A new revelation about NSA actions was published today by the German newspaper Die Zeit. According to the documents published by the newspaper, Germany's spies made an agreement with the NSA to get an American surveillance software in their hands.
Under the 2012 agreement between the United States National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV), the Council agreed not to spy Americans in exchange for access to the XKeyscore program, as first mentioned by the Edward Snowden two years ago.
The Germans also promised to share the information they gather using the US program "as much as possible."
According to the publication, XKeyscore was able to "recognize services such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Facebook." It was also able to detect usernames and passwords.
Unlike the US National Security Service, BND and BFV were not allowed to use the application for mass surveillance. Instead, they targeted specifically suspects who, because of their dealings with the US, if they were not supposed to be Americans.
The agreement with the US includes citizens, aliens who have a legal permanent residence in the US, groups and associations whose members are US citizens, or US legal entities.
Die Zeit reports that German secret services shared information with the NSA in return for technical support, potentially violating the fundamental rights of German citizens.
The newspaper also reports that the risk of such violations remains so far.