Media: bnd wants to probe social networks live

Media: bnd wants to probe social networks live

The federal intelligence service (BND) is increasingly targeting social networks. According to information from "suddeutscher zeitung", NDR and WDR, the german foreign intelligence service wants to be able to investigate twitter, facebook and co in real time in the future. The plans emerged from several confidential documents of the BND, the media reported on friday evening.

According to the information, the BND bases its surveillance programs on the technical capabilities of the controversial US intelligence service NSA and the british GCHQ. The project is being run internally under the title "real-time analysis of streaming data".

Already this year, the foreign intelligence service wants to improve its technology in such a way that weblogs, forums and portals such as flickr, facebook and twitter can be systematically analyzed, according to the "suddeutsche zeitung". This should make it possible, for example, to immediately incorporate moods in the population of other countries into BND images.

The federal intelligence service would not comment on the media reports. "We comment on questions concerning our operational activities exclusively to the federal government and the relevant committees of the federal parliament, which meet in secret," a spokesman told dpa on friday evening.

The project is reportedly part of a so-called strategic initiative technology (SIT). The costs of the program, which is to run until 2020 for the time being, were put by the BND at a total of around 300 million euros. The bundestag is expected to approve the sum in the coming weeks.

According to the "suddeutscher zeitung", the german foreign intelligence service pointed out in a conversation with parliamentarians that friendly foreign intelligence services are methodically much more advanced than the BND. If there is not a digital upsurge soon, the federal intelligence service is in danger of falling behind the italian and spanish intelligence services.