Category Archives: SPIES

The Niamey Niger Drone Base Unveiled


19 October 2016[Image]
27 March 2016
13°29’23.20″ N 2°10’21.49″ E[Image]
26 February 2016[Image]
10 February 2016[Image]
2 February 2016[Image]
31 January 2016[Image]
2 November 2015[Image]
28 October 2015[Image]
22 October 2015[Image]
16 October 2015[Image]
19 August 2015[Image]
5 June 2015[Image]
29 January 2015[Image]


30 December 2014[Image]
14 December 201413°29’21.03″ N 2°10’20.38″ E


17 November 2014[Image]
14 November 2014[Image]
6 November 2014[Image]
23 October 2014[Image]
7 October 2014[Image]
4 October 2014[Image]
21 September 2014[Image]
10 September 2014[Image]
7 June 2014. Note third hangar under re-construction, center bottom.[Image]
10 October 2013[Image]
15 September 2013[Image]


Aktuelle Morddrohung von dubiosen Figuren mit Russland-Backgound



Die weiteren Details sind Gegenstand forensischer Untersuchung

Allegations of “extraordinary rendition” flights utilising UK military airfields

 Allegations of “extraordinary rendition” flights utilising UK military airfields have been widely reported for several years and the worldwide community of aviation enthusiasts – or “plane spotters” – has proved invaluable in charting their movements. The camera and the registration number on the tail never lie! Well, until the numbers are changed!

Rogue jets licensed to CIA “ghost companies” have been tracked landing at various locations, en-route between the USA, Iraq, Afghanistan and sinister “black prisons” – clandestine interrogation and torture facilities set-up after the “9/11” incidents, in the global “war on terror”.

Consider the whole theme of my website,, established in 2003. Then imagine my astonishment in December 2007, when I discovered that some of my favourite research tools – Google Earth and Windows Live Local Bird’s Eye aerial photography – apparently showed rendition operations being carried out at one of the UK’s most important, secure and sensitive military bases! CIA caught on camera?

Be intrigued, amazed, shocked, outraged – all of the above. But above all, be entertained by the power of public domain information, available from open sources! Analyse my research findings and draw your own conclusions! Read on and enjoy!

RAF Northolt in West London, close to Heathrow International Airport, is home to the Queen’s Flight (now known as No. 32 Royal Squadron) and is the official facility used by the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and VIPs within UK Government. It is also used by US Embassy staff (and one assumes by inference, CIA agents).

Northolt has an official listing of Station Flights, including the BAe 146 for Her Majesty the Queen and three Agusta 109E helicopters for VIP travel and “communications” functions. But judging by evidence I found on Google Earth and Bird’s Eye in December 2007, there are many other undisclosed airframes touching down on that tarmac!

As a high security military facility, Northolt has been chosen as the site for consolidating many other functions previously carried out at various sites spread out around London. The Ministry of Defence Estate London (MoDEL) Project is well under way and will ultimately result in many old RAF sites being sold off, with staff relocating to Northolt.Project MoDEL is being run by VSM Estates Limited – a joint venture between VINCI plc and St. Modwen Properties plc.

Another major Northolt redevelopment project is a huge new hangar type building (below) to house the British Forces Post Office (BFPO), which obviously needs to be in a very secure environment. The BFPO project is being run by Bovis Land Lease and will relocate the function from the BFPO’s previous operational facility together with the Defence Courier Service based within Inglis Barracks, Mill Hill in North London, on the edge of the Hertfordshire commuter belt.

In October 2006, security at Northolt was massively upgraded with the installation of a new £1.2 million perimeter fence enhancement. It was supplied by Link Integrated Security Systems Limited based in Chesterfield, UK and ObjectVideo, Inc in Reston, Virginia, on the edge of Washington Dulles International Airport. It utilises sophisticated 24-hour motion detection sensors and video analytics software.

The press release remarks, “ObjectVideo technology also enhances the security of the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in the United States. Andrews AFB is best known as the airfield used by the President of the United States and home base for his plane, Air Force One. The base also provides air transportation for the Vice President, the Cabinet, Members of Congress, military leaders and receives high-ranking dignitaries from around the world”.

Project MoDEL construction site for British Forces Post Office (BFPO) at RAF Northolt

Bird’s Eye view looking east across the construction site of
British Forces Post Office (BFPO)
Part of the MoDEL Project for the 21st Century at RAF Northolt

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

Project MoDEL construction site for British Forces Post Office (BFPO) at RAF Northolt

Bird’s Eye view looking south across the British Forces Post Office (BFPO)
showing it almost completed – plus new hangars on the South Side

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

Project MoDEL new hangars at RAF Northolt

Bird’s Eye view looking south across Project MoDEL’s new hangars on the South Side

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

Hangar 311 advert
Northolt Warehouse Hangar

RAF Northolt is no stranger to scandal. As revealed in the Sunday Times in July 2006, large quotas of valuable landing slots had been controversially allocated to a private company, Netjets, which specialises in whisking celebrities in and out of London for their media appearances.

These invariably involve the Gulfstream executive jets, so popular with the CIA rendition agents. Could that explain away the suspicious planes on the tarmac caught on camera?

Well, Netjets is actually based over on the north east side of the Aerodrome in Hangar 311. This facility was leased out by the Ministry of Defence back in 2001, as seen in an advertisement placed in Flight International magazine in July of that year (right).

There are quite distinct public and military areas at Northolt Aerodrome. Whilst some Gulfstreams can be seen on the southern apron, associated with the Queen’s Flight and some commercial operations, a much more interesting group of buildings can be spotted in the north west corner.

Some urban scale maps use the label Warehouse Hangar (right) and it is located in a highly secure military area next to the underground fuel depot. Greater detail is revealed on Ordnance Survey mapping at 1:10000 scale. Could this have been converted in recent years to act as a CIA “holding facility”? In March 2006, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in a Guardian newspaper exposé that the Ministry of Defence had finally admitted to rendition flights “passing through RAF Northolt”, so perhaps we’re onto something.

The Google Earth imagery I present further below is possibly as recent as 2005 or even early 2006, but not 2007 – it doesn’t show any of the MoDEL building projects in progress. However, the Bird’s Eyes are fairly contemporary – if you experiment with multiple angles of views, various other MoDEL construction sites can be found as well as the new BFPO. Crucially, two out of the three brand new white Agusta 109E helicopters from the No. 32 Royal Squadron appear on the Bird’s Eyes. They were delivered to the base by the manufacturers in March 2006 and replaced Twin Squirrels.

On Google Earth, two Gulfstreams can be spotted on the southern apron along with a Cessna Citation – rumoured to be used by US Embassy staff in London and therefore probably CIA too.

