Can CIA employees go out with foreigners?
Live blog from the Intelligence Committee of Inquiry: "I cannot say whether Snowden is a Russian agent."
Today the secret service inquiry committee meets again in the Bundestag. As always, we sit inside and blog live.
The witnesses this time are the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) Hans-Georg Maaßen and his predecessor Heinz Fromm.
A Summary the meeting can be found on bundestag.de: Maaßen attacks NSA revealer Snowden.
- Preliminary remarks
- Introduction: Chairman
- Witness 1: Heinz Fromm, BfV, President 2000-2012
- Question round 1: Chairman, Left, SPD, Greens, Union
- Question 2: Left, Union, Greens, SPD
- Question 3: Left, Greens, SPD
- Question 4: Left, Greens
- Question 5: Left, Greens
- Witness 2: Hans-Georg Maaßen, BfV, President since 2012
- Question 1: Chairman, Left, SPD, Greens, Union
- Question 2: Left, Union, Greens, SPD
- Question 3: Left, Greens, SPD
- Question 4: Left, Greens, SPD
- Question 5: Left, Union, Greens
- Question 6: Left, Union, Greens
- Question 7: Union, Greens
- Question 8: Union, Greens
We report from the public meetings that anyone can attend. All you need to do is register by email.
Disclaimer: This protocol has been drawn up to the best of our knowledge and ability, but does not claim to be complete or comprehensive.
Update: The official shorthand protocol is available as a PDF on bundestag.de (mirror here).
Introduction: Chairman (12:35)
Witness 1: Heinz Fromm, BfV, President 2000-2012
Name Heinz Fromm, 67 years old, address is BfV, in Cologne or Berlin.
Opening statement (11:39)
$ Greeting. $ Thank you.
Counterintelligence. During my term of office from June 2000 to July 2012. The task of counter-espionage is to clear up intelligence activities of foreign states against the FRG and, if possible, to terminate them. This has been the case for all foreign intelligence services since reunification. Even as head of the LfV Hessen in the early 1990s, I was familiar with the term 360-degree view. Practice is based on focal points. NATO, the EU and the USA were not systematically monitored, but there were reactions to circumstances of unauthorized intelligence activities. In a number of other cases, continuous processing was necessary. Results are in a general form in reports for the protection of the constitution. Practice was consensual, not only in the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, but also in political leadership. Interior Minister Maizière confirmed that here. If it had to be assumed that partner states in Berlin were doing TKÜ, it was clear that proof would not be possible. The consequence was: informing employees and the public.
Since 9/11, my time has been very much shaped by the increasing threat of Islamist terror. New powers, personnel, resources and international cooperation were the consequences. Implemented successively. International cooperation and efforts to provide up-to-date technical equipment. At the beginning I had a number of bilateral contacts. Especially applies to the USA, but also to the EU, also Switzerland and Norway informally. Has proven useful and indispensable, but no longer met the requirements of 9/11. The Counter Terrorism Group (CTG) was created at EU level to network domestic intelligence agencies. Bilateral relations are also expanded, especially with the USA, but with the exception of the NSA. SIGINT service NSA was not a partner of BfV, but a partner of BND - BfV communication also ran through it.
IIRC, the Sauerland Group was informed about the opportunity to examine direct contact between the BfV and the NSA. BfV should promptly receive, check and submit information from NSA. This was achieved after discussions with BND, but BND always remained involved in discussions. During a visit by NSA Director General Keith Alexander in January 2011, the BfV suggested naming permanent contacts for the NSA. It was named in mid-2012. It had space in Berlin-Treptow. IIRC and according to documents, the NSA offered in spring 2011 to hand over XKeyscore to the BfV. BfV came to the conclusion that the system, which the BND was aware of and used, is helpful in analyzing unknown communication in TKÜ. I agreed to a limited trial assignment in May 2011, which also happened after my tenure.
1. Operation in a separate area under the sole responsibility of the BfV. Only BND technicians were involved in the preparation.
2. The expectation of the NSA was recognizable to receive more and qualitatively better evaluation results from the BfV. Seemed normal and acceptable to me. Employees assured that the BfV conveyed German law to the USA.
Increasing risk of terrorist attacks in Germany. To prevent this, an evaluation of the TKÜ was necessary.
BfV has had a new Perseus G-10 system since 2010. Planning and installation as early as 2005. Efficient and expandable. In 2010, the requirements of the development of Internet communication could no longer be fully met. Discussed in 2008 in the project group New Analysis Methods (PGNAM). Slowly, not enough skilled staff. Most of the IT staff were tied to Perseus and NADIS-NEU and were not available. Therefore, the NSA's offer for XKeyscore is welcome. Mutual support among partners is nothing unusual. BfV also provides such services, especially in the case of Eastern European EU countries, even without specific consideration. We wanted to improve their performance and get better results.
US drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan that killed two Germans. According to Section 19 of the Federal Constitutional Protection Act, BfV had sent information about them to the USA, including telephone numbers. After the killing became known, there were questions and doubts as to whether the telephone numbers were used for tracking. Would be disregard of the requirement to use information only for intelligence purposes. We were convinced that cell phone numbers are not suitable for the exact location of people. Nobody had ever said anything either. But we thought it advisable - also with a view to employees - to have BMI certify future working methods. BMI approved this first verbally and then in writing. No change in practice until the end of my service.
Question 1: Chairman (11:55)
Sensburg: Which Five Eyes services did BfV work with?
Religious: With USA.
Religious: Mainly CIA, later NSA. Also contacts with military services.
Religious: Army, Air Force.
Religious: I can not remember. Army and air force strongest. Contacts not pronounced, but security check of civilian personnel, BfV checks the personnel.
Sensburg: No in-depth cooperation, personal survey?
Sensburg: Not even abroad?
Sensburg: UK intelligence services?
Religious: Domestic Service Security Service (MI5) very tight. And also foreign service.
Sensburg: International Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)?
Religious: Contacts to Canada and Australia.
Religious: No direct contact at my time.
Sensburg: Australia and Canada?
Religious: There were contacts, encounters. More with Canada. When traveling in the USA also a visit to Canada is next door.
Sensburg: How are contacts established?
Religious: Grown contacts. Had intensified.
Sensburg: Legal basis for data exchange?
