RealTime IT News

German Companies Not Worried By E-mail Espionage

[Berlin, GERMANY] The global Echelon spy system set up by the American secret service NSA to spy on e-mails and telephone calls, does not seem to be a subject which worries major German companies.

The president of the powerful Federal Association of German Industry (BDI), Hans-Olaf Henkel, today declined to comment on questions posed by the online magazine germany.internet.com, because of his alleged lack of competence in this area. Henkel, who recently appeared technically competent in arguing the case for the nuclear lobby in the German media, went on to explain that he is not "sufficiently familiar" with Echelon.

The germany.internet.com editorial staff asked the BDI how the Echelon spy system located in the Bavarian town of Bad Aibling could be in accordance with friendly USA/German relations, and what the BDI intends to undertake in this matter. The Federal Association of Economic Information, Telecommunications and New Media (BITCOM) could not be contacted for their comment before going to press.

Only recently, during the committee meeting for European affairs which took place behind closed doors in the German Bundestag, the British journalist and intelligence expert Duncan Campbell and the Brandenburg federal data protection specialist Alexander Dix outline the state of affairs concerning the Echelon spy system.

Campbell and Dix confirmed the threat of the Echelon spy system to the German economy. Duncan Campbell referred to his report for the European parliament, in which he raises the prospect that hundreds of U.S. Department of Commerce "success stories," in which US companies beat off European and Japanese commercial opposition, could be attributed to the filtering powers of Echelon.