BND: Austria calls for enlightenment on BND reconnaissance

Austria's president has criticized BND activities in his country as unacceptable. The Federal Chancellor said that there should be no scouting among neighbors.

BND: Austria calls for enlightenment on BND reconnaissance

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) has asked German authorities for clarification and full transparency about alleged espionage of companies and private persons by Federal Intelligence services (BND). He said on Saturday at Vienna Hofburg at a joint press conference with federal President Alexander van der Barken that re should be no such spying among friendly states. "Our wish is to know who has been monitored here and when surveillance has ended." If data were stored, y would have to be deleted. In short, it referred to new legal regulations in Germany which would prohibit espionage under friendly states since 2016.

The information available to him showed that extent of spying was enormous. He assumes, however, that this has happened between 1999 and 2006. The Austrian Chancellor did not want to talk about a diplomatic upset: "We are neighbours and Member States of European Union. It must be clarified wher allegations are correct. "

Austria's Chancellor demanded a "proper cooperation" from Germany on this sensitive issue. It is good things that German authorities would now create transparency. That is a clear expectation of Austrian Government. If re is new information, prosecution office in Austria may become active.

Federal President Van der Barken said that Scouting is not only uncommon and undesirable among friendly States, but also unacceptable. He also demanded full clarification from German authorities. Such spying should be discontinued immediately, if y are still running, but which he does not assume. Mutual trust must be restored, only through full transparency. "The suspicions are serious, but first of all it has to be clarified wher measures 2006 have been discontinued. That is what we want to hear from German authorities. "

Ministries and companies in sights of BND

The federal intelligence services should systematically monitor telecommunications of central institutions in Austria between 1999 and 2006. This was reported by Austrian news magazine profile and daily newspaper Der Standard based on BND internal files. A total of 2,000 telephone, fax and mobile connections as well as e-mail addresses were in sights of German intelligence service. "The BND targeted ministries in Vienna, companies, international organizations, Islamic institutions as well as terrorist suspects and arms dealers", writes standard.

Special attention was paid to international institutions located in Vienna. In addition, numerous companies were supervised, both Austrian and branch offices of international companies in Vienna. The question arises "wher BND has also operated economic espionage in Austria beyond its target tasks in order to gain a competitive advantage for Germany", writes newspaper.

Almost all major Austrian companies and banks had been on list of places to be intercepted, but also small and medium-sized enterprises. The German secret Service has also shared any information received with or intelligence agencies such as American NSA.

OPEC and UN were also spied out

Profile reported that BND file included more than 200 telecommunication ports in 75 embassies, including United States, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Afghanistan, Israel, and North Korea. There are also bugged numbers at Opec cartel, two dozen numbers at Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, 180 at International Atomic Energy Agency. Or UN organizations have 128 connections. In addition, dozens of companies, including arms producers and or important exporters, were in sights of BND.

The parliamentary control Panel of National Intelligence Services (PKG) has already become active. "We check wher allegations are new or wher y are part of allegations already known to 2015," said PCG chairman Armin Schuster to newspapers of Funke Media Group. The CDU politician said that "it was often neir relatively nor in matter to explain" that BND had in past spied on or European states. As a consequence, Bundestag also changed BND act in last parliamentary term. It set service completely different conditions than before 2015, Schuster said.

Updated Date: 17 June 2018, 12:01

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