Religious: Personal data: Section 19 (3) of the Federal Constitutional Protection Act. Otherwise there are few restrictions when it comes to exchanging assessments and situation reports. Sometimes limited to no personal information. But at Five Eyes also permanent, ongoing exchange of personal data in individual cases.
Sensburg: Documentation requirement for the exchange of personal data?
Religious: It hasn't always been there, only since 2011. But I have no reason to be careless.
Sensburg: Documentation. Proof?
Religious: Clear. In the files before the data was transmitted.
Sensburg: Which files?
Religious: Personal file or factual file.
Sensburg: Will they stay or be destroyed?
Religious: Usual regulations. 15 years.
Sensburg: XKeyscore. How did BfV use that?
Religious: Analysis tool.
Sensburg: Because classic capture couldn't do that so well?
Sensburg: Will you continue to record classic?
Sensburg: In-house development?
Religious: Perseus came from an external company. (!) German company, checked. New, completed in 2010. Even at this point in time, it is no longer possible to analyze the data streams during individual monitoring of Internet communication. Had to do more to properly evaluate the data. Tried to tinker something with your own resources. It happened too. But our personal and financial possibilities were very limited because Perseus and NADIS-NEU had to be looked after. Could we have managed to create such an instrument ourselves? I am unable to answer. When the USA offered us this, my co-workers said it was well suited for our purposes.
Sensburg: When Perseus makes the capture. And you can see that WhatsApp is new, we are no longer up to date. Then how do you capture the right thing XKeyscore needs with Perseus? What I don't capture, I can't analyze it?
Religious: Technically, I don't understand it in such a way that I can explain it. A technician should explain to them. (!) I was told that the traffic that is routed by providers to BfV contains everything that is there, that the system can also record that, but that the system does not recognize everything and cannot identify everything. Perseus couldn't sort the amount of data, but XKeyscore. It was the right decision.
Sensburg: As with TKÜ, looking specifically at a person. Provider 1 & 1. And all of his data traffic from his computer is diverted. Then: what is chat, YouTube, email?
Sensburg: And if he logs into Starbucks with his laptop, does BfV have a problem?
Religious: I do not know. (!)
Sensburg: Can BfV keep up with what to do?
Religious: That is Section III of your investigation, I am released from it. But of course, not being able to evaluate has worried us and worried about possible attack risks. To close the gap.
Sensburg: Has the BfV approached NSA and BND? Or the other way around?
Religious: At XKeyscore, an offer came from the BND / NSA.
Sensburg: Did they know about Perseus?
Religious: Of course, the colleagues talked to each other.
Sensburg: Your decision: shall we test?
Religious: Yes. Took long.
Sensburg: Still lasts.
Religious: Yes, but it took until the start of the test run. Spring 2011 offer for XKeyscore. Presentation of XKeyscore in 2011 in southern Germany, meeting in Darmstadt. Then evaluation. Decision template. The 2012 with me, I approved that. Trial operation began shortly after I left the company.
Sensburg: Is it even possible to work like that? Perseus is not going well enough, and you can't get into your slips? Why not push XKeyscore harder when it is suitable? Where is it stuck?
Religious: Some questions to clear up. Where do we put this? How do we secure this from the outside? Assumption or fear that the USA might have built something in to get raw data. Everything was checked. I can say: IT security has always been very, very strict. Sometimes it seemed too strict to me. (!) Nobody had the idea to use it before the security check has been completed. We don't start the thing beforehand. Efforts for better technical equipment were in progress. Perseus alone cost 45 million. (!) NADIS was even more complicated. Was not progressing as we would have liked. Is normal. We didn't have enough money.
Sensburg: I understand theoretically, but not in a specific case. XKeyscore is better than Perseus. Why not use that? You look at it and wait until the clown comes out at some point? Why does it take so long? It has to be resolved within three months. Why for years? It's a political decision. Tie the Gordian Knot?
Religious: I can not answer. I was only there until mid-2012. Plenty of questions - like security issues - still had to be clarified.
Sensburg: Why not clarified?
Religious: Concerns. I was told it will take time. Then in 2012 a decision proposal for the trunk line. I ticked it off. And I assumed it could start now.
Sensburg: With trial operation?
Sensburg: How long was it planned?
Religious: There was no planning. (!)
Sensburg: Not technically, politically. Digital age, Perseus, new tool. When will we go live? Does the BfDI have to be asked?
Religious:KA. Might be.
Sensburg: Were there any submissions to BfDI?
Religious: No, I don't remember.
Sensburg: Wasn't there a priority in office?
Religious: Yes, the topic does. I didn't hesitate long in approving the proposal.
Sensburg: Other area: 360-degree view. Does the term “systemic processing” mean anything to you?
Sensburg: Systematic processing?
Religious: I used it myself. Or continuous processing.
Sensburg: What does that mean?
Religious: Permanent task of constantly dealing with certain counter-espionage phenomena. There were and are such cases.
Sensburg: Topics, events or states?
Religious: Everything. State secret services here.
Sensburg: Systematic processing concerned states outside of the investigation mandate?
Sensburg: Five eyes states too?
Religious: No, never, never even temporarily.
Sensburg: Was that arranged?
Sensburg: Does the BfV have a margin of discretion?
Religious: Will be decided on the basis of the known circumstances. Example foreign government explains main areas of activity. When they say education in Germany, we take it seriously. (!)
Sensburg: How do you set priorities so that employees know? I'm a reservist in the Bundeswehr, but I don't just go to Mali and say, here I am. How do employees learn to look at NSAs?
Religious: The other way round. Employees say what they know and they make suggestions for consequences. They are approved or not. Ongoing. That's the way it is. Is documented. VS authorities also inform the public in VS reports.
Sensburg: Systematic processing. Is there a decree that doesn't include Five Eyes?
Religious: I don't know. Unknown to me.
Sensburg: Do you know Echelon?
Sensburg: There was a lot of criticism against Five Eyes?
Religious: In public, KA.
Sensburg: In the report too?
Religious: In the EU Parliament report, yes. But we couldn't pull anything out of it. (!)
Sensburg: Echelon was a topic in the BfV?
Sensburg: Result? Exciting, but nothing in it for us?
Religious: Yes. That is what the BMI said.
Sensburg: Echelon, report, reporting. No systematic processing of the Five Eyes after that? Interior Minister Maizière said after Snowden and the Markus R case: “We have to sharpen a 360-degree view.” No consequences after Echelon?
