• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

German secret service moves into new HQ

DPA/The Local · 1 Apr 2014, 10:09

Published: 01 Apr 2014 10:09 GMT+02:00

The new home of the country’s secret service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has welcomed the first 174 of its 4,000 employees.

Access cards to the central Berlin building on Chausseestraße have no names or photos just a number and are kept in a safe overnight – no-one can take them home.

The floor area covers 260,000 m² making it one of Germany’s largest administrative buildings, according to the BND website.

And on Monday BND president Gerhard Schindler spoke with an unusual degree of transparency about the secret service.

In the north building the technical and logistics headquarters are housed. There is also a thermal power station and parking for 600 cars.

The site, which is the size of 35 football fields, has 1,300 rooms and lots of rules.

No private phones, no private laptops, no checking of private emails and Facebook is out of the question.

The seven floors of the headquarter’s north building have almost everything a small town needs to survive.

The power plant can supply electricity for 100,000 homes and diesel generators can make the spy city self-sufficient for up to two weeks, if the power supply fails.

A separate air conditioning system cools the data centre which is designed to handle at least 8,000 computers.

The move to the large new headquarters brings together different spy units in one place.

A statement of the BND website said: “The merging of various units under one roof promises growth in efficiency and effectiveness and further improvements in performance helping the Bundesnachrichtendienst to meet the future challenges of an increasingly globalized world.”

The old headquarters are at a smaller site in Pullach, south of Munich, which is referred to as “Camp Nicholas”.

Story continues below…

But therein lies another change.

"We’ve said goodbye to fake names,” said relocation officer Kay Croppenstedt. “We live in the real world and not in romance.”

But those wishing to visit the HQ are likely to be disappointed.

The “Frequently asked questions” section of the BND website states: “Due to safety and secrecy reasons it is unfortunately currently impossible to visit the headquarters of the Bundesnachrichtendienst."

SEE ALSO: Parliament to tighten up spy service

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
13 (even more) thrilling facts you must know about Berlin
Berlin, du bist so wunderbar. Photo: DPA.

Berlin is just so gosh darn interesting, we couldn't fit it all into the first list on our website of infinite virtual space.

1000s of smashed beer bottles bring Autobahn to standstill
The clean up near Bayreuth. Photo: DPA

The main road artery between Munich and Berlin was completely shut down on Tuesday evening after a truck driver committed a cardinal sin.

Far-right leader Petry under investigation for perjury
Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

Her right wing populist party’s electoral successes have struck the fear of God into the political mainstream. But Frauke Petry is now under investigation in Dresden for perjury.

We'll crush German airlines, boasts Ryanair boss
Michael O’Leary. Photo: DPA

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has told a German newspaper that German rivals Air Berlin and Eurowings are doomed.

All aboard the €3,000 train ride from Berlin to London
Hercule Poirot on the Orient Express. Photo: Arte/DPA

One imagines that there is more than one Londoner who has moved to Germany in pursuit of Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin. Now they have the chance to travel like him, too.

Adidas to bring production home with robot shoe factory
File photo: DPA

Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, announced Tuesday that it will start marketing its first series of sportshoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017.

Passersby spur on mob as they attack refugees
File Photo: DPA

When four refugees were attacked near a tram stop in a town on the German-Polish border on Monday evening, pedestrians egged on their assailants.

Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Screenshot: Facebook

Members of anti-Islam group Pegida were outraged this week to see photos of black and Middle Eastern children on packets of Kinder chocolate bars – until they found out who the kids really were.

Germany gets its way over fresh aid for Greece
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble appears to have got his way at a Brussels showdown. Photos: DPA

Greece will get extra cash in the coming months to cover its debt repayments – but there'll be no cut to the total amount before the next elections in Germany.

Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Chancellor Angela Merkel showing up French President François Hollande in a neighbourly battle of table manners. Photo: DPA.

Despite what stereotypes might have you believe, Germans aren't that different from the rest of us when it comes to social interactions. But these tips should at least help guide you through the minor quirks that come with your next dinner invitation.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Business & Money
Surprise results give Germany strongest growth in two years
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Munich
The bloody knife attack that shocked a Bavarian town
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
Culture
The 6 German words you need to know for spring
Culture
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
7,800
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd