Debates in Parliament:
Landtag von Baden-Wuerttemberg

Economic Espionage in Germany
Inquiry by  Die Republikaner

Speaker: Wolf  Krisch   Republikaner

73. Session of the 12. Period
Landtag of Baden-Württemberg

The speakers have a limited time of 5 Minutes per speach.
The initiating speaker - in this case MdL Wolf Krisch - has an additional 5 Minutes in a second round after the other speakers, but generally before the governments reply.
The Government has unlimited time in their reply to the members statements.
Usually they speak from 20 to 30 Minutes per Minister if there is more than one involved.

Abg. Krisch REP - first part
Abg. Ruder CDU
Abg. Wettstein SPD
Abg. Kiesswetter FDP
Abg. Krisch REP - second part


The following are excerpts of the Official Protocol of the Landtag von Baden-Wuerttemberg. The complete proceedings can be found via internet under
This is but an abbreviated reprint.

Why this debate?
On June 4th 1999 in Stuttgart a symposium on Economic Espionage was held. But too many questions remained unanswered.
Die Republikaner in a "Große Anfrage" - (a Formal Inquiry addressed to the Government) demanded more details. The governments reply however was insufficient. Hence Die Republikaner opened this debate in the house.
The Government does handle a politically sensitive subject like a hot potato. It tries to avoid answers and wants to prevent and circumvent critical questions.
Unfortunately the government acts rather amateurish. Questions by Members of Parliament remain

And the Chairman of the Committee on Home Affairs wanted to prevent the debate in Parliament!
But the same government officials, who refused giving answers to Parliament just a few days before this session in detail answered nearly identical questions in an interview of the Deutschland Radio.
Such behavior by the government cannot be tolerated.
Germany has an annual loss due to economic espionage of approx. DM - a figure given by the Government.
For that reason Republikaner demand a Wirtschaftsspionagegesetz - a law equivalent to the Economic Espionage Act of the USA. Further we demand to extend the duty of the BND (secret service) to include activities against economic espionage.
Republikaner do not consider espionage in Germany by friendly nations to be a "Kavaliersdelikt" (negligible crime).

It has been shown that in the UK and in the USA honest politicians discuss this problem in the same manner against government pressure and against government interests.
To bring such matters to the attention of the public is the duty of politicians - and if government wants to hush
this up to avoid diplomatic friction with friendly nations - then the government is not acting in our interest.

Debate initiated by Die Republikaner
Wirtschaftsspionage und ihre Auswirkungen auf die baden-württembergische Wirtschaft
Drucksache 12/4186

Economic Espionage and the effect on our economy.
print no. 12/4186

Antrag der Fraktion Die Republikaner
Wirtschaftsspionage und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Wirtschaft - Drucksache 12/4410

Motion by Republikaner
"Economic Espionage" print no 12/4410

Vice President Weiser: Herr Abg. Krisch.

Abg. Krisch REP:
Early this week as a member of a delegation of the Landtag (diet) I visited the US Headquarters in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. This visit confirmed priorities of US policies.

First: Military objectives must be enforced - priority No.1 for the US government.

Secondly: Economic interests of the US must be enforced - priority no. 2 for the US Government.

In comparison German politicians leave industry alone if there is indication of industrial espionage by foreign nations. They backpedal in front of former occupation forces and show disgusting subservient obedience in a manner which no French or English or American politician would dream of or could afford.

All this is no news.

I quote from the „Los Angeles Times“, July 1995.
According to this, US-President Clinton requested the CIA to perform under top priority economic espionage in political partner nations.

Dr. Rannacher of the Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz (Office of the Protection of the Constitution - a kind of secret service) just last week did confirm this fact.

A citizens group Omega from England already in 1998 gave a report to the European Union. They stated that all e-mail, phonecalls and fax transmissions within Europe are intercepted and recorded by the US National Security Agency NSA and are transmitted to the US.

During the cold war the US forces had a global military control system. This system called „Echelon“ now is used even against friendly governments, political parties in other nations, against organisations of all kinds and in particular against industry.

Best known is case of the company Enercon in the city of Aurich, who carelessly sent technical and ngineering details into the USA via e-mail.
When they tried to patent their own invention in the US they discovered - the biggest US competitor had already patented their ideas.
And US officials - knowing that such knowledge was obtained by espionage and fraud - assisted the US company.
As far as we could ascertain, no German government body helped Enercon in their struggle. It was only through a former NSA employee that the facts became known.
This single case caused damage for Enercon, the inventor, in the amount of. 100.000.000 DM! A single case for a single medium size company.

How many such cases have not become publicly known or have never been discovered or could never be solved?

Echelon is a "joint venture" by the USA, UK, Canada, Newzealand and Australia.
Top ranking government officials of these countries have the right to place espionage contracts with Echelon which then in their own countries are passed on to local industry.
The scandal:
the largest US Echelon installation in Europe is located in Bad Aibling, Bavaria - and strictly off limits to German officials.
Again - all this is not news.