Religious:KA, whether Echelon is comparable to Snowden revelations. I am a layman. You can't compare. In 2000 it was about satellites. My God, what was that. There was no comparison with now.
Sensburg: Are you familiar with the topic of flying embassies?
Sensburg: Connection with Echelon?
Religious: No. It was routine.
Sensburg: Who made the flights?
Religious: At that time the Federal Border Guard.
Sensburg: Didn't have the task?
Religious: In consultation with us. We are both subject to BMI.
Sensburg: Has it always been?
Religious:AFAIK yes. KA, how regular.
Sensburg: Not stronger after Echelon?
Sensburg: Special features about your term of office?
Religious: Have adopted systems on various embassy buildings to control cellular traffic. We assumed so. But couldn't prove it.
Sensburg: Have you ever seen a facility like this? Of course not on someone else's embassy. Not even on our embassy. Is there such a thing?
Religious: There is such a thing.Maybe you can take a look at that.
Sensburg: You know that?
Religious: Yes. I don't know how big that is, which area can be eavesdropped.
Sensburg: Can you see that when you fly around?
Religious: One can find clues.
Sensburg: Did you find any evidence of Five Eyes? Shed?
Religious: No wooden crates, but with fancier materials. There was an installation at the UK embassy. Was it said that this is art, we didn't buy it. (!)
Sensburg: Doesn't go any deeper than: There's something strange on the roof?
Sensburg: Go to the summer party and sneak upstairs?
Religious: Acceptance can be confirmed by circumstantial evidence. We warn everyone to use cellular networks.
Question 1: Left (12:36)
Renner: XKeyscore. BND set up, BfV operated. Do you know that a BND employee was always there and was also an administrator?
Religious: I mentioned the person. KA, whether the admin was. He knew the system and was delegated to us by the BND. I was grateful to colleague Uhrlau for that.
Renner: Did you also know that G-10 data was transported from Cologne to Berlin by courier from the BND?
Renner: Has BfV also considered excluding BND employees from XKeyscore?
Religious: No, he was then seconded as a BfV employee.
Renner: Was he an admin and was able to extract data?
Renner: Transfer of data to Islamist travel groups by the BfV. You are aware of two cases in which German citizens were harmed by threats. Other witnesses spoke of six to seven German drone deaths.
Religious: Misunderstanding. The two were the starting point for the discussion in October 2010.
Renner: After the Romann Decree on October 24, 2010, did other people find their way onto travel lists as a result of damage caused by drones?
Religious: I am not aware of any connection that any person was harmed to whom we had given USA technical communication data. Can be wrong.
Renner: Always telecommunication data.
Religious: We don't always have some.
Renner: After the decree, data were transmitted to Samir Hattour and Ahmad Barki who also died. Has the USA confirmed the earmarking of the data transfer in writing?
Religious: They receive a disclaimer and confirm receipt.
Renner: Who controls this?
Religious: Not me. How do you present it?
Renner: There was a data transfer on August 24, 2010. Data transferred manually in Washington, no acknowledgment of receipt. To tour group. (!) Quiet reproach.
Religious: Short message. And a list that has largely been blacked out.
Renner: Yes. There is no confirmation of receipt from the USA. Was manual transmission common?
Religious: Usually electronically. At JIS. Otherwise delivery against confirmation of receipt. If you happen to travel to the USA, you can take it with you.
Renner: What does it mean if a receipt is missing?
Religious: A mistake was made.
Renner: Who is responsible?
Religious: The one who made mistakes. (!)
Renner: Is there no control?
Religious: Yes, but maybe she made mistakes. (!)
Renner: Each data transmission must be weighed up. Does the balance also have to be stored?
Religious: In writing only since 2011.
Renner: For each process?
Renner: What does that mean if that didn't happen?
Religious: Error. Violation of instructions.
Sensburg: For the record. [MAT A BfV 17, diary number 231/16.]
Renner: How do you have to understand the Romann Decree?
The Federal Ministry of the Interior consents to the transmission of data to other countries. Before transmission, it must be ensured that the lists do not contain any data that can be used for direct localization in the region in question.
Which data may no longer be transmitted?
Religious: No GPS data, position data.
Renner: Location: city, internet cafe, contact person? Suitable for location?
Religious: No. (!)
Renner: Suitable phone numbers?
Religious: No. (!)
Renner: Til today?
Religious: I don't say anything about today.
Renner: Until the end of service in July 2012?
Religious: Not suitable.
Renner: Device number IMEI?
Religious: This can be used to determine the telephone number.
Renner: That suitable?
Religious: Same rating.
Renner: No other method besides GPS?
Religious: My imagination is not enough. (!)
Renner:BfV knows location technology because they use it. IMSI catcher.
Renner: Are there IMSI catchers in Afghanistan / Pakistan?
Religious: Interesting question.
Renner: Does BfVIMSI-Catcher use abroad?
Question round 1: SPD (12:48)
Flisek: Romann Decree, November 2010. Prevent practice by decree that has taken place beforehand or at least was possible. Decree only makes sense if it cancels something that happened before?
Religious: Not right. Decree confirms what was previously practiced. The reason why the BfV had the BMI confirmed practice as an exception was a discussion about the cases mentioned. Made claims that the cell phone number transmitted could also have played a role in the killing of the two Germans. We never accepted that. But wanted to have that confirmed. Seemed necessary to reassure employees that they could practice it the way they did. Exchanges are very important, not only in one direction, we also received information.
Ströbele: We don't have drones.
Religious: But tasks.
Flisek: I read the sentence again carefully. The word "immediately" appears there. Short decree in legal language, every word has a meaning. There is also “indirect”. Is the mobile number suitable for indirect location?
Religious: Ask Dieter Romann.
Flisek:He had a lot of thoughts here, but they weren't all very clear. (!)
Religious: I can't look back into Romann's head in October 2010.
Flisek:BMI only confirmed the practice taking place?
Flisek: What was the practice? Was indirect localization data excluded?
Religious: I can not remember. It is conceivable that information from us will become part of overall information that enables targeted attacks, of course. When I say that someone lives in the small village XY and he visits tea room Z, then this is information that can be used indirectly. GPS is immediate. I don't know what else. The word "immediately" has a meaning, of course. But we cannot prevent the passing on of indirectly suitable information, then we could not even transmit a name.