Examine that north west corner around the “Warehouse Hangar” on Google Earth. You see a Cessna Citation, (plus a BAe 125) and shuttle coaches for transportation around the airfield. Hop over to Bird’s Eye (obviously filmed at a different time and indeed date) and the shuttle buses are still there. The BAe 125 has gone, but the number of Citations has increased first to two, then to four.

As featured in Mail on Sunday

Go back to Google Earth. Anything else of interest? There’s one more vehicle caught on camera – an ambulance. Why would an ambulance be required at a “Warehouse Hangar” or to accompany courtesy buses? Because the staff are so clumsy and prone to serious accidents at all times? Perhaps because rendition “passengers” are routinely drugged in transit? On 4th May 2008, the Mail on Sunday picked up on my observations and featured this article in a major news story regarding the alleged rendition and torture of Binyam Mohamed.

Islanders Ahoy – Spies in the Sky

Just before we leave that north west corner — “Special Projects Area” or “Station Flight Enclave” — there’s one more exciting surprise. With considerable experimentation, I managed to obtain a Bird’s Eye of Northolt’s most elusive and secretive residents – a Britten-Norman Islander, used by the RAF in a classified surveillance, Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and Electronic / Electromagnetic Intelligence (ELINT) counter-terrorism role!

The details in the public domain so far, not surprisingly, have been very sketchy indeed. However, they are regularly seen circling and almost “hovering” over London at all times of the day and night – they can be used a bit like helicopters, as they have very low stall speeds.

They have been spotted in the sky at other locations across the UK at times of major security alerts, for example in July 2005 in Birmingham when the city centre was evacuated just days after the “7/7” London bombings. They are being used to intercept, monitor and interrupt the communications of “individuals deemed to pose a threat to the security of the UK”.

During 2007, plane spotters based near Northolt published pictures on a forum of both Islanders fitted with their high-tech surveillance and communications equipment. The enthusiasts have been using a £380 box of tricks — the Kinetic Avionics SBS-1 Real Time Virtual Radar base station connected to PCs — to track them circling over London at 10,000 feet, the maximum altitude the Islanders can fly at because they are unpressurised.

Northolt Flight Islander reg numbers

In December 2007, the official RAF Northolt website was listing two Islanders as part of the Station Flight, but curiously the registration numbers were wrong!

The two numbers – ZH536 and ZF573 – were quoted incorrectly as ZF563 and ZH537 respectively (actual screen capture, right)! Possibly just a simple innocent typographical error by the MoD webmaster, or maybe an attempt to throw inquisitive researchers “off the scent”?

Perhaps the confusion was caused by the addition in April 2008 of a third Islander, this time with the new true number ZH537, which has been spotted regularly flying into RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Northolt Islanders tracked on radar

I have occasionally tracked the Islander spy planes on my own Mode-S transponder radar screen, located within a few miles of Manchester International Airport.

In February 2007 the Mail on Sunday’s Jason Lewis ran an exclusive story detailing the death in 1999 of a London “motorcycle courier driver”.

He had been killed in an apparent straightforward tragic accident involving a car driving into his side and knocking him off. But the “courier” was an undercover MI5 surveillance officer targeting al-Qaeda terrorists (before the wider world had even heard of the name).

The car driver was a mysterious “Arabic looking” man who was taken to Paddington Green high security police station for questioning and later released without charge, never to be seen again. The inquest ruled the death was an accident but case files were permanently sealed under the Official Secrets Act.

The Mail on Sunday article was headlined “Britain’s first victim in the war on terror” and used a photo supplied by the MI5 officer’s grieving parents. It shows their son posing in a flying suit next to an anonymous “military plane”. Take a look at that photo and see if you recognise it.

In August 2008, the Mail on Sunday’s Jason Lewis [ articles ] (at the Sunday Telegraph from November 2010 to March 2013 [ articles ], now a managing director at Kroll offshoot K2 Intelligence) scooped another exclusive.

He detailed for the first time how the Islanders based at Northolt’s Special Operations Area are being used to track suspected Taliban trainees from major UK cities.

This time, a wider clearer version of that MI5 Officer’s portrait was published and showed some very distinctive hangar doors and equally recognisable patterned hardstanding tarmac.

On Saturday 27th September 2008, numerous properties in East London and Essex were raided in an anti-terrorism operation after a publisher’s house in Islington, North London was firebombed. The victim was about to publish a highly controversial book detailing a fictionalised account of the Prophet Mohammed’s early life – The Jewel of Medina. The skies above the raid locations were constantly patrolled by Islanders from Northolt with special eavesdropping equipment attached (exclusively pictured further below).

In February 2010 it was discovered that specially adapted Army Air Corps Gazelle helicopters in camouflage green, complete with pilot voice control software and powerful Nitesun searchlights, had joined the Islanders performing similar spy operations over densely populated areas of Manchester.

In September 2010, it was suggested that the GCHQ expert Gareth Williams – found dead in his London safe house whilst on secondment to MI6 – had worked on interception equipment fitted to the Islander spy planes based at Northolt.

SBS BaseStation Mode S radar screen

Tracking spy planes using my own Mode-S transponder radar screen

Metropolitan Police’s secret army of spy planes

October 2011 – News Exclusive

In October 2011, Jason Lewis at the Sunday Telegraph used exclusive background research provided by me to expose the Metropolitan Police’s secret army of spy planes – similar to the Northolt Islanders – but operating out of Farnborough and using a fake front company called Nor Leasing using a Mail Boxes Etc shop in a suburban London high street.

April 2014 – Update

The Met Police added another Reims Cessna F406 Caravan II to the fleet of spy planes based at Farnborough in 2013. The two regulars G-TDSA and G-BVJT have now been joined by G-UKAL, but a different front company called Aero Lease UKhas been chosen for the new airframe. Showing that the Met Police haven’t learned from previous lessons, they originally chose to operate from another Mail Boxes shop in Camp Road, Farnborough! The registered address was switched in November 2013 to Building 84 at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire. This building is also the home of CASSIUS — the Cranfield Aerospace Special Services Integrated Unmanned Air System.

