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Germany cooperated with NSA's partner firm: report

Press Trust of India  |  Berlin 

As the uproar over alleged spying continued to rock Germany's relations with the US, a report today claimed that Berlin had cooperated closely with a partner firm of the American snooping agency, NSA, for several years and awarded it contracts worth around 300 million euros.

The German government signed an agreement with the US private security and IT service provider, Computer Science Corporation (CSC), in 2009 to cooperate in counselling Chancellor Angela Merkel's office and various ministries on highly sensitive security matters, the report said.

Between 2009 and 2013, three German subsidiaries of CSC were given 100 contracts by ten ministries and the Chancellor's office, a report by German TV channel NDR and Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.

Their investigation showed that CSC was also cooperating with the National Security Agency (NSA) to develop a new IT system and an espionage software. The US' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also used the company's services, the report said.

CSC assisted the German interior ministry in developing registers for weapons and identity cards. The company was also involved in the ministry's project to design a tap-proof e-mail service, the report said quoting an internal document.

The NSA sub-contractor also cooperated with the Justice Ministry in introducing an electronic file for the federal courts and the federal prosecutor's office, while the German police sought its help to introduce a new espionage software.

CSC received a total of 25.5 million euros from Germany's federal government in the last four years, the report said. Since the German reunification in 1990, the firm was paid a total of 180 million euros.

It also earned more than 115 million euros for executing 364 contracts given by the German armed forces during the last 20 years, the report said.

CSC was the main sub-contractor of the CIA between 2003 and 2006 and helped the US spy agency in kidnapping and transportation of terror suspects worldwide, the report said.

Aircraft chartered by a CSC subsidiary were deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They flew to the countries where the CIA operated secret prisons for terror suspects. It was one of the aircraft chartered by the CSC which took German national Khalid al Masri from a secret prison in Afghanistan to Albania after he was abducted by the CIA in 2004, the report claimed.

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First Published: Sat, November 16 2013. 15:08 IST