Flisek: I can track thoughts. But “don't give a name” doesn't convince me. Name is different from cell phone number. What does the decree mean specifically for data transmission. Can the BfV transmit anything as long as there are no specific reasons for the data to be used for killings contrary to international law? Or is it only allowed to transmit data for which one can exclude with complete certainty that the data can be used for this?
Religious: Can't comment on international law. Do not know what is illegal under international law.
Flisek: Legal framework for data transfers?
Religious: We are not allowed to transmit data that we had to assume would lead to unreasonable consequences for those affected. Therefore condition: This information may only be used for intelligence purposes, not for executive purposes.
Religious: Yes. When working together, I have to assume that the partner will adhere to this requirement. If I can prove that the condition has been violated, the type and intensity of the data exchange changes. But I didn't have such information. (!)
Flisek: In the disclaimer there is a reservation: "We reserve the right to ask for information about the use of data." Review clause. Has made use of it?
Religious:KA. Not me. (!) Employees maybe.
Flisek: Disclaimer has been in place in the international regulations since 2008.
Flisek: The cases gave rise to inquiries. We can't find anything about that.
Religious: I can not say anything about this. But I understand that they get the idea. (!)
Flisek: There was political discussion. Then why not ask?
Religious: I don't know that happened. One can regret it. (!) I am also not aware of any suggestion from Parliament to do that. Except yours now. But I can no longer implement it.
Flisek: Indirectly / directly. What is the quality of the data? Indirect is a broad field. For that you need an idea of the partner's qualities. It is easy for them to transform suitable data indirectly into immediate ones. Has the BfV been shown what the USA is doing with it?
Religious: Is the same question. KA. (!)
Flisek: Never played a role in your visits?
Religious: No. We had absolutely no knowledge until the discussion that the transmission of cell phone numbers would enable location. (!) Nobody ever said that before autumn 2010. (!) Then discussion with guesswork.
Sensburg: Disclaimer says: "Disclosure only with consent".
Sensburg: Even if the NSA gives that to the CIA?
Religious: No, that's okay. (!)
Sensburg: Doesn't need approval?
Religious: I understood it like that. We also have data supplied to a central location in the USA in Berlin. That then belongs to American services, which are allowed to use it for intelligence purposes. Other things like prosecution would have required our approval.
Sensburg: "Use information only for intelligence purposes." Disclosure to ND of the Air Force to avert terrorist dangers?
Religious: Restriction: the danger must be concrete, not abstract.
Question 1: Greens (13:10)
Notz: You had the question of whether a cell phone number is sufficient to locate a person. They wanted to clarify in 2010. How did you clarify the question?
Religious: No, we didn't want to clarify. I wanted to know whether there are any findings that speak for it being possible. Nobody in the BfV said that could be true.
Notz: Then turned to BMI. From whom initiative?
Religious: From the BfV.
Religious: Schindler, Romann, terrorism group leaders.
Notz: "We have the problem, what do you think of that?"
Religious: We also had it in the PKGr, with BSI.
Notz: What happened?
Religious: We asked the question.
Notz: Did you googled there? Or how was the question resolved?
Religious: I didn't googled myself.
Notz: Did you google it?
Religious: Employees may have Googled. (!) That wasn't a silly question. Not even for employees.
Notz: Who did what to clarify this question?
Religious: Nothing has been done in my house so far. (!) Whether someone cared, KA.
Notz: They do not know. Then why continue?
Religious: Because I had the confirmation with the Romann decree.
Notz: And how did Romann clarify that?
Notz: Has the use case been discussed with IMSI-Catcher on threat and mobile phone number? Would that be indirect or direct?
Religious: I did not have such information about technical combinations. Obviously the BMI is not either. “What if” I don't have to answer.
Notz: Didn't they have an obligation to inform themselves technically? Instead of making a decision without googling? Never commissioned an expert report, commissioned a technician, attended an armaments fair?
Religious: In retrospect, you can construct a reproach. (!) I was told that you can only limit a radius with the help of a mobile phone number.
Notz: Who said that?
Religious:KA. General knowledge. Was probably also the level of knowledge in the BMI. Expert opinion, armaments fair? Seems far fetched to me. (!)
Notz: If a cell phone number is suitable for localization, then no data could have been passed on, so they didn't even want to know exactly?
Religious: I can neither confirm nor deny. Is a thesis. (!)
Notz: XKeyscore: Perseus also serves to capture. BfV doesn't collect data itself. You only get data from telecommunications providers?
Religious: Yes. We capture them.
Notz:BfV is nowhere on fiber optics?
Notz: Do you get that diverted?
Notz: What did the NSA and BND want for XKeyscore?
Religious: BND was a German partner.
Religious: Normal process. Partner services help each other.
Notz: What did they expect?
Religious: That our results will get better.
Notz: Wanted the XKeyscore data?
Religious: They wanted better evaluations.
Notz: Technology versus data?
Religious: Technology versus information. Evaluation results, not raw data.
Question 1: Union (13:21)
Warken:In 2010, BfV was of the opinion that cell phone data passed on could not be used for targeted killing?
Religious: Yes, even after that.
Warken: No cause for doubt?
Warken: Romann decree. Transmission in lists.
Religious:The IIRC was a report prompted by critical debate. I don't know anything about lists. I wouldn't have done it like that.
Warken:Witness Wilhelm Dettmar said that BfV wanted security of action?
Religious: You can say it that way, yes.
Warken: Romann spoke to you on the phone?
Warken: Who called who?
Religious:IIRC he me.
Warken: Was it customary for the BfV to obtain consent before transferring data?
Religious: Exception. It was our and my responsibility.
Warken: Instructions have not changed due to the issue, only clarification, no change in practice?
Warken: Addition of Romann to lists. "Before transmission, it must be ensured that the lists do not contain any data that can be used for direct location in the region in question."
Religious: Had decorative elements.
Warken: XKeyscore. Other NSA motives for giving BfV XKeyscore?
Religious: Not recognizable to me. Didn't accept that either. If there had been something, we would have been told that too. We would not have been expected to do anything that we are not allowed to do.
Warken:Witness Folker Berfuß said that NSA first offered XKeyscore in January 2011. Were you there?
