Apple AirTag Helps Activist Unmask Disguised German Intelligence Agency

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 25 Jan 2022

An activist claims to have uncovered a secret german intelligence agency using an Apple AirTag. The object tracker was used to covertly locate the actual offices of the intelligence agency said to be masquerading as a German “federal authority.”

Activist and Researcher Lilith Wittmann claims the German Federal Telecommunications Service is an intelligence outfit in disguise. In an older blog post, she claimed she “accidentally stumbled upon a federal authority that does not exist.” Now, she has revealed her elaborate attempts to confirm her suspicions. Everyone she spoke to denied involvement with the intelligence agency, but an AirTag posted to the disguised “federal authority” painted a different picture.

The activist claims to now know several details about the disguised agency, including where the offices are located. However, some of her efforts that led to her findings cannot be recreated now. The country’s online list of federal authorities doesn’t help anymore, and the official whose calls she transcribed has since abandoned the phone number.

She has multiple reasons to believe that the Federal Telecommunications Service is a wing of the Federal Ministry of Interior, making it a “camouflage” authority. She says both these agencies are under the purview of an intelligence agency called the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. She ran IP address searches and even drove to the buildings to back her claims.

The AirTag she sent via mail to the disguised “federal authority” led to offices for the intelligence services. She notes that the AirTag she mailed went through the Berlin sorting center to another sorting office in Cologne-Ehrenfeld. Then the AirTag arrived at the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Cologne. This led the activist to conclude that an AirTag mailed to a Telecommunications Service in one part of the country reached an intelligence service in another region.

Interestingly, government press conferences after Wittmann’s discovery went public denied that a Federal Telecommunications Service exists at all. As for the AirTag she used, she writes that the intelligence service can keep it. “I heard they are supposed to be very expensive,” she says. She intends to continue her research in a third blog post.

Our Take

AirTags have made it easier to find things you want to locate, and as this case proves, something others don’t want you to find. After numerous stalking incidents and theft reports where the AirTags aided criminals, Apple was prompted to release an app that raises alarm if an unidentified tracker is found following you. However, when AirTags are used to locate underground operations facilities in the manner described above, it opens a proverbial can of worms for the authorities concerned. What are your thoughts on using AirTags as Wittmann did? Tell us in the comments section!

[Via AppleInsider]