Northolt Islander

One of the Metropolitan Police’s Secret Army of Spy Planes (G-TDSA)
spotted above London in June 2011

© Reproduced by special arrangement with the photographer

Spook Spotter: Met Police Spy Planes G-BVJT and G-TDSA
(both Reims Cessna F406 Caravan II) at Glasgow Airport in March 2014
(Skip to 38:40)

Nor Leasing at Mail Boxes, Surbiton

Spy Planes R Us
The Metropolitan Police’s Secret Army using the fake front company name “Nor Leasing”
operating out of the Mail Boxes Etc shop in Surbiton, Surrey

Aero Lease UK at Mail Boxes, Farnborough

Spy Planes R Us Too!
Met Police using another fake front company “Aero Lease UK”
operating out of the Mail Boxes Etc shop in Camp Road, Farnborough, Hampshire

Netjets at RAF Northolt Hangar 311

Bird’s Eye view looking south across RAF Northolt
Netjet’s base in Hangar 311, left (east)

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

Agusta 109E helicopters at RAF Northolt

Bird’s Eye view looking north across RAF Northolt
Netjet’s base in Hangar 311, right (east)
showing two of the three Agusta 109E helicopters of the Royal Squadron

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

Gulfstreams and Cessna Citation at RAF Northolt

RAF Northolt – Google Earth
Gulfstreams and a Cessna Citation on the southern apron

Aerial photo data: – © Google Inc
Aerial photo data: – © BlueSky International Limited

BAe 125, Cessna Citation, shuttle coaches and ambulance at RAF Northolt

RAF Northolt – Google Earth
BAe 125, Cessna Citation
… plus shuttle coaches and an ambulance on standby

Aerial photo data: – © Google Inc
Aerial photo data: – © BlueSky International Limited

RAF Northolt ambulance and shuttle coaches

RAF Northolt – Google Earth
Close-up of ambulance and two shuttle coaches
(angle reversed for clarity, to show sides of vehicles)

Aerial photo data: – © Google Inc
Aerial photo data: – © BlueSky International Limited

Cessna Citations and shuttle coaches at RAF Northolt

Bird’s Eye view looking west across RAF Northolt
“Special Projects Area” in the north west corner
Two Cessna Citations, two shuttle coaches but no ambulance

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

Four Cessna Citations at RAF Northolt

Two more Cessna Citations join in the fun

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

Britten-Norman Islander at RAF Northolt

Bird’s Eye view looking north across RAF Northolt
“Special Projects Area” in the north west corner
Britten-Norman Islander, either CC.2 (Reg: ZH536) or CC.2A (Reg: ZF573)
on classified counter-terrorism surveillance operations
Are those black vehicles in the car park assigned to CIA and the US Embassy in London?

Aerial photo data: – © Microsoft Bing Maps
Aerial photo data: – © Blom ASA

RAF Northolt Typhoon hangars

RAF Northolt’s temporary hangars for Typhoon Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) jets
during the 2012 London Olympics, with the Islander hangar to the top left

Picture source

Britten-Norman Islander CC2 (Reg: ZH536)

Britten-Norman Islander CC.2 (Reg: ZH536) at RAF Northolt in June 2007

Photo: /
© Adrian M. Balch

Reproduced under licence

Steven Lanham and Islander at RAF Northolt

The late Steven Lanham – MI5 Surveillance Officer
posing in front of RAF Northolt’s Special Projects Area hangar
alongside an Islander spy plane
© Associated Newspapers Limited

Wescam MX series spy camera

Wescam MX-15 / MX-20 Spy Camera surveillance turret as fitted to Islanders
incorporating Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software

© L-3 Communications / Wescam

Islander at Northolt Islander at Northolt
Islander at Northolt Islander at Northolt
Islanders Ahoy! – Spies in the Sky circling London
Watching them watching you!
(top) RAF Northolt’s ZH536 in April 2007 with “special add-on kit”
(bottom) Northolt Islander on Saturday 27th September 2008
during the Jewel of Medina terror raids

© Reproduced by special arrangement with the photographers

Northolt Islander

Northolt Islander spotted above London in May 2009

© Reproduced by special arrangement with the photographer

Click on thumbnail below for
Islander CC2 / ZH536 at
Leeds-Bradford Airport – May 2006
Click on thumbnail below for
Islander CC2A / ZF573 at
Leeds-Bradford Airport – June 2006
Click on thumbnail below for
Islander CC2B / ZH537 at
RAF Coningsby – May 2008
Islander ZH536 Islander ZF573 Islander ZH537
Islander ZH536 Islander ZF573 Islander ZH537
© Harry Morrow – HDM Photography

More at

More at

© Harry Morrow – HDM Photography

More at

More at

© Shaun Connor

More at

More at

Clues to secret
office block are
given away on
e-Borders website
Secret location of e-Borders
National Border Targeting Centre
How I pieced together the clues to find it
New Manchester
location for NBTC
on a Wythenshawe
business park
hinted at in PR blunder
Were the
Liberation Army
really behind it?
Chinese cyber warfare hackers linked to
Climate Change leaked emails scandal
How I linked the Russian server through Malaysia to China
targeted by
Russian FSB
secret services?
Chinese PLA
Climate change
Climate change
commercially sensitive
document by e-Borders
prime contractor
Raytheon Systems
posted on Internet
Queen and all VIPs to be checked by
National Border Targeting Centre
VIPs no longer able
to travel under false names
in new Trusted Borders
database system
policed by NBTC
Raytheon HQ
Doh! MI6 chief Sir John Sawers on Facebook
How I found all of his personal
family photos, friends lists and more
Data servers and
vehicle depot
in “the South East”
EXPOSED – New Top Secret MI5 Spy Centre
How I found all the architect plans and Bird’s Eye aerial photos
Cannot be
for reasons of
National Security
Mail on Sunday exclusive
Secret Northern Rock list
making “get rich quick”
profits for “fat-cat”
property developers
Northern Rock and the Repo Hunter
Key research and analysis — how I linked Ajay Ahuja to the list
The credit collapse bank
accused of selling off job
lots of repossessed homes
at knockdown prices
Ajay Ahuja
Mail on Sunday exclusive
Northern Rock
Joint Borders
Operations Centre
Power Point slide show
Street View  –  Stasi HQ UK!  –  Street View
Key research and analysis — how I found the building near Heathrow
Where details of all your
journeys are secretly logged
and kept for a decade
Home Office document
e-Borders Power Point presentation
Google Street View
Home Office internal document
USAF airbase
once home to
Cruise Missiles
is now home to
Secret Bases
Secret Bases is in a Secret Bunker
From May 2009, this website has been hosted on
dedicated data servers within a MoD nuclear war
command and control bunker on a former USAF airbase
Electromagnetic Pulse
EMP protected
high security data
servers in 3 metre thick
concrete blast proof bunker
Cruise Missile bunkers
Data centre
Click on thumbnails
Click on thumbnails

New exclusive
Pilot’s Eye aerial photo
of NSA Echelon
signals intercept station
on the Cornish coast

Military Aircraft Logs

Virtual radar
ADS-B Mode-S
transponder data

Radar console
MI6 Fort Monckton IONEC training centre
MI6 Fort Monckton

Spooks by the Sea
Pilot’s Eye
aerial view of IONEC
Intelligence Officer
New Entrant
Training Centre