Religious: I have not met Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA. Software was not offered there in the conversation either, but came to IIRC a few months later.
Warken: Who was there from BfV?
Religious: Mr. Klaus Rogner, head of the technology department, head of the delegation at the time, former Vice President Mr. Elmar Remberg.
Warken: BND too?
Religious: That's what I'm expecting.
Warken:Witness Klaus Rogner said that a specific offer from XKeyscore was only made at the clerk level in autumn 2011?
Religious: Fall 2011 discussions at the technical level. Then presentation of XKeyscore. A general offer at the subject area level came beforehand.
Warken: Did you know that BND uses that too? Have you asked the BND for experience?
Religious: I spoke to BND President Ernst Uhrlau. Concrete discussions were held by experts.
Warken: Did you inquire about functionality and technical added value?
Religious: Was reported to me. Is a good tool. Should we pursue further. Then I said: Okay, go ahead.
Warken: What exactly does XKeyscore do better?
Religious: I told you earlier. It is better to analyze content that our system could only insufficiently.
Warken: No better collection and participation in an international network for collecting data?
Religious: Of course not. (!)
Warken: It was in the press.
Religious: To my amazement. Which agency chief would take on such a thing? For me unimaginable.
Notz: The BND!
Warken: Terms of Reference. Zeit Online has claimed to have published the full text. Main allegation of the reporting: Search NSA spy software, offer German data
The BfV undertook to share the information obtained with the help of XKeyscore as much as possible with the NSA. That was the deal: data for software.
What can you say in response to this reproach?
Religious: Hypothetical question. I don't want to rate it. If I did, I would come to a different conclusion than the publication mentioned.
Warken: Have you been confronted with this request?
Warken: Do you think that is conceivable?
Religious: I already said it.
Sensburg: USA promised more security.Is the US going overland, ditching XKeyscore and hoping the world will be a safer place? The thesis in the committee is: They wanted to snorkel away raw data, mass data, as much as possible.
Religious: Do not understand question. For me it's a normal process in business. We ourselves are also available to support foreign European partners. Advanced training. Contribute to strengthening relationships. And of course to intensify and improve the exchange of information. Intelligence services would like as much information as possible, all of them if possible. (!) For this they also pay in advance.
Sensburg: Not: tap unprocessed data. But intelligence service knowledge that BfV was able to gain with technology. The sharing?
Sensburg: Don't let me put anything in your mouth!
Religious: No, no, I couldn't have done better.
Sensburg: So competence increase and exchange of messages?
Sensburg:Sauerland group in their time?
Religious: Yes, 2007.
Sensburg:BfV worked for the Sauerland Group?
Sensburg: Were these systems also used there?
Religious:KA, where the information we got came from.
Sensburg: No, did you then also use XKeyscore to find networks and backers?
Religious: That was 2006-07, so there was still no talk of XKeyscore.
Sensburg: Didn't you get something from the USA?
Religious: Yes, information.
Sensburg: And what did they give back?
Religious: Well results and findings.
Sensburg: Always like that?
Sensburg: Also with suitcase bombers from Cologne?
Religious: When we draw our conclusions, partners who may be affected will also be informed.
Sensburg: Is this the same idea behind sharing competence like XKeyscore?
Religious: The other way around: If we had been able to produce something powerful like XKeyscore ourselves, we would have informed the USA of the results. (!) If they are suspected of being concerned, if it is of use to them, they would have received it from us if we had achieved the results ourselves.
Sensburg: Two theses on XKeyscore: Massive data access or more security and data exchange with the USA. Do both theses work?
Religious: I'm only talking about my time up to 2012. If you had told me that back then, I would have thought the first thesis to be absurd. (!)
Sensburg: And now, 2016?
Religious: I rate the same time at that time. (!)
Question 2: Left (13:46)
Renner: Romann decree. BfV and BMI discussed this. Who in the BMI participated in the discussion?
Renner: Dr. Measure?
Religious: Not be ruled out.
Renner: Mr. Schindler?
Religious: Not be ruled out.
Renner: Mr. Akmann?
Religious: I do not think so.
Religious: The ones who are always there.
Renner: Mr. Engelke?
Religious:KA. (!) I can't tell who was sitting at the table.
Renner: But it is important.
Religious: But doesn't change anything about my lack of memory.
Renner: Discussed drones with the NSA?
Renner: Wouldn't that be obvious?
Renner: You not talked to them?
Renner: NSA? CIA? SPOC? JIS? Presidential round?
Renner: Nobody talked about drones?
Renner: There were also legal proceedings in Germany. Not even talking to the USA?
Religious: I can not remember. (!)
Renner: Data: cell phone numbers, IMEI numbers, whereabouts. Where did the data come from? From TKÜ?
Religious: Determined for technical data.
Renner: Also data from surveys?
Religious: May be. (!)
Renner: Also surveys with ANDs?
Renner: It was about the Bagram Military Prison?
Renner: October 2010?
Religious: May be.
Renner: Did you know that there is torture there?
Renner: No press read, no BND committee of inquiry report?
Religious: If data comes from torture, it should be rejected.
Renner: Are you familiar with the Federal Government's report on its human rights policy?
If, in individual cases, there are concrete indications that the person concerned was subjected to torture in the country of residence, no questioning is required.
Akmann: No connection to the object of investigation.
Renner: Data maybe used on drone missions.
Religious: What it says is exactly what I said.
Renner: No knowledge of Bagram?
Religious: There it says "in individual cases specific indications".
Renner: Torture took place in Bagram!
Religious: Doesn't matter in this context. Has anything like this been found in the person to be interviewed? If I take everything that is in the New York Times at face value, a lot of what happens might no longer happen. (!)
Renner: Torture in Bagram?
Religious: Research object?
Renner: Visit in the previous week of the drone operation against Bünyamin Erdoğan. Was there any data passed on? Which were possibly used?
Religious: No realizations.
Renner: We'll talk about it non-publicly!
Question 2: Union (13:55)
Warken: Transfer of data from the BfV to NSA: Section 19 (3) of the Federal Constitutional Protection Act.
The BfV may transmit personal data to foreign public bodies as well as to supranational and intergovernmental bodies if the transmission is necessary to fulfill its tasks or to safeguard significant security interests of the recipient. The transmission will not take place if external concerns of the FRG or overriding interests of the person concerned that are worthy of protection conflict.
