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All Secure?

For decades, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND (for Bundesnachrichtendienst), has been in the same Bavarian village. But construction has begun on a new, 1.6 billion euro (US$2.2 billion) headquarters in Berlin. The new building, the most expensive and most high-tech government building in Germany, is scheduled to be complete by 2014 and will house 4,000 workers. It was set to be a secure facility for the BND’s intelligence work — until someone lost the blueprints showing its most highly sensitive areas and security features. “It’s a serious issue and the government is interested in clearing up this case as quickly as possible,” a government spokesman said. (MS/Reuters) ...In other words, “government intelligence” is an oxymoron everywhere.
Story Update: BND head Ernst Uhrlau later said the blueprints did not contain details which would require an redesign of the building or which would entail extra expense. But another report noted they showed how thick various walls were, and the location of emergency and security passages. It’s unclear whether the building design was changed.
Publication Date: 07 August 2011
This story is in True’s book collection, Volume 18.
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