Thor Missiles

ICBM Launch facilities
for 1950s/60s
Cold War
Ballistic Missiles

Thor Missile launch bases
Exercise Neptune Warrior
Exercise Joint Warrior 2016

Royal Navy and Royal Air Force
War games off Scotland’s coast

JW 161 & JW 162
April / October 2016
A funny thing
happened on the way
to the GCHQ Doughnut

An astonishing, comical true story
about the perils of outsourcing
spook recruitment

GCHQ Doughnut
Wikileaks Cablegate

Leaked secret memo
reveals critical
US Homeland Security
facilities in
UK seaside towns

TV Appearance

Watch Secret Bases author
Alan Turnbull
appear as the special guest
on a talk show called
Rich Planet Starship
on Sky Channel 200
Wednesday 21st April 2010 6.00pm

Rich Planet
BAe Systems Heapey Depot
BAe Systems Heapey

The truth behind an infamous UK
conspiracy theory surrounding a
legendary underground storage base
finally revealed in a new television
documentary on Sky Channel 201
The astonishing facts are even
stranger than the wild stories

BBC Radio 4 “On the Map”

Episode 7, Tuesday 30 March 2010
Author of Secret Bases is interviewed
in a new documentary about
suspicious deletions from
Ordnance Survey maps
Recorded at a secret nuclear bunker

BBC Radio 4

UK Centre for Medical Research
and Innovation biocontainment
laboratory to be built next to
St. Pancras International
Eurostar Terminal
Local residents fear
28 Days Later and The Hot Zone
biohazard leaks and bioterrorism

British Press Awards 2010

The Secret Bases exclusive
“MI6 Chief blows his
cover on Facebook”
for the Mail on Sunday
is nominated for

“Scoop of the Year”
British Press Awards 2010
SAS counter-terrorism Building 1011
SAS Building 1011

New imagery reveals
weapons range at
SAS Counter–Terrorism
training facility hidden in a
forest clearing in Herefordshire

Google Gotcha

Nicked! Street View camera cars
are caught red-handed
breaking the law
and the evidence is
on Google’s own pictures

Google Street View car
Spy search
Spy Search

A dedicated customised
search facility where you can
easily find what you’re
looking for on Secret Bases

Google Earth

Download the official
placemark file to accompany
Secret Bases
or simply view here on Google Maps
Created and regularly maintained
by the author of this website

Google Earth
MI5 HQ Palace Barracks
Spooks Googled

MI5’s £20M HQ at Loughside,
Palace Barracks, Holywood, Belfast
On new Bird’s Eye aerial photos
and Google Earth …

… and now Street View
Islanders Ahoy

spy planes
spotted circling over London
intercepting communications

Spy Planes
Project Lennox: New US Embassy
Project Lennox
New US Embassy
in London

Planning application
case files galore

Trigger Happy

Comparing versions of
aerial photography
to reveal new £5 million
Indoor Weapons Firing Range at
Thames Valley Police Training HQ

Thames Valley Police Indoor Weapons Firing Range
NATO’s Felix Centre

International Training School for
IEDD Improvised Explosive Device
Disposal in the
English countryside
Watch on YouTube

B-2 Stealth Bomber

Top Secret training mission
to a UK bombing range
Exclusive high quality photo of
B-2 Spirit of Nebraska on the ground
at RAF Fairford

B-2 Stealth Bomber
Pilot's Eye Views
Pilot’s Eye Views

A gallery of stunning
aerial photos of
Secret Bases
from my contributor
with a private pilot’s licence

Upper Echelon

RAF Menwith Hill’s
$31M extension to
Building 1045
Steeplebush II

Echelon at RAF Menwith Hill
HMGCC Hanslope Park
HMGCC – BBC Radio 4
MI6 Century in the Shadows

Secret Vault archive location
Plus exclusive aerial photo
reveals new £30M building

Rendition? Extraordinary

CIA jets caught on Google Earth

As featured in Mail on Sunday

CIA Rendition
Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer

New secret HQ under armed guard
Ascent Flight Training joint venture
in 25-year multi-billion pound
UK Military Flying Training System
for Elementary Flying Training and
Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer

War on Terror

Plans reveal massive upgrade of a
former nuclear command and
control bunker into an ultra secure
Internet data server centre
to protect high profile clients

Nuclear Bunker
Giant Voice
Giant Voice

Architect plans reveal military
base terrorism attack early
warning system upgrade at
secret CIA transmitter site
within disused airfield
in English countryside

What on earth is this
and where is it?

There’s something
suspiciously familiar
about it

RAF Edzell
Nuclear Warhead assembly bunkers
Project MENSA

Architect plans of new
Main Processing Facility (MPF)
for nuclear warhead assembly at
Atomic Weapons Establishment

GCHQ Test Facility

To be hidden in
a forest clearing
Plans and location
maps revealed

GCHQ research facility
FIBUA Taliban
Fighting the Taliban

New UK mock-up
FIBUA facility
Fighting In Built-up Areas
Afghanistan rural village in Norfolk

Secret Bunker

hidden in hillside is store
for official supplier of
weapons and ammo to
UK Police Forces and MoD

Military Weapon
Ariane rocket launch
Skynet 5

Ariane rocket launches
military satellite
Locations of all UK
ground terminals and telemetry
control stations revealed here

GCHQ Yoo Hoo

Spy centre’s
reveals all
on his own website

GCHQ expert
Secret Base upgrade
Cameras never lie

MoD announces official closure
of RAF signals unit …

… but new aerial photos reveal
massive computer upgrade
to hardened bunker

Project HYDRA

The many heads of
SOCA – “the British FBI”
Serious Organised Crime Agency
and the regional
Airwave communications
control centres

Gosh – it’s GOSCC

Corsham’s Secrets Exposed
Council publishes MoD architect’s
hi-res blueprints for
Basil Hill Barracks and new
GOSCC – Global Operations
and Security Control Centre

UK Trident Missiles

Nuclear warhead storage and
handling facilities in Scotland
on new close-up
high resolution
aerial photography

Trident Missile
MI5 Garages
Watching the Watchers

Where does MI5
get its cars serviced?
Secret Garages
New Bird’s Eye
aerial shots


Pan Am Flight 103
Secret scrapyard storage site
is sold to leisure company
for £25M to be developed
into holiday homes

Alex Allan

Alex Allan – new head of
Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)
posts highly sensitive
personal information
on his own website

Son of Star Wars

Ballistic Missile
Defence programme
Did a Google Earth update
reveal a new military satellite
calibration test pattern
at a USAF base in the UK?