Isn't that also the standard for data from XKeyscore?
Religious: This applies in general.
Warken:Section 19 (3) of the Federal Constitutional Protection Act.
The transmission must be put on record.
Employee takes note?
Religious: Yes. Demand acknowledgment of receipt.
Warken:Section 19 (3) of the Federal Constitutional Protection Act.
The recipient must be informed that the transmitted data may only be used for the purpose for which they were transmitted and that the BfV reserves the right to request information about the use made of the data.
Covered by disclaimer?
Warken: Espionage on embassy roofs. NSAUA has letters of Measures to the US Embassy and JIS dated October 28, 2013: "Inquiry about intelligence matters." Prepared by SAWTAD.
BfV President asks for an overview of all US-ND members and contractors to be sent. And asks im for information on SCS.
BfV has no information on contractors and SCS?
Religious:AFAIK was not responsible for the BfV. SCS is IIRC responsible for protecting the embassies. There is cooperation with local offices: Berlin police and LfV. Contractors, I do not remember any action on our part.
Warken: According to the press and Snowden documents, the SCS is a special unit of the NSA and CIA that operates listening posts at 80 embassies and consulates around the world, including cell phone monitoring at the US embassy in Berlin.
Religious: Was not known to me then. Of course, I also read the press, but I can't rate it. Have no recollection from my tenure that this was relevant.
Warken:JIS do you know?
Warken: Type and intensity of cooperation between the BfV and the US intelligence services?
Religious:JIS is the agency of the intelligence services in Germany, led by high-ranking CIA members. Has a large number of employees. Are also available for individual subject areas. Of course we used it. There was a lively exchange. I also had contact with the manager or deputy.
Warken: What for?
Religious: Cross bed. Terror. Right-wing extremism, too. Terror, proliferation, things like that.
Warken: Also direct contacts at work level?
Religious: Yes. I am not informed about every conversation.
Warken: How was BND involved?
Religious: Not at all. Direct contact. BND only involved between BfV and NSA.
Warken: Projects and cooperation between BfV and BND with AND?
Religious: Occasionally. (!)
Warken: Can you tell us something about that here?
Warken: Because outside of the object of investigation?
Warken: Focus report on Chancellor's cell phone on November 4th, 2013: Government in the crosshairs
According to information from FOCUS, the office [BfV] had already investigated indications of espionage against members of the government in 2003, recalls an insider from the Federal Ministry of the Interior. At the time, helicopter flights were used to create thermal images of suspicious embassies in Berlin in which the Germans suspected hostile eavesdropping technology. Other measures such as measuring radio waves have also been used to “take a close look at the messages”. The suspicion of espionage had grown so much that the then Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily (SPD) finally prohibited government members from using unsecured cell phones.
Religious: So not known. The press always has reason to present it in such a way that it will be read with pleasure. There were no findings, just unprovable assumptions that cellular communications in Berlin-Mitte were being taken into account without authorization. That was common knowledge at the time. We also made our own employees aware of this. But I didn't always stick to it myself. (!)
Warken: You said at the Frankfurt Security Day in 2001: “Espionage without traces. Can't even come close to protecting it. ”Maaßen also always warned against passive eavesdropping on radio communications because no active signals are broadcast there. There are twelve years between 2001 and 2013. Embassy roof espionage still not resolvable?
Warken: What can you do there?
Religious:KA. This is also known to those who engage in espionage. I do not see any possibility of changing anything through measures taken by the German authorities. (!)
Question 2: Greens (14:11)
Ströbele: I have been trying to get information about Bünyamin Erdoğan for five years. The shelling is said to have happened on October 4, 2010. When did you find out about it?
Religious: Immediately afterwards. Discussed in October. We also had knowledge from the environment of one of those killed that this event had occurred. I can't say more in public. (!)
Ströbele: Information from the USA?
Religious: We could find out for ourselves.
Ströbele: Do you have any knowledge that the federal government has no official confirmation?
Religious: Official confirmation is different from an intelligence service assessment. After our evaluation, we were very sure. (!)
Ströbele: Did the BfV know where Erdoğan was?
Religious: Yes, we knew the region.
Ströbele: Did you pass that on to USA?
Religious: I assume that too.
Ströbele: A bit more? Wasiristan?
Ströbele: But cell phone numbers passed on?
Religious: Yes. That was the problem then. (!) If we had just passed on the name, it would have been easy for us.
Ströbele: One or more phone numbers?
Ströbele: How long before death?
Religious: Not very long before that, two months or a couple of weeks. (!)
Ströbele: Can the transmission of telephone numbers have anything to do with death?
Religious: I wouldn't have thought of it. But I can't stop others from doing that. (!)
Ströbele: No guess?
Religious: Only through others, including you. This was discussed critically in committees.
Ströbele: Do you have information about the interview in Bagram about this tour group?
Ströbele: Before or after Erdoğan's death?
Religious:KA. Earlier it was said after death.
Renner: Until October 03, 2010.
Religious: So shortly before.
Ströbele: Death was on October 4th.
Religious: I didn't know that anymore.
Ströbele: Was a US employee present at the interview in Bagram?
Religious:KA. [Looks at Akmann.] There must have been someone there.
Ströbele: It is also difficult to imagine that an AND would conduct a survey in Bagram without the USA being there.
Religious: USA were there.
Ströbele: Is it inconceivable that questioning is related to death the next day?
Religious:KA. Didn't know that the time was so tight.
Ströbele: No excitement in the BfV because you were there the day before during the interrogation of members of his travel group? (!)
Ströbele: Your problem was delivery of cell phone numbers. Why does the mobile phone problem not appear at all in the Romann decree? Could also have written: "Cell phone data are no problem."
Religious: Was worded more generally.
Question round 2: SPD (14:21)
Flisek: Why was there nothing in the Romann decree about cell phone data? Let me ask you angrily: The term “immediate” is a back door to exculpate yourself because you want to pass on this data, but you don't care what the US does with it? And BfV does not ask about events, even though we could? Too bad interpretation?
Religious: Yes. My employees do not think along these lines when they act. Can't imagine that for anyone. But also cannot prevent anyone from having and expressing such thoughts. From my memory I cannot give any information about the interrogation of a prisoner in Bagram with the context. More substance for justification for such a suspicion?
