Germans to beef up counterintelligence – resolution to Snowden spying revelations

(German spy: Marina Lee)

This action may mark the effective conclusion to the US-German dispute over spying, all declarations and agreements aside.

Basically, Germany will begin spying on the US and stepping up its defence from US spying. Or as the Reuters story puts it:

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has until now only systematically observed countries of concern, while allies in the European Union and NATO were observed only if there was a concrete suspicion, such as that they were spying on Germany or recruiting spies in the country, the official said.

But given the NSA revelations, the agency will in future need to have a 360-degree view which will include friendly countries, the official said.

The US won’t be able to complain. They wouldn’t have much right to complain. The Germans, since the end of WWII (back then-the West Germans, of course) have been under a protective bubble of the US and one of these elements of the bubble was the freedom from making huge expenditures on their own security, either through the military or elsewhere.

Now Germany will have to increasingly have to bear those cost. Possibly the bigger toll may be on the slightly innocent, slightly priggish worldview many Germans have somehow maintained since reunification. Now it looks like they’re going to have to shoulder more of the costs and responsibility. But with the freedom will come a fuller self-sufficiency they haven’t had since before WWII.

Old-fashioned Chinese trade secret theft

Here is a case where a California businessman has been charged with trying to provide DuPont’s formula for chloride-route titanium oxide to Pangang Group in China.

According to David Wise in his book Tiger Trap, China often leans of Chinese-born citizens of other countries to snoop when it needs information, putting pressure on them to help “even the playing field” between China and more developed countries.

So this case, if Liew is found guilty, would be consistent with that.

California businessman Walter Liew was charged with seven new crimes, including filing false tax returns, in a revised indictment alleging he conspired to provide DuPont Co. (DD) trade secrets to a Chinese company.

U.S. prosecutors filed the new charges today in federal court in San Francisco.
China’s Pangang Group Co., Liew and two former DuPont employees were charged last year with conspiring to steal information about chloride-route titanium oxide, a white pigment used in paint, plastics and paper.

Although often the prosecution is often difficult, in part of the same reason cyber attacks were hush-hush for so long. Organisations frequently don’t want to admit in court – on the record – that they have been compromised.