Son of Star Wars
MI5 hacking attempt
Real Spooks Spooked

on official MI5
website exposed

Oh Mercy — she’s back

Dominatrix Dungeon!
From MI5 surveillance officer’s
wife Michelle in Milton Keynes to
Max Mosley’s Mistress Abi
but now

Mistress Kiera
MI5 and Mistress Abi
Secrets of GCHQ's Room C3301
Shut that door

All the secrets
hidden inside
GCHQ’s Room C3301
accidentally revealed

Typhoon Eurofighter

Weapons arming complex
on some aerial photos
but not others …
… and not maps

Typhoon Eurofighter
GPSS Depot

MoD exploits
planning law loophole
for “secret” depots in the
Government Pipelines and
Storage System (GPSS)
Question raised in Parliament


Official UK Parliament
documents finally reveal
the truth about the legendary
Corsham Computer Centre (CCC)

Corsham Computer Centre
Secret SAS Training Base
SAS Training Base

Courses in
defensive driving and
close protection
in a not-so-sleepy
English country village

RAF Rudloe Manor

An amazing
21st Century
makeover at
Burlington Bunker

RAF Rudloe Manor
IWC in Iraq
Shurely a mishtake

What was a
Integrated Weapons Complex (IWC)
doing in Basra, Iraq
and now bombed-out?

ITV News

Appearance as
“expert commentator”
on story of terrorists using
Google Earth to plot attacks

ITV News appearance
Northwood PJHQ bunker
Northwood Hills

Permanent Joint Headquarters
PJHQ Command and
Control Bunker
New Bird’s Eye aerial photo

Works Access Only

Where does that mystery
M4 slip road go?
Why aren’t you allowed to use it?
Secret Motorway Junctions

Secret Junction
Symantec SOC Bunker
Bunker For Sale

Symantec Corporation
computer anti-virus company’s
Security Operations Centre (SOC)
Underground bunker is abandoned

Project PRIDE

“Building 0101”
Programme to Rationalise
and Integrate the
Defence Intelligence
Staff (DIS) Estate

Project PRIDE

communications bunkers
Locations revealed in
close–up aerial photos

Fort Halstead

Forensic Explosives Laboratory
where London and Glasgow
terrorist attack vehicles
were sent for analysis

Burning Jeep Cherokee at Glasgow Airport



Die Hall of Shame – die Muchas im Sold von KGB & STASI mit Gehaltsinfo

281154408533;94;11;00;;MUCHA, ANDREAS:;;;24048,06 (SOLD)
060154408534;06;00;46;;MUCHA, DETLEF:;;;22080,00
281059409511;06;80;00;;MUCHA, FRANK:;;;17853,75
301234415384;08;55;00;;MUCHA, HELMUT:;;;24000,00
030762409517;30;31;00;;MUCHA, OLAF:;;;18645,00


1.Listen der Stasi-Diensteinheiten!
Bem.:hier kannst du die Nr.(6-stellig) der Dienststellen heraussuchen.
2.Liste der Stasi-Mitarbeiter (Hauptamtlich)
Bem.:Hoffentlich hast Du einen guten Rechner, denn die Liste ist erschreckend lang. Die ersten 6 Ziffern sind das Geburtsdatum + die nächsten 6 Ziffern = Dienstausweisnummer! Die zwei Ziffern hinter dem Geburtsdatum geben das Geschlecht an: 41 und 42 = Männlich, 51 und 52 = Weiblich! Wichtig für suchen und finden, sind die sechs Ziffern in den Semikolon vor den Namen: z.B. ;07;00;44; ! Das ist die Nummer der Dienststelle !
Also du suchst in der Liste der Dienststellen, die Nummer der Dienststelle, die Dich interessiert. Damit gehst Du in die Liste der Mitarbeiter und suchst Dir alle Mitarbeiter der entsprechenden Dienststelle heraus. Ich habe das für mein Wohnort getan und so alle Mitarbeiter gefunden. Ob die Liste Vollständig ist kann ich nicht einschätzen, aber zumindest er/kannte ich einige Exverräter vom Namen her.
3.Liste der OibE (Offiziere im besonderen Einsatz)


IPN BU 00612/1765 MUCHA ADAM
IPN BU 001198/4872 MUCHA ADAM
IPN BU 00612/2307 MUCHA JAN
IPN BU 00966/740 MUCHA JAN
IPN BU 001198/2134 MUCHA JAN
IPN BU 001198/5440 MUCHA JAN
IPN BU 001134/1286 MUCHA WANDA


Leaked – German BND also uses XKEYSCORE for data collection

Over the past few years we learned a lot about Germany’s foreign intelligence serviceBND, although not from leaks, but from the public hearings of the parliamentary commission that investigates NSA spying operations and its cooperation with German agencies.

Recently however a secret government report was leaked to German media, which not only identifies violations of the data protection act but also reveals the codenames for several BND systems and the fact that BND uses the American XKEYSCORE system not only for analysis, but also for collection purposes.

Here, the new information from the secret report is combined with things we know from earlier sources and reportings.

A secret report
The SUSLAG liaison office
Selectors provided by NSA
Operations SMARAGD and ZABBO
Metadata analysis: VERAS
Analysis and collection: XKEYSCORE
Integrated analysis: MIRA 4
Legal defects


The BND satellite intercept station at Bad Aibling, Germany
(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

A secret report

The report that now has been published goes back to September 2013, when the then federal data protection commissioner Peter Schaar ordered a thorough inspection of the BND satellite intercept station in Bad Aibling, which took place on December 3 and 4 of that year.

In October 2014, Schaar’s successor Andrea Voßhoff conducted a second visit to Bad Aibling, which in July 2015 resulted in an extensive and detailed report (German:Sachstandsbericht) about all the systems used at this BND station. This report was (and still is) classified as Top Secret.

Additionally, Voßhoff made a legal assessment based upon the Sachstandsbericht. This was finished in March 2016 and sent to then BND president Schindler and the federal chancellery. It was classified as Secret, but was leaked to regional broadcasters NDRand WDR and a transcription of the full document was published by the digital rights platform on September 1.

Both reports are about the cooperation between BND and NSA, which goes back to 2004, when the Americans turned their satellite intercept station Bad Aibling(codenamed GARLICK) over to German intelligence. In return, BND had to share the results from its satellite collection with the NSA, for which the latter provided selectors, like e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc. of the targets they were interested in.

Google Maps view of the Mangfall Barracks in Bad Aibling, Germany.
The building at the very top seems to be the BND facility,
the one nearby with the white roof NSA’s “Tin Can”.

The SUSLAG liaison office

After taking over the Bad Aibling satellite station, BND seems to have moved the control facility to the nearby Mangfall Barracks, which were taken over from the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) in 2002. For the Special US Liaison Activity Germany (SUSLAG), which is the liaison office of NSA for Germany, a new highly secure container building was built on the Mangfall Barracks premises in 2003 (nicknamed “tin can” or Blechdose).