Flisek: We are examining options. Scant documentation in files. We have to work with circumstantial evidence. Close temporal connections are clues, not proof, but more than suspicion. Shouldn't you then have to ask?
Religious: I understand how they work here, even with circumstantial evidence. Is not a stranger to me. It is also a question of what would happen if I asked such questions. (!) Let's assume that I would have been so smart that I am sitting here six years later. And I ask the US. And the answer is: “That has nothing to do with it.” Would that change anything about this situation here and the allegations? No.
Flisek: We are working with an information asymmetry in relation to what the USA can do. The allegations against the USA would not change. But there is also the question of how our German services deal with it. If they never had these thoughts, why did they have the disclaimer at all? Or was there a system of not asking?
Religious: I cannot rule out that there has been inquiries.
Flisek: Who would have asked?
Religious: The ones who had to do with it.
Flisek: No return to the top?
Religious: Yes, possible. I didn't think of it.
Flisek: You did not initiate any inquiries and you did not find any?
Flisek: Counterintelligence. Big role in the Cold War and clearly focused. And after 9/11? What did 9/11 mean for counter-espionage?
Religious: After reunification, the opinion was expressed that counter-espionage was no longer necessary. That was in the nineties, then also downsizing. Called itself a structural program, it was a downsizing program that reduced the number of employees at the federal and state levels. Process that began before. Then 9/11. Counterintelligence still existed, but was kept small and melted down in the 2000s because resources were needed to counter terrorism. So in counter-espionage only what appeared to be particularly explosive and important was operated. That is in the VS report: State espionage by Russia and China. And other countries that spy on opposition figures living here. Hardly any new employees for years. Was very problematic. But we had to deal with it.
Flisek: Was counter-espionage a stepchild of the BfV?
Religious: Wrong term. It was important to me.
Flisek: But did the policy makers not hear you?
Flisek: Withdraw capacities from counter-espionage and relocate to counter-terrorism?
Religious: Yes, on a smaller scale. More was the structural program of the nineties.
Flisek: Is the FRG well positioned in the area of counter-espionage?
Religious: Can't say anything about today.
Flisek: When you left office?
Religious: Good not. Sufficient. (!)
Flisek: Emergency program?
Religious: Sometimes when things were acute, we had difficulty concentrating with the necessary resources. Cyber defense has also been used in recent years. Sufficient.
Flisek: Is a 360-degree view new? Or also in their time?
Religious: I said. I've known them since 1992. Comes from BfV.I was at LfV Hessen at the time, the then BfV President used the term and suggested that we fill it with life.
Flisek:Witness Frank Wingerath said that 360-degree view of Five Eyes was in a single subject with 155 states.
Religious: Sounds like a lot, but 90 percent of the 155 states may not be ND-active. Could be more, but it is sufficient.
Question 3: Left (14:40)
Rooster: Cooperation between BfV and AND. I made an inquiry about the BfV President's trip to the USA and vice versa. Amazing number of trips. What are you discussing there? What is the domestic secret service BfV talking about in the USA?
Religious: I cannot say in detail in public. I've been there every two years.
Rooster: Much more frequently recently.
Religious:KA. Every two years in my time. International maintenance of contacts. Had the honor of heading the BfV for twelve years. There have been several changes in the United States. Getting to know each other was necessary. Also to show employees that these contacts are desired. Indispensable. Understand that the CIA chief cannot come to Germany as often as we can to the USA. But I was not only with the CIA, but also with the FBI, in the embassy, such.
Rooster: Just courtesy?
Religious: Maintaining contacts.
Rooster:BfV is a domestic secret service.
Religious: We have a look inside. But that's only good if we also get information from abroad to take a look inside. Cooperation with the CIA is absolutely essential and cannot be replaced by contact between foreign services. BND is not responsible for Germany.
Rooster: Warken asked about cooperation between BfV and Five Eyes? Not a subject of investigation?
Religious: The question was different: Cooperation between BfV, BND and AND. I only answered that.
Rooster: Why not a subject of investigation?
Religious: Isn't one.
Rooster: Cooperation between BfV, BND and CIA is not a subject of investigation?
Rooster: Does Operation Glotaic mean anything to you?
Religious: No. (!)
Rooster: Surprising. Witness Ernst Uhrlau said, "BND is only a co-driver in BfV and CIA operations." Do you need to know about it?
Religious: If that were the case, yes. (!)
Rooster: Glotaic was 2004-2008. That was her term in office. No Knowledge? Alternate name?
Religious: Unknown to me. (!)
Rooster: Were there any operations with the CIA in Germany?
Religious: Is not known to me.
Rooster: We have documents here that are unfortunately secret.
Religious: Can you Show me.
Rooster: Uhrlau said here publicly that the CIA and BfV were doing the operation.
Renner:BfV and CIA jointly went to cable from US provider MCI Worldcom in Winden.
Religious: Awesome number. (!)
Rooster: We thought so too!
Wolff: I assume you are quoting press articles?
Renner: Naturally. Spiegel article: "The legend of winds." US provider.
Renner: Uhrlau said it was BfV.
Religious: My age difference to Uhrlau is small. (!)
Question 3: Greens (14:51)
Ströbele: Did you only talk about cell phone numbers in conversation with Romann, or also other points such as Wasiristan whereabouts and questioning in Bagram?
Religious:KA. What was discussed in detail in terms of content, cannot not say.
Ströbele: It's about lists of dates, probably phone numbers?
Religious: Everything imaginable. Names, other findings.
Ströbele: To the place too?
Religious: I should have a look. KA.
Ströbele: How was your own take on this? Disclaimer: Data transfer for ND purposes only.
Religious: I had no reason to assume that our information was not used for its intended purpose.
Ströbele: Illegal execution?
Religious: I didn't see it like that. There is an argument and combatants there.
Ströbele: Your criticism would not be the drone murders, but that the data would be used for other purposes?
Religious: I don't care about my opinion. I was in charge of the office.
Ströbele: You also took part in ND situations, where the BND was also. Did you ever talk about which data is used for extra-legal killings?
Religious: Will probably have been the subject of conversation.
Ströbele: Also that you don't want to support that?
Ströbele: The last line of the Romann decree reads: "Data that are immediately suitable for geographic location in the geographic region." What is that?
Religious: Wasiristan, probably.
Ströbele: Why is it there?
