New Spy Headquarters Highlights Germany’s Changing Role

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German police stand guard in front of the Federal Intelligence Service headquarters in Berlin on February 8. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The newfound importance of Germany’s national spy agency is deeply symbolic of its changing foreign policy.

Germany opened a new headquarters for its national spy agency, the bnd, on February 8. The opening of this new facility in the very heart of Berlin is symbolic of an ongoing transformation in Germany’s foreign policy.

Deutsche Welle noted that “the move signals a major symbolic change for Germany, no longer shying away from taking a prominent role on the global stage.” The opening is not only a step forward for the bnd, but also for Germany’s international role.

The bnd headquarters was previously located in the countryside near Munich. Now that it has moved to the center of Berlin, it is close to other government offices and the former site of the Berlin Wall. Moving the headquarters to this area where Germany was once divided but is now united and resurgent is a symbolic victory. Continue reading

Intel operation against Trump still going strong

There was a great deal of news this past week about President Trump’s audacious disregard for the advice and warnings from his own intelligence community experts.

Perhaps there’s good reason for alarm.

But I think there’s one shocking aspect — perhaps a larger story — that’s gone virtually unreported. It appears that anonymous intelligence officials are executing an operation against the sitting commander in chief. It might not qualify as all-out mutiny, but it’s also not all that far from one. Continue reading

Two Roads Diverged in a Digital Wood

 

By now it’s no longer restricted to individual companies or even to the internet sector. It has spread across a wide range of products, services, and economic sectors, including insurance, retail, healthcare, finance, entertainment, education, transportation, and more, birthing whole new ecosystems of suppliers, producers, customers, market-makers, and market players. Nearly every product or service that begins with the word “smart” or “personalised”, every internet-enabled device, every “digital assistant”, is simply a supply-chain interface for the unobstructed flow of behavioural data on its way to predicting our futures in a surveillance economy.

– From the must read piece: ‘The Goal Is to Automate Us’: Welcome to the Age of Surveillance Capitalism

A lot of my content over the past couple of years has focused on the momentous geopolitical changes I see on the horizon, and this macro perspective reaches two significant conclusions. First, that the planet is moving away from a unipolar world dominated almost entirely by the U.S. toward a more multi-polar world. Second, that this fundamental shift in geopolitical landscape, coupled with what appears to be a forthcoming reckoning with the largest global debt bubble in human history, will lead to a once in a generation reset of the world economy and the global financial system that keeps it functioning. Continue reading

Five Eyes

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – In the dispute over boycotting the Chinese Huawei corporation, the German government is considering joining a campaign of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network, it was reported in Canada and Australia. According to the media, intelligence chiefs of the five English-speaking “Five Eyes” countries launched a boycott campaign last July under US leadership. The campaign seeks not only to put pressure on the governments of Five Eyes members Great Britain and Canada, which – for economic reasons – have initially been reluctant to boycott Huawei, but also to increase the pressure on the Germany and Japan. Experts in Australia speculate that, in return for its participation in the boycott, Berlin could become an accepted FIVE Eyes member, something Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been striving to do for years. To “maintain their own technology competence,” EU companies should develop 5G, according to Berlin. German managers, however, are up in arms, fearing falling far behind and never catching up with China.

Continue reading

CIA has maintained secret communication with North Korea for 10 years

Mike Pompeo North Korea

 

The United States and North Korea have never had official diplomatic relations, nor have they ever maintained embassies at each other’s capitals. In rare instances, the North Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York has been utilized to pass messages from the White House to the communist country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No other systematic diplomatic activity between the two sides has ever been reported. Continue reading

The Battle over Huawei

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BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – With the USA escalating its measures against Huawei Technologies, Berlin is faced with deciding whether to continue its cooperation with that Chinese telecommunications company. Until now, the competent German administrations have been considering cooperating with Huawei for the development of the important 5G mobile communications standards. With its experience, the Chinese company could reliably set up the German network rather quickly and at favorable costs. For German business, it is of utmost importance not to fall behind even further in the development of future state-of-the art technologies. Washington, however, is pushing for the Chinese company to be excluded. The Trump administration – without any evidence, according to experts – is accusing it of having close ties to the Chinese government and intelligence agencies. Washington is indeed seeking to damage Huawei seriously – the world’s largest network provider and second largest smartphone producer – to halt China’s ascendance. Berlin must decide whether it wants to join that battle against Huawei in the economic war against Beijing.

Continue reading

China Hacks America—and ‘None Goes to Battle’

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Gary Dorning/Trumpet

 

A tiny Chinese microchip may have infiltrated numerous American governmental and military systems, giving insight into how several specific Bible prophecies could come to pass.

It isn’t hard to imagine a time in the near future when great numbers of Americans take to the streets. Maybe the trigger would be another divisive presidential election, with half the nation refusing to accept four more years of an administration they loathe. Maybe the trigger would be impeachment hearings or a particularly controversial decision by “Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court,” such as restricting abortion.

