Saturday, April 12, 2008

Siemens Worked With German Intelligence Agency, Spiegel Reports

By Patrick Donahue
April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG, Europe's largest engineering company, cooperated closely with Germany's top spy agency for over a decade, Der Spiegel reported.
Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, had a representative on the management board, Spiegel cited unidentified former managers as saying. The BND used Siemens's communication technology for espionage purposes, while the Munich-based company became the spy agency's top supplier.
The BND's role in Siemens could mean it has knowledge of access codes the company uses to conduct maintenance work on communications systems, Spiegel said. Siemens engineers also gain exposure to construction sites that aren't visible by U.S. satellite photography, according to the magazine.
Siemens supplies surveillance and wiretap technology to countries such as Russia, Egypt and Oman. Intelligence specialists within Siemens worked at ICM Voice & Data Recording, on a site separate from the company's headquarters, Spiegel said.
Siemens spokesman Andreas Schwab declined to comment on the report. The BND didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment that was left on the press department's answering machine. The government's main press department couldn't supply any additional phone numbers when contacted by Bloomberg.
To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net.

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