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NSA, British spy agency secretly accessing German telcom data: Der Spiegel

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The US National Security Agency and British intelligence services are able to secretly access data from telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom and several other German operators, according to Der Spiegel weekly.

An NSA programme called “Treasure Map” gives the US agency and Britain’s electronic eavesdropping GCHQ near real-time information about the operators’ networks, right through to end users on computers, smartphones or tablets, Der Spiegel said in a report to appear in its Sunday edition.

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It is the latest in a string of revelations based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Spiegel said the tracking programme, which it dubbed “the Google Earth of the Internet”, can be used to plan cyber attacks.

The magazine said it did not receive any immediate comment from the NSA or GCHQ in response to the claims.

Satellite ground station operator Stellar, which according to Spiegel was among the German firms targeted, responded angrily to the revelation.

“A cyber attack of this kind clearly violates German law,” said Stellar boss Christian Steffen, after Spiegel presented it with a GCHQ document said to contain the passwords of some of its clients.

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In response to the Spiegel report, Deutsche Telekom and regional operator Netcologne said they had not identified any data breaches.

But Deutsche Telekom’s IT security head Thomas Tschersich said: “The access of foreign secret services to our network would be totally unacceptable.”

“We are looking into any indication of a possible manipulation. We have also alerted the authorities,” he told the weekly.

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The Snowden leaks, which began last year and have revealed massive surveillance by the United States, have provoked outrage in Germany and damaged ties with Washington following disclosures that the NSA tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.


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Republicans defended ‘a vile scoundrel’ who is ‘racist’ and ‘a petty tyrant’ — and it wasn’t Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump's defense attorneys were blasted for their defense of a different president on Tuesday.

"I mean, of course Trump's lawyers are defending Andrew Johnson. Of course," noted MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes.

"Johnson was a vile scoundrel and a drunk and a racist and a petty tyrant whose presidency brought blood and shame upon this nation," Hayes continued. "That's the kindest characterization I could muster."

The host linked to a 2019 piece on Johnson that he wrote for The New York Times as a book review of "The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple.

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Trump lawyer cites former GOP senator to discredit impeachment — but leaves out he supports convicting the president

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During the Senate impeachment trial on Monday, White House lawyer Robert Ray attempted to contrast the impeachment of President Donald Trump with that of President Richard Nixon, by arguing that unlike in the former case, Republicans came together with Democrats to call for removing Nixon. As part of the comparison, he brought up then-Rep. William Cohen, who went on to become a U.S. senator from Maine and Secretary of Defense for President Bill Clinton.

"Together these six Republicans made history," said Ray. "They did so with no sense of triumph and no fist bumps."

What Ray chose not to mention, however, is that Cohen has specifically weighed in on the Trump case, and said that he should be impeached and removed over the Ukraine scheme.

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There are 51 votes to approve calling witnesses in Trump impeachment trial: PBS

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After pieces of John Bolton's manuscript leaked to the press confirming President Donald Trump's bribery of Ukraine, Republicans have turned to support the witnesses they once opposed.

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) both voted against witnesses and were leaning against them until Bolton's manuscript was leaked to the press after it was turned over to the White House for approval.

PBS News Hour reporter Lisa Desjardins tweeted Monday evening that the news tipped the scales and there were officially 51 votes to approve witnesses.

https://twitter.com/LisaDNews/status/1221951089647538177

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