Whatever the spark, it isn’t hard to imagine America’s intensifying domestic tensions exploding into mass riots. Continue reading

US military advantage has eroded, study says

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Photo: MANDEL NGAN;Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

 

WASHINGTON – The United States has lost its military edge to a dangerous degree and could potentially lose a war against China or Russia, according to a report released Wednesday by a bipartisan commission that Congress created to evaluate the Trump administration’s defense strategy.

The National Defense Strategy Commission, comprised of former top Republican and Democratic officials selected by Congress, evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the U.S. military to compete with Beijing and Moscow in an era of renewed great-power competition. Continue reading

It Is Like A Western Movie: A Showdown Is In The Making

It has taken the US military/security complex 31 years to get rid of President Reagan’s last nuclear disarmament achievement—the INF Treaty that President Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev achieved in 1987.

The Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was ratified by the US Senate on May 27, 1988 and became effective a few days later on June 1. Behind the scenes, I had some role in this, and as I remember what the treaty achieved was to make Europe safe from nuclear attack by Soviet short and intermediate range missiles, and to make the Soviet Union safe from US attack from short and intermediate range US nuclear missiles in Europe. By restricting nuclear weapons to ICBMs, which allowed some warning time, thus guaranteeing retaliation and non-use of nuculear weapons, the INF Treaty was regarded as reducing the risk of an American first-strike on Russia and a Russian first-strike on Europe, strikes that could be delivered by low-flying cruise missiles with next to zero warning time. Continue reading

Did Saudis, CIA Fear Khashoggi 9/11 Bombshell?

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The macabre case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises the question: did Saudi rulers fear him revealing highly damaging information on their secret dealings? In particular, possible involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks on New York in 2001.

Even more intriguing are US media reports now emerging that American intelligence had snooped on and were aware of Saudi officials making plans to capture Khashoggi prior to his apparent disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. If the Americans knew the journalist’s life was in danger, why didn’t they tip him off to avoid his doom? Continue reading

Chinese spy caught in ‘rare’ sting after ‘plot to steal US trade secrets’

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US federal agents lured a Chinese government spy to Belgium, where authorities transferred him to the US for prosecution on economic espionage charges. Photo: AP

 

Yanjun Xu, a senior officer with China’s Ministry of State Security, is accused of seeking to steal trade secrets from leading defence aviation firms, top Justice Department officials said

US agents have arrested a top Beijing intelligence official for allegedly attempting to steal trade secrets from GE Aviation and other US aerospace companies after luring the suspect to Belgium in what the US Justice Department called “an unprecedented extradition”.

Xu Yanjun, who also uses the names Qu Hui and Zhang Hui, was extradited to the US on Tuesday with assistance from Belgian authorities for seeking “to steal trade secrets and other sensitive information from an American company that leads the way in aerospace”, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a Justice Department announcement on Wednesday. Continue reading

New Evidence Of Chinese Spy Hardware Found By Ex-Mossad Investigators; Super Micro Shares Plunge

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A major US telecommunications company found “manipulated” hardware from Super Micro Computer Inc. in its network in August – bolstering claims in a Bloomberg report last week alleging that China installed bugging devices on hardware bought by Apple, Amazon and a host of other companies.

According to a new report by Bloomberg, the unnamed telecom company hired former Israeli Intelligence Corps security expert Yossi Appleboum, now of Maryland-based Sepio Systems, who provided “documents, analysis and other evidence of the discovery” following last week’s report detailing how China’s intelligence agencies had ordered subcontractors to install malicious chips in Super Micro motherboards between 2013 and 2015.  Continue reading

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

Recognition of this urgent and grave matter is finally receiving recognition by the mainstream media. Chinese microchips have been planted within every facet of U.S. life, from the military to household PC components, as well as everyday appliances such as irons and microwaves.

Further information previously archived on Global Geopolitics can be found within the following previous posts:

The Secret Ways of Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei (2013)

Security backdoor found in China-made US military chip (2012)

 

Click for a larger animated version. (Illustrator: Scott Gelber for Bloomberg Businessweek)

 

The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA. Continue reading

Uranium One: FBI Refuses To Release Three-Dozen Secret Memos Involving Clintons, Russia And Obama

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The FBI has refused to declassify 37 pages of materials related to the Uranium One deal, citing national security and the privacy issues, reports The Hill‘s John Solomon. The documents are thought to contain information regarding then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement, as well as the Obama administration’s knowledge of the controversial deal.

The existence of the documents became known after a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release of related material contained an entry entitled “Uranium One Transaction.” The publicly available portion includes benign material, such as public letters from members of Congress who demanded information on the Uranium One approval.  Continue reading

CIA to return to traditional espionage against state actors, says new director

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The United States Central Intelligence Agency will return to traditional espionage against foreign states and focus less on counterterrorism against non-state actors, said its new director in her first public appearance. Gina Haspel joined the CIA in 1985 as a reports officer and completed several undercover tours overseas before serving as chief of station. She rose through the ranks to become deputy director of the National Clandestine Service and was appointed deputy director of the CIA in 2017. In May of this year, she became the Agency’s first female director, despite some controversy that arose from her role as chief of a CIA undercover facility (so-called “black site”) in Thailand. Critics alleged that Agency personnel under her command practiced enhanced interrogation, including waterboarding, on terrorism detainees. Continue reading