In today’s Snowden news, we learn that GCHQ hacked German satellite communications companies, pulling customer lists and seeking to identify “future technical trends in their business sector.”
The outlier was a Bavarian company, IABG, which got double attention: GCHQ believed the NSA had already pwned it (presumably during the time when the NSA had an outhouse — I mean, outpost — in Bad Aibling, Bavaria).
More relevant on the international front is a list of 122 heads of state which the NSA monitored particularly closely. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, is of course listed (with a note indicating “more than 300” citations about her in the database), as are the presidents of Peru, Belarus, Colmbia, Syria, and Ukraine (the document dates to when Tymoshenko was prime minister). Sadly Der Spiegel only gives us the first 10, and the last.
From a surveillance-technical perspective the release also provides some insight into how the NSA collates and organizes data on individual targets. If that’s of interest, check out the article.