According to the commissioner’s report, the SUSLAG building and the building with BND servers and equipment are connected through a 100 MBit/s fiber optic cable. SUSLAG also has a technical data link to the NSA’s primary communications hub in Europe, the European Technical Center (ETC) in the Mainz-Kastel district of the city of Wiesbaden.

Cooperation between the US and Germany in the Joint SIGINT Activity (JSA, 2004-2012) took place inside the BND building, for which NSA personnel had access permissions. After the JSA was terminated, SUSLAG personnel kept their entrance rights for the BND building, but it has separate rooms for highly sensitive information to which none of the Americans have access.

A letter from BND from October 15, 2015 says that at that moment, 10 people from NSA worked at SUSLAG, with following access rights:

– 2 have access to building 7 (SUSLAG) only
– 4 have access to building 7 and building 4 (Administration)
– 4 have access to building 7 and building 8 (BND)

The SUSLAG building is only used by NSA personnel and BND claims that the data protection commissioner has no jurisdiction over the SUSLAG, but she disputes that and says the SUSLAG building is simply part of the BND complex. She also regrets that SUSLAG doesn’t recognize her oversight authority.

Selectors provided by NSA

For the satellite interception in Bad Aibling, some 4 out of 5 selectors come from NSA, the rest from BND. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, NSA provided BND with roughly 690.000 phone numbers and 7,8 million internet identifiers between 2002 and 2013. That is an average of something like 60.000 phone numbers and 700.000 internet identifiers a year, or 164 phone numbers and over 1900 internet identifiers each day.

From the parliamentary hearings we already knew that BND personnel pulls the American selectors from an NSA server, and the commissioner’s report now reveals that this server is in NSA’s ETC in Wiesbaden. On this server BND puts back any results for these selectors. These data transfers from and to ETC go through the SUSLAG facility, but BND is able to get direct access to the NSA server in Wiesbaden through an FTP-gateway (a “BACOM system”).

Selector databases

From an earlier parliamentary hearing we know that BND stores the selectors from NSA in two databases: one for IP selectors (from NSA only), and one for telephone selectors (from both NSA and BND). Each agency had access to its own IP database; the phone database was managed jointly, but BND could only approve or disapprove NSA selectors, and NSA could only do so with those from BND.

The names of these databases were not known until now, but the commissioner’s report mentions them, along with some additional details:

Target Number Database (TND), which exists since 2008 and holds the telephone selectors from both NSA and BND. The latter either come from BND’s own tasking database PBDB or are provided by domestic security services.

SCRABBLE, which only holds selectors for packet-switched (internet) communications provided by NSA, after their format has been converted. These selectors initially had no description (Deutung, like a justification for the target). Because of this, BND temporarily stopped using them as of May 2015, and for the commissioner any results from them are unlawful because BND was not able to determine whether they are necessary for its mission.

Their names indicate that these database systems were provided by NSA, and together with the fact that they also contain NSA-provided selectors, this is likely the reason why these names were never mentioned during the parliamentary hearings – unlike those of BND’s own systems.

Update: it was noticed that TND and SCRABBLE were actually mentionedonce during the parliamentary hearings, when former BND president Schindler said that “the US has [its own] databases TND and SCRABBLE”.


Before being stored in the SCRABBLE and TND databases, both the telephone and internet selectors have to pass the DAFIS filtering system, which checks whether they belong to German citizens or companies or may otherwise contradict German interests. Accordingly, the selectors are marked as “allowed” or “protected”.

Those marked “allowed” are subsequently being activated (“tasked”) on the actual data collection systems. The report says that for this, hard selectors like phone numbers and e-mail addresses can be freely combined with content search terms (Inhaltssuchbegriffe) like key words, which could refer to the GENESIS language used for more complex XKEYSCORE searches.

According to the report, selectors marked as “protected” are send back to NSA and are also deactivated in the TND and SCRABBLE databases – to make sure that they won’t get activated when NSA provides them a second time (this confirms that there’s no separate database (Ablehnungsdatei) with rejected selectors as was suggested during the earlier parliamentary commission hearings).

BND refused the data protection commissioner access to TND and SCRABBLE, so she wasn’t able to check the individual selectors. She regarded that as a massive restriction of her supervision authority.

Operations SMARAGD and ZABBO

Selectors that have been approved are send to the systems that filter out communications that match those selectors. Some of these systems are in Germany, others are abroad. The report of commissioner Voßhoff for the first time discloses two specific data collection operations and their codewords:

SMARAGD, a cable tapping operation somewhere outside Europe and in cooperation with another foreign intelligence agency.

ZABBO, collection in Bad Aibling of satellite communications from Afghanistan.

There’s no explanation for why the commissioner only mentions these two operations. The satellite antennas in Bad Aibling undoubtedly collect from many more countries, but maybe these are the only operations from which, during the investigation period, data were shared with NSA.


The way SMARAGD is described perfectly fits a certain type of operations in which a 3rd Party partner of NSA like in this case BND, cooperates with yet another country that secretly provides access to data traffic, which is then also shared with NSA. According to the book Der NSA Komplex, BND and NSA conducted about half a dozen of such operations in recent years.

In its english version of the news report about this issue, the website points to an NSA document that was published earlier by Der Spiegel. In it, we see EMERALD mentioned as an alternate codename for the NSA operation WHARPDRIVE, which is exactly such a trilateral program in which a third secret service participates.

WHARPDRIVE was still active in 2013, but in the Spring of that year, employees of the private company that operated the communication cables, accidently discovered the clandestine BND/NSA equipment, but the operation was rescued by providing a plausible cover story.*

The NSA report from April 2013 however said that “WHARPDRIVE has been identified for possible termination due to fiscal constraints”, but this may have been coincided with the exposure of the program in the book Der NSA Komplex in March 2014.

It should also be noted that came up with this identification by translating the German codename SMARAGD into its English equivalent EMERALD. It is possible that the Americans also translated the German codeword SMARAGD into EMERALD, but just as likely is that it’s a different program (maybe as a successor with the same set-up).

Operation Eikonal

But there’s another codeword connection: from 2004 till 2008, NSA cooperated with BND in operation EIKONAL in order to get access to fiber optic cables from Deutsche Telekom in Frankfurt.

From the parliamentary hearings we know that operation EIKONAL had GRANAT as its internal BND codename. And with GRANAT being German for garnet, and SMARAGD for emerald, we see that both operations are actually named after a gemstone, which often indicates some kind of similarity.

