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Germany Dismisses Report on Prism, Cites Two Different Programs

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July 17 (Bloomberg) -- The German government dismissed a Bild newspaper report that it may have known about the Prism program, saying that a NATO network used in Afghanistan was “not identical” with the National Security Agency’s program.

Bild earlier said the German military knew about the activities, citing field-intelligence documents that revealed a program called Prism.

The network cited by Bild and the recently disclosed NSA data gathering operation aren’t the same, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert, citing the head of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency.

“This is a NATO/ISAF program, not identical with the Prism program of the NSA,” Seibert said today in Berlin. He reiterated that Germany has asked the U.S. for information about the NSA program.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has been criticized for its handling of the U.S. surveillance scandal, with the opposition saying the administration should have known more about the NSA’s activities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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