negotiations, gov vetting, German trade deals and science served by German gov teams handing all over related telco material to 5+ other competitor nations and a few other nations?
How can German leaders and firms escape this shared crypto mess? Stop using the telco system, start meeting face to face at random sites, test top staff with fake projects and see if German bureaucrats, officials and officers mention/hint take the unique bait.
Reread the origins of the staff that failed - how where they positioned to enter your firm, brand and who promoted, protected them?
Work around the German telco staff and their shared digital networks, start putting the German brand and German interests first.
Use computers, junk crypto and the secure phones to spread wild fake news, fake info about amazing new products and projects fitting in with expected projects/patents.
Give the German translators something fun and new everyday :)
eg a version 2.0 of Operation Mincemeat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] with your brands future projects.
Any real work is done face to face with tested and trusted inner German only teams...

Wasn't in German (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about 6 months ago | (#47110793)

Considering how some European countries are so protective of their language, I bet they refused to accept the evidence at hand, because it was in English instead of German.

Re:Wasn't in German (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47111983)

Considering how some European countries are so protective of their language, I bet they refused to accept the evidence at hand, because it was in English instead of German.

Unlikely. Although for example SEPA regulation (euro-wide banking rules) require some terms to be provided to consumers in their own native language, the German version of the regulation is full of using English terms whenever some specific thing of the English main text is referred to. For the consumer, this leads to strangely sounding, practically non-understandable documents.

As another example, the word "marmalade" in English, referring to smashed/sugared fruits of only certain types has now influenced the Euro-definition of the German word "Marmelade" to be as restrictive in fruit-types as the English word.

Summary: Not only is the English language happily incorporated in the German language whenever the German authors simply do not understand the English texts sufficiently well to translate them into proper German, but also is the German language redefined to be more similar to the English language.

The "some European countries" refers to France only. Some similar behaviour of authorities writing their documents would either be considered a felony, with some politician heads chopped off, or would simply be the reason to start another revolution, with the same result.

Well, we know... (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about 6 months ago | (#47111117)

We know the NSA eavesdropped on Merkel, it's been admitted, essentially. The more interesting thing to ponder is, was it just one instance of listening to a single call, or has the NSA been listening in on pretty much ALL her calls? I think we know the answer to that. And, is Merkel the only world leader, person of importance, etc., being monitored? I think we know the answer to that, too. Pretty much EVERY world leader, and person of importance is being monitored as long as they are able to, and there's little doubt anyone they can't listen in on is particularly interesting just for that reason alone and gets extra attention. In any event, those who can't be monitored are few and far between.

When a new US President enters office, he's briefed by the intelligence community about all the interesting things known around the world that are not common knowledge. Of course, some of those things are probably bogus because anyone with any brains figures they're being spied upon and the best way to deal with that is to make use of it by feeding it with disinformation. Be that as it may, any President thinks he knows far more about the goings on in this world than the American public (and he probably does, that's not really saying much). The President undoubtedly knows enough to have a jump on the stock market, if he wants it, by knowing what moves world leaders are about to make. And the American public is then expected to be knowledgeable enough to vote intelligently? No, this excess information has turned the American government into a cynical paternalistic and tyrannical force, that more accessible health care, a little bit of social security, lower taxes, television and ready access to guns is supposed to fix. Sorry, but that's just not enough to make it any less cynical, less paternalistic, or less tyrannical.

Re:Well, we know... (1)

mmell (832646) | about 6 months ago | (#47111337)

Fortunately, "well, we know..." is generally not accepted as a legal argument in most modern, industrialized nations.

You might consider saying "I think we all can agree...". I don't know how extensive NSA monitoring of foreign nationals is. I don't even know that such monitoring takes place. I personally am certain that it does, and I'm fairly certain that it's very extensive. I'd be quite engraged if I knew - it would tell me that our NSA is doing a lousy job if I knew the extent of their activities.

That's the reason a lot of people are pissed off at Mr. Snowden. I believe most of us were already aware that these things were happening. Eric Snowden made it possible for us to know that these things are happening. At first, it seems like a non-difference; but you didn't see anybody doing anything about the NSA's excesses when we all just believed it was happening. Now that we know it's happening, there's a dual backlash - one against the NSA for doing what many of us suspected they were doing, and one against Edward Snowden for letting us know what they were doing.

Re:Well, we know... (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 6 months ago | (#47112965)

People who are pissed off at Edward Snowden are the same people who would applaud the US government if they claimed they needed to curtail free speec/freedom of the press until this whole "terrorist" thing has passed. If only the times were safer to afford such liberties.

Re:Well, we know... (1)

mmell (832646) | about 6 months ago | (#47115325)

I'm trying to stay neutral, myself. Personally, I feel that Mr. Snowden should receive a full pardon for his crimes (and as a matter of law, he did commit multiple crimes).

(Un)fortunately, that's not my decision to make.

Typical ... (1)

garry_g (106621) | about 6 months ago | (#47111299)

Of course, supposedly no hard evidence or witnesses.

The general attorney is part of the ministry of justice ... Merkel and other leading politicians have made it clear they do not see any reason to prosecute the U.S. for the privacy invasion the NSA has committed ... now, the general attorney decides there's not enough evidence. Go figure.

All lying bastards ... too bad the general public does not understand (or care) what most politicians are doing ...

Wimps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47111357)

There are so very many responses available. Just off the top of my head --

- Call the US ambassador and make a formal request for the names of individuals involved in the spying.

- Bar US companies from selling products and services to the German government or any German company involved with critical infrastructure (e.g. telecoms).

- Bring lawsuits in the US court system.

- Bring suits in the appropriate international forums for trade violations and violations of basic human rights.

- Issue warrants against key US individuals. Detain them upon entry anywhere in the EU.

Point is, if they wanted to make a real stink they could. Since they aren't, they must privately be fine with what the NSA and Obama's court jesters are doing.

Proof? (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 6 months ago | (#47112955)

The fact that Snowden claimed it happened isn't proof.

Germany is run by JEWS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47113147)

... and so is the NSA... see the conflict of interest?

I wonder why the poor, hard done by Jews were so desperate to go and live in GERMANY, after the German people have voted Hitler into power, so he could rid Germany of the Jews in the first place? Can't they stand living among their own kind? I wonder why...

Are we losing the lawsuit race? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#47114583)

Suing for spying? I would expect that type of thing to be an American invention.

German Courts, here's a freebie. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47114693)

sNOwden confessed already to spying. Start with him.

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