In October 2014, the Danish paper Information reported that the WHARPDRIVE access was opened in February 2013 and had the same size as EIKANOL. This operation EIKANOL or EIKONAL was a typical example of the way NSA cooperates with 3rd Party partner agencies under its RAMPART-A program, but unlike the SMARAGD/WHARPDRIVE operations with the cable access point being inside Germany:

Left: bilateral cable access operation (RAMPART-A) – Right: trilateral cable access operation
In the cases discussed here, Germany would be “Country X”
(click to enlarge)

It is tempting to identify SMARAGD and ZABBO as the two collection programs (SIGADs US-987LA and US-987LB) from the BOUNDLESSINFORMANT chart for Germany that was published in July 2013. For both facilities together, more than 552 million metadata records were counted between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013.

Provided that this chart shows the only data shared by BND, it’s very well possible that the satellite collection program ZABBO is one of them. For the cable access SMARAGD this is less certain and depends on when this program started and whether it is identical with WHARPDRIVE (which started in February 2013).

BOUNDLESSINFORMANT screenshot showing metadata provided by BND
(click to enlarge)

Data transfer

The report of the data protection commissioner also provides an impression of the BND networks through which collected data are brought back to headquarters.

Data collected abroad are send back to Germany over the operational network ISNoVPN (apparently something that goes “over VPN” for secure tunneling) and then arrives at a dedicated demilitarized zone (DMZ) network for data collection (Datenabholungs-DMZ).

In this DMZ network there’s a virtual machine (VM) that acts as a host for data that come in from each collection facility (Erfassungsansatz). The report mentions the virtual machines “Import VM SMARAGD” and “Import VM ZABBO” for the operations SMARAGD and ZABBO respectively.

In these virtual machines, the metadata go through an Application Level Gateway (ALG), which is a security components combined with a firewall. Such an ALG is able to detect, filter and when necessary, delete data from an incoming data stream. Again, there’s an ALG for each collection facility: for example SMARAGD-ALG for data from the SMARAGD collection effort.

Finally, the collected data arrive at a network called NG-Netz, which is the back-end in Bad Aibling of the transfer system that pulls in data collected at a front-end access point (Erfassungskopf) somewhere abroad.

(click to enlarge)

Metadata analysis: VERAS

The system that BND uses for analysing bulk metadata from circuit-switchedcommunications is called VERAS, which stands for Verkehrs-Analyse-System or Traffic Analysis System. VERAS stores metadata only for up to 90 days and according to the commissioner’s report they are derived from two sources:

– Metadata that come with communications collected after matching with specific selectors (the related content goes to the INBE database)

– All the metadata from selected communication links (satellite frequencies and fiber optic channels) that are regarded useful for intelligence purposes, but only after passing the DAFIS filter.

According to the manual for VERAS version 4.3.x from 2010, the system has a topology mode, in which connections can be created level after level, similar to the “hops” we know from the NSA’s contact chaining method. There’s no limitation to the number of levels that can be added and analysts can also focus on specific targets to create patterns-of-life (Bewegungsprofile) for them.

This kind of contact-chaining and metadata analysis inevitably involves metadata from innocent people. BND distinguished between directly and indirectly relevant. Directly relevant are metadata related to people who are already known or suspected for being relevant for intelligence purposes.

Indirectly relevant are metadata related to people who have some kind of connection to directly relevant people, or when such metadata are being stored from a “geographical point of view”, which apparently refers to metadata of people being somewhere near a target without having been in direct contact.

The report says that metadata connected on such a geographical basis results in much more people being involved than when using call or connection chaining. Data related to indirectly relevant people are also used by BND, for example as new selectors.

VERAS was introduced in 2002 and recently, VERAS 4 has been replaced by VERAS version 6, which was developed by the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) as part of the VERBA (VERkehrs-Beziehungs-Analyse) project.

For VERAS 6 there’s not yet a database establishing order (see below), but in February 2015 BND sent the commissioner a draft version, which she already considers illegal because BND admits that it is technically impossible to prevent that data of innocent people are being used in the VERAS system.

Analysis and collection: XKEYSCORE

Already in July 2013, Der Spiegel reported that BND president Schindler had informed the parliamentary intelligence oversight commission (PKGr) that his agency was using NSA’s XKEYSCORE system since 2007, but only for analysis, not for data collection. This was confirmed by W. K., a sub-division manager in the BND’s Signals Intelligence division, during a parliamentary hearing.

But now, the report of the data protection commissioner says that BND usesXKEYSCORE not just for analysis, but also for the collection of both metadata and content.

The report explains that in its data collection, or front-end function, XKEYSCORE uses selectors, single ones or freely combined ones in the form of fingerprints, to search for matches in IP traffic of both public and privat networks, and stores anything that matches these selectors.

Remarkably enough, the commissioner writes that XKEYSCORE searches all internet traffic worldwide (“weltweit den gesamten Internetverkehr“), which seems to be a copy/paste from sensationalistic press reports, as XKEYSCORE can only search data which are collected at some physical access points and not even NSA has access to all the world’s communications traffic, let alone BND.

Slide from an NSA presentation about the XKEYSCORE system

Besides picking out and storing communications that match specific selectors, XKEYSCORE is also able to store a so-called “full take”, a temporary rolling buffer of all data from a particular link. This in order to find files which aren’t directly associated with specific selectors – which was heralded as its unique capability.

The commissioner’s report only mentions this buffer function when it cites a BND response calling XKEYSCORE “a local and temporary buffering of data” which in their opinion doesn’t make it a database. The commissioner disagrees and says it’s a database, because even when it’s just for a short time, the data are available for usage. This means a there should have been a database establishing order for XKEYSCORE (see below).

Front-end and back-end

The report doesn’t explain what XKEYSCORE actually does in its function as a back-end analysis tool. But maybe instead of distinguishing between collection and analysis, we should look at the difference between the front-end and the back-end functions of the system, which is explained in a manual for its so-called Deepdive version.

This learns us that the back-end performs high-speed filtering and selection using both strong selectors (like e-mail addresses) and soft selectors (like key words), and also uses various plug-ins to extract and index the metadata, which are also used for the rolling buffer-functionality of XKEYSCORE:

Diagram showing the dataflow for the DeepDive version of XKEYSCORE

The front-end is where the intercepted data streams come in, which are first reassembled by the METTLESOME and xFip components. Then, only the most useful streams are forwarded based upon rules using country codes, keywords and such. Finally, the Defrag component conducts full sessionizing, which means that the separate IP packets that travel over the internet are reassembled into their original readable form again.

The commissioner’s report says that initially the sessionizing of data from a particular communications link was conducted by another NSA system codenamed WEALTHYCLUSTER (WC, which is for lower data rates), but that this kind of processing was more and more taken over by XKEYSCORE (XKS).