Religious:KA. Didn't have any special meaning to me.
Ströbele: You could say that you have to be particularly careful in this region? Already a habit with drones?
Religious: It could be like that.
Ströbele: Did you later learn that even US experts like General Hayden say that drone operations are carried out using metadata?
Religious: I took it from the press.
Ströbele:"We kill people based on metadata."
Religious: Press reports. I haven't heard in my time.
Ströbele: Telephone number is classic metadata.
Religious: Didn't have any information.
Ströbele: Do you assume that is the case?
Question 3: SPD (15:00)
Flisek: What did you do to ensure that special incidents were reported to you and the supervisory authority?
Religious: The question of what to report to Parliament and the Federal Ministry of the Interior is very difficult. (!) You have to make the right choice what is reported in the PKGr. It doesn't always work. (!) Of course, current topics are always in focus. Say what we offer on other topics from experience. Difficult are issues that we ourselves did not see as important, but which then became important because something was in the press. We can hardly foresee that. Then allegations. But time is measured, have to make choices. (!) Before meetings, there was always a long coordination with the individual departments about what was to be reported. Still, things like that happened. And again and again the accusation came that we had made this conscious. We have to endure. KA, whether there is a better system for the future. It didn't exist back then. (!)
Flisek: Before the meetings, did you sit down with department heads and prepare PKGr meetings?
Flisek:§ 4 PKGr-Gesetz: "Events of particular importance". Lawyers say "indefinite legal concept". It has to be made operational so that every employee has a common understanding of it. How did you ensure that? Guidelines, instructions, guidelines?
Religious: No. It didn't have to be so bureaucratic. That was guaranteed. This is from the civil service law: Superiors are to be informed about important things. In practice, departments were asked to present all things of importance and then a decision was made. That was guaranteed. But sometimes we didn't make the right choice because sometimes the meaning was presented differently than for the MEPs, for whom something is meaningful when it is in the mirror.
Flisek: How do you ensure this internally? Reference to civil service law is not enough for me. It's difficult.
Religious: No, it is common knowledge. Of course, the head of department knows what is going on in his presentations. That works for the most part. The management just made the wrong choice sometimes. I have always known the essential things. I just made the wrong choices sometimes. (!)
Flisek: How does it work?
Religious: Department heads have been instructed: There is a meeting next week, please report back. That was passed on in the departments. After receiving my feedback, I decided: this, that and that. Sometimes that was wrong.
Flisek: Only after consultation?
Religious: That came as part of the query. Occasionally like that.
Flisek: Even a blast that has to go up straight away?
Religious: That also happens. There are special meetings of the PKGr. Information is actively fed into it.
Flisek:BfV employees said here: “Good espionage is not visible.” How do you rate this in relation to Five Eyes espionage in Germany? Is the relationship visible, not visible?
Religious: Those are good services. (!)
Flisek: Mostly not visible?
Religious: I can't say that.
Flisek: Three groups: definitely visible, cooperation.
Religious: This is no longer espionage. If an AND is active here and I know that, then I either say yes or no. If I allow it, it is not espionage, it is allowed. Espionage is illegal activity by foreign services in Germany against Germany. Then it depends on what capacity I have to defend myself.
Flisek: I have another espionage term.
Religious: The transitions are fluid. In 2009 someone from coalition negotiations went to the US embassy and reported.
Religious: At that time we were still considering whether that was espionage or not. Difficult to determine.
Flisek: You select cases for PKGr. What happens to things they don't choose? They are not reported?
Religious: They are not reported. Or sometimes later.
Flisek: Does the department have to suggest that again?
Question 4: Left (15:14)
Renner: Data transfer with suitability for use with drones. If interrogations take place abroad, does the BfV take minutes?
Religious: That's what I'm expecting.
Renner: There are logs of the interrogation in Bagram showing what data was transmitted?
Religious: That's what I'm expecting.
Renner: Well, we can request it. Pentagon report on Bagram: sleep deprivation, beatings, sexual assault, bondage, threats. You could read about that in the 2010 Pentagon report. Even a military prosecutor concluded that assault was taking place there. Somehow you always don't want to know what the US is doing. Also in Rammstein. Why don't you look there? Why only with press reports? (!)
Religious: What do you expect from me?
Renner: An answer.
Religious: I can't give them any. Counter-espionage practice was such that we did not continuously and systematically deal with partner services. If there were any abnormalities, we held talks. I don't accept the accusation that we don't care about anything in this context.
Renner: You don't look.
Religious: I said yes. We did not continuously deal with our partner services. Germany has contracts with our partners in the security area. There are common security interests. And there are also US soldiers in Germany who are exposed to a threat here, see the attack on US soldiers in March 2011 in Frankfurt am Main.
Renner: Embassy roofs in the government district. Also reported that US services are trying to deploy compromised security products here in government agencies. Known?
Renner: Federal Chancellery was diverted to US IP address. (!)
Renner: Stamped secret. Federal Public Prosecutor determined this. (!)
Renner: Have you worked with the Five Eyes front companies in Germany?
Religious: Front companies always, not Five Eyes.
Renner: Was there an incident?
Renner: Have you been to Bad Aibling?
Renner: Do you know Operation Eikonal?
Religious: From the press.
Renner: Do you know incidents of how US intelligence services want to cable in Germany?
Religious:KA, mixes with what I've read in the press since 2013.
Renner: January 29, 2003 speech slip for PKGr: “Specialist puts forward the thesis that NSA has access to the central network node of the Telekom in Frankfurt am Main.” [MAT A BfV-13, diary number 195/15 secret, volume 5, sheet 195, VS -NfD] (!)
Religious: I do not know.
Renner: "BfV has no findings on this."
Religious: If I have no knowledge, then I cannot take action. (!)
Religious: I am learning a lot today.
Renner: Has the BfV also protected itself against espionage by the Five Eyes?
Religious: Of course, against everyone. Both external protection and internal perpetrators.
Renner: Has the BfV ever dealt with the procedure that US intelligence services have dealt with German journalists in Germany?
Renner: Do you know Causa Vorbeck?
Religious: Yes. (!) But no connection.
Question 4: Greens (15:27)
Notz: When did you hear about Operation Eikonal?
Religious: Help me.
Notz: BND went to fiber optic nodes in Frankfurt am Main with technology from the NSA, since 2003.
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