18:54 GMT +316 January 2019
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    A satellite dish is photographed inside of a receiver, a so-called Radom, at the German Intelligence Agency,BND , facility near the Mangfall barracks in Bad Aibling,, near Munich Germany, Friday June 6, 2014

    German Spy Scandal Triggered by Broken Connection Between Gov't, Intel Agencies

    © AP Photo / dpa,Stephan Jansen
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    On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was invited to the Bundestag parliamentary committee to testify on the NSA and BND espionage scandal that shocked German residents in 2015. During her speech Merkel stuck to her old position, saying that she knew nothing about the spying activities of German intelligence.

    In an interview with Sputnik Germany, German politician Patrick Schiffer noted that he was surprised by the lack of coordination between the BND and the German government and stressed that insufficient control was the main reason behind the unprecedented spy scandal that has shaken the country.

    "I was surprised, amazed and shocked about the fact that there was so little communication between the BND and the German government and that the activities that took place in the period from 2013 to 2015 and even before that were ignored. In my opinion, it indicates the lack of sufficient control that actually should have been exerted. The trust, that many were talking about, was lost in many respects," the member of the German Pirate Party told Sputnik Germany.

    As result of the spy scandal, German authorities passed stricter legislation and made a series of organizational changes. However, according to the politician, the new law has not brought any significant changes.

    "The reaction came too late. How can we control the intelligence, even if the federal government has no idea what they actually do?" he added.

    The politician also criticized Merkel's statement in which she said that "spying among friends is unacceptable."

    "I don't want to use the word ‘lies', but I believe that at that time she did not have the necessary information that would allow her to say this sentence at all. So she unconsciously misled the public, and the questioning in the investigatory committee has proved that," the politician said.

    The investigatory committee into the German Bundestag was established in 2014 and was tasked with finding out how and to what extent foreign intelligence had been spying on European citizens, including high-ranking German politicians and top-officials. Later, a series of documents also revealed that not only the NSA, but also the BND was actively involved in espionage against German citizens.

    Thus, in 2015 media reports said that the BND had systematically spied on its friends and allies worldwide. According to Spiegel Online magazine, in many cases the BND carried out this policy on its initiative and not at the request of US intelligence.


    US Says Germany Remains Crucial Partner Despite Espionage Scandal
    testimony, espionage, National Security Agency (NSA), German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Germany
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