So, if the distinction between collection and analysing corresponds to that between front-end and back-end, that means that the new thing we learned from the commissioner’s report is that BND apparently also uses XKEYSCORE for sessionizing the data they collect, and not only for filtering and analysing them.

This sessionizing might seem rather obvious, but real-time filtering and sessionizing at data rates as high as 10 Mbit/s requires very fast, specialized and expensive equipment. Well-known manufacturers are Narus and Verint, and it seems likely that their equipment is used for XKEYSCORE too.

As XKEYSCORE is only used for internet communications, the NSA selectors are derived from the SCRABBLE database. The results of the collection are transferred to NSA, after having been filtered by DAFIS to get rid of data related to Germans.

Integrated analysis: MIRA 4

Besides all the systems mentioned before, BND also uses MIRA 4, which stands forModulare Integrierte Ressourcen Architektur or Modular Integrated Ressource Architecture, version 4. According to a letter from BND from February 2015, this system is used to store all the content, whether from e-mail, voice, fax or teletype messages, within a certain BND station and apparently also enables software to process and select raw data in order to create intelligence reports (Meldungen).

This was however contradicted by a letter from BND from December 2015 which said that MIRA 4 is only used to store just those Meldungen. The commissioner replied that she would be thankful when BND could clarify this discrepancy.

Apparently not noticed by the commissioner is an NSA report from 2006, which was published by earlier Der Spiegel, and which says that German analytic tool suites like MIRA 4:

“integrate multiple database analytic functions (such as viewing voice and listening to fax [sic]), much like NSA Headquarters has UIS (User Integrated Services). In some ways, these tools have features that surpass US SIGINT capabilities. Among a series of interesting items, NSA analysts noted that BND analysts could seamlessly move from VERAS (call-chaining software) to the associated voice cuts.”

Later on, the 2006 NSA report says: “The BND responded positively to NSA’s request for a copy of MIRA4 and VERAS software, and made several requests from NSA concerning target and tool development and data”.

During a parliamentary hearing in October 2014, BND’s own data protection officer Ms. H. F. said that in 2010, MIRA 4 was replaced by INBE as a system that apparently not only stores the content of communications, but also makes it available for analysis.

The 2016 commissioner’s report says that data stored in MIRA 4 were not migrated to INBE, when the latter system became operational in 2011. Data in MIRA 4 seem to have been automatically “aged off” after 90 days and the last backup of the system was destroyed in the Summer of 2014.

Legal defects

The purpose of the secret report by federal data protection commissioner Andrea Voßhoff was to determine the legality of the data collection, processing, storing and analysing systems at the BND field station in Bad Aibling. The two main problems she identified are about necessity and the lack of database establishing orders.


According to the German data protection law, BND is only allowed to receive, store, process and analyse personal data after checking that they are necessary and relevant for its foreign intelligence mission as authorized by German law. In various cases, especially when it comes to bulk collection of metadata and receiving the selectors from NSA, the agency doesn’t or cannot check the necessity for each piece of data. This makes it unlawful for BND to posess and use those data.

The problem behind this is that when such laws were made, there was no awareness of secret services using large sets of metadata, which also includes those of innocent people. Also in this particular case, almost all data collected in Bad Aibling and shared with NSA will be collected from crisis zones like Afghanistan, which makes them more relevant for BND’s mission and less likely of containing German communications.

Database establishing orders

Another major legal defect the commissioner found was that for the BND databases VERAS 4, VERAS 6, XKEYSCORE, TND, SCRABBLE, INBE, and DAFIS there was no database establishing order (Dateianordnung) and that they were also set up without prior approval by the commissioner. This makes the existance of these databases unlawful, which means the data they contain should be deleted immediatly until an establishing order is provided.

BND argued that the absence of a database establishing order is just a formal defect and doesn’t affect the legal status of a database and its content. The commissioner doesn’t agree with that and says that one of the functions of an establishing order is to determine the purpose of a database, which limits and restricts the use of the personal data in it. The lack of such an order also means that there are no rules for when approvals by oversight bodies are required, thus making the use of these databases both unlawful and uncontrolled.

In response

Meanwhile, on September 7, the German interior ministry released a draft for a new data protection act, in which it is proposed that in the future, the data protection commissioner will not have the authority anymore to impose sanctions or fines on the secret services – so restricting the commissioner’s authority rather than strenghten it.

Finally, on September 15, Edward Snowden also mentioned the commissioner’s report on Twitter, saying that it “confirms mass surveillance”. Apparently he didn’t read the report, as it is actually about the lack of specific legal restrictions, not about the scope of BND’s collection efforts.

Links and Sources
– Rolf Weber: Der geleakte BND-Bericht der BfDI Voßhoff — wie gewohnt bei näherem Hinsehen wenig skandalträchtig
– Netzpolitik: Secret Report: German Federal Intelligence Service BND Violates Laws And Constitution By The Dozen
– Der Spiegel: NSA-Standorte in Deutschland: Wiesbaden

Exposed – LinkNYC Spy Kiosks Installation Videos

The kiosks have two  high-definition video cameras recording viewers of digital displays and the surrounding area. A third aperture above the console appears to be a sensor of unknown purpose. LinkNYC claims there are 30 sensors in the units which are undefined. 10,000 of the kiosks are to be installed in New York City over 5 years.


Display assembly with camera-sensor circled being installed. Backside top left.
West 90th Street and Broadway, New York, NY. 20 May 2016.

1. LinkNYC Kiosk Installation Outside Cryptome Window, West 89th Street and Broadway, New York, NY. 14-24 June 2016

2. LinkNYC Kiosk Site Preparation, Part 1 of 3, West 90th-92nd Streets and Broadway, New York, NY. 16 May 2016

3. LinkNYC Kiosk Site Preparation, Part 2 of 3, West 90th-92nd Streets and Broadway, New York, NY. 17-18 May 2016

4. LinkNYC Kiosk Installation, Part 3 of 3, West 90th-92nd Streets and Broadway, New York, NY. 20 May 2016

5. LinkNYC Kiosk Site Preparation, Part 1 of 2, West 90th Street and Broadway, New York, NY. 20 May 2016

6. LinkNYC Kiosk Installation, Part 2 of 2, West 90th Street and Broadway, New York, NY. 17 June 2016

8. LinkNYC Kiosk Installation, West 103rd Street and Broadway, New York, NY. 20 June 2016

9. LinkNYC Kiosk Installation, West 105th Street and Broadway, New York, NY. 24 June 2016

10. LinkNYC Kiosk Installation, West 107th-109th Streets and Broadway, New York, NY. 18 June 2016

11. LinkNYC Kiosk Installation, West 112th Street and Broadway, New York, NY. 21 June 2016