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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.

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“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.

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.”

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

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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Fox’s Chris Wallace stunned as ‘flailing’ Trump tries to order around US companies while the stock market plunges

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Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace seemed stunned by a series of angry tweets from Donald Trump on Friday morning, first attacking Fed Chair Jerome Powell for not lowering interest rates than exploding at China over a new round of tariffs.

Speaking with host Sandra Smith, Wallace sat and listened as she read off the president's Twitter complaints about economic events beyond his control, including one telling U.S. companies to take their manufacturing business elsewhere.

"We are just all learning of this at the same time, but the best I can tell, the American president can’t order U.S. companies how they’re going to do their sales and where they’re going to have their supply chains," Wallace lectured. "We have a free-market capitalist system."

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‘They sense weakness’: Former senator says the world is ‘smirking’ as Trump flails away at latest China tariffs

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Former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) appeared on CNN Friday to discuss how President Donald Trump has completely mishandled his long-running trade war with China.

While talking about trade with CNN's Jim Sciutto, Baucus said that China timed its new announcements of tariffs against $75 billion worth of American goods specifically to humiliate the president.

"They sense weakness," explained Baucus, who has also previously served as an American ambassador to China. "And I think that they see a weakness in the United States today. Trump has been weakened because of the weakened American economy and they're retaliating against the tariffs that Trump imposed after there was a truce there would be no tariffs."

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France launches sex-abuse investigation against Jeffrey Epstein

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French prosecutors said Friday that they had opened an inquiry into suspected cases of rape and sexual abuse of women, including minors, by late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender.

“The investigations... will focus on potential crimes committed against French victims on national territory as well as abroad, and on suspects who are French citizens,” Paris Prosecutor Remy Heitz said in a statement.

The potential charges could include rape and sexual assault against minors, including some younger than 15 years old, prosecutors said.

It will also investigate claims Epstein and others participated for years in a vast child sex trafficking ring.

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