It has in detail be discussed within the European Union in a committee called STOA.

Baden-Württemberg as a high-tech area within Germany is a prefered target of foreign espionage services.
Hence it is impossible for the government to be ignorant of such services actions - unless the government is totally incompetent.
The IHK-Magazine Wirtschaft (chamber of commerce publication) no. 2/99 confirms this statement.

The magazine „Spiegel“ of 29. March states:
The USA do not hesitate to abate economic competitors, preferably those of political partner nations.

And the US-Journal Foreign Policy stated:
For the US Government military allies are economic enemies.

Great Britain already in 1995 complained against CIA activities in the UK - despite the UK Echelon participation.

And France is happily - if under own steam - playing the same game.

To summarize:
For years criminal espionage activities of friendly nations are known and can be proofed.
In the 2nd part of the debate I shall come to the governments position and inaction.

Vice President Weiser: Herr Abg. Ruder

Abg. Ruder CDU (chairman of the Committee on Home Affairs):
.... It takes a lot to listen to such insinuations ... The Republikaner do not want to discuss how to help our economy - they want to smear our political allies in areas were there just cannot possibly be suspicion. ....
.... The Republikaner claim that our government  has answered their questions unwillingly and hinders the parliamentary opposition.
Now I tell you - the special quality of this honorable house always was that we never discuss questions of state security in parliament and in the open but only were they ought to be discussed - in the Committee for Security Affairs in closed chamber and in not in an open debate ....
The majority in the house will support the governments position against unqualified suspicion and criticism. .....

Vice President Weiser: Herr Abg. Wettstein.

Abg. Wettstein SPD: ....
.... Fact is that services of other nations do economic espionage in our country .....
...  Of course there is another quality if the CIA does espionage - they are a friendly service and the damage might be smaller than if it was espionage by Russian services .....
But it is absolutely insufficient to report such matters to the Committee for Security Affairs because that committee is confidential ....

Vice President Weiser: Herr Abg. Kiesswetter.

Abg. Kiesswetter FDP/DVP:
.... the effect of economic espionage will be loss of market share, a financial loss and an increase in unemployment ....

Vice President Weiser: Herr Abg. Krisch.


Herr Ruder - you were the only speaker not to discuss the subject proper.
You are the Chairmen of the relevant Committee and you did try to prevent this debate ...
you tried to prevent a debate on matters that are already discussed publicly. ....

The governments reply to our questions cannot be accepted.

Knowing that damage to our economy and to our industry is in the order of Milliarden - Billions of DM - this government refuses a debate and refuses to answer questions.

A reply like "we have no own know-ledge" or "we have no confirmation of espionage activities" or "active actions against economic espionage is not our business" must rightfully be called incompetent.

Compare our governments actions with those of the US government!
Right or wrong - in each case for the US government the interests of the own nation do have priority.
Our government puts our interests behind those of other nations.

Espionage is the most revolting act between partners, a breach of confidence and definitely a reason to immediately cancel all agreements and contracts.

The governments reply - I quote
"We have no official confirmation by either Australia, Newsealand, Great Britain or the USA that they undertake economic espionage in Germany"
is a joke.
Assume someone pinches your watch but refuses to officially confirm that he has done so - then for you the matter is closed?
Any government that acts that way acts irresponsible.

The President of the Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Herr Rannacher - the same person who refuses to answer our questions - on 22. October 1999 in an interview with Deutschlandradio made the statement

"Economic espionage is common among nations to obtain economic advantages" and further
"Baden-Württemberg must expect to be a preferred target and the damage to industry will be extra large in our state".

And after this statement a debate in parliament should be prevented!

Rannacher stated in this interview concerning Echelon which is operated by using satellites:
"This system catches data and information from industry. We have no legal proove, but the amount of circumstantial evidence is so overwhelming that we can say for sure - all these things are started in Bad Aibling."
And the same Herr Rannacher answers parliament -
"I do know nothing".

In the same interview Werner Britsch, Security Chief of Daimler-Chrysler stated:
The USA place highest priority to security in business and industry.
The US have the „Economic Espionage Act“ of 1996.

In Germany there is nothing comparable.
And I ask - why not?

Comparing the governments reply to our questions and the statements by Rannacher, Mehrländer und Woll (government officials) in the Deutschlandfunk  then it can be said
- I shall not use the word to lie -
that this parliament is willfully kept in the dark.

We ask to change the duty of our relevant services to include active actions against industrial espionage rather than simple and undercover observation - the result of which is not passed on to those affected.

Any government that is not prepared to move in this direction should resign.

End of Debate

The complete debate can be obtained from
Landtag von Baden-Wuerttemberg