Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #765 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 10: Shearing the Piglet (“They’re Shocked, Shocked!”)


Inspec­tor Renault (Claude Rains)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

NB: This descrip­tion con­tains infor­ma­tion not con­tained in the orig­i­nal broadcast.

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram high­lights the stun­ning hypocrisy of Euro­pean crit­ics of the NSA. Echo­ing Claude Rains’ char­ac­ter Louis Rey­naud from the film Casablanca they are “shocked, shocked”! As it turns out, the crit­ics are as hyp­o­crit­i­cal as Rey­naud, who’s sur­prise and out­rage at the fact that there was gam­bling going on in Rick’s Cafe was tem­pered by the croupier’s ren­der­ing of his own win­nings to him.

We note that many of the crit­ics used the exact verbiage–“shocked” in response to the Snow­den material.

For­mer French spy­mas­ter Bernard Squarcini laid it on the line, when he noted that not only do the French intel­li­gence ser­vices do the same thing, but it was com­mon knowl­edge that ALL major pow­ers (and some minor ones) do the same thing. Squarcini skew­ered the crit­ics on their hypocrisy and expressed “shock” of his own that the politi­cians didn’t seem to read the reports they were given.

In addi­tion to the French intel­li­gence ser­vice, the BND–Germany’s for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vice and the suc­ces­sor to the Rein­hard Gehlen spy out­fit–does exactly the same thing.

Like the French ser­vice, the BND is actu­ally accel­er­at­ing its inter­net and elec­tronic sur­veil­lance capabilities.

Reveal­ing the EU’s extreme hypocrisy is the dis­clo­sure that that body is going to form its own mil­i­tary intel­li­gence unit to do exactly the same things as the NSA, in response to Euro­pean “shock” over the Snow­den material.

We con­clude with a story that has pro­found implications.

In FTR #761, we noted that Ernst Uhlrau had an inter­est­ing cur­ricu­lum vitae. Chief of the Ham­burg police dur­ing a period in which Ger­man intel­li­gence had mem­bers of the Ham­burg cell of 9/11 hijack­ers under sur­veil­lance, Uhrlau was appointed spe­cial adviser to the Chan­cel­lor on intel­li­gence mat­ters in 1998. He became head of the BND in 2005.

Dur­ing Uhrlau’s tenure as BND direc­tor, files on BND offi­cials with SS and Gestapo back­grounds were shred­ded. Note that the indi­vid­u­als whose files were destroyed were BND exec­u­tives, not field agents, and that they has held “sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.”

Accord­ing to Der Spiegel, BND offi­cers were recruited from the fam­i­lies of BND oper­a­tives, per­mit­ting a per­pet­u­a­tion of Nazi ide­ol­ogy and method­ol­ogy from the orig­i­nal Gehlen SS and Gestapo recruits!

A very impor­tant update is included in this descrip­tion. It was not in the orig­i­nal broadcast. A reveal­ing arti­cle in Der Spiegel notes two crit­i­cal details: the very same Angela Merkel who is “shocked, shocked” at what the NSA is doing has not only put road­blocks in Euro­pean data pri­vacy rules to guard against unwar­ranted gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance but is actively seek­ing admit­tance to the “Five Eyes” club, which dates to World War II! Nei­ther Merkel, nor Ger­many, nor the Under­ground Reich is “shocked, shocked” at all! They want IN!

Pray tell, if it’s wrong when they are NOT included, why is it “right” when they are, hmmmm?

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • Review of mate­r­ial cov­ered years ago on For The Record. The pro­gram notes that the infor­ma­tion about NSA and GCHQ hoover­ing up elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions is not new. (Mr. Emory has been dis­cussing this for years, ref­er­enc­ing the analy­sis from open sources.)New York Times arti­cle from 9/6/2001 high­lights a Euro­pean Par­lia­ment report that was com­piled over the course of a year. The report notes, among other things, that sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries were doing sim­i­lar things.
  • A for­mer French For­eign Min­is­ter said he was “shocked,” but then went on to admit that all coun­tries did this and con­fessed to jeal­ousy over the extent of the NSA sur­veil­lance. A British diplo­mat notes that tele­phonic com­mu­ni­ca­tions are assumed by the diplo­matic com­mu­nity to be monitored. Former U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Madeleine Albright relates the French ambas­sador query­ing her about the nature of a pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tion, appar­ently inter­cepted by French intelligence.
  • A Finan­cial Times story notes that Europe’s elec­tronic sur­veil­lance capa­bil­ity is for­mi­da­ble and more than com­pa­ra­ble to the NSA. Note that James Clap­per tes­ti­fied that elec­tronic sur­veil­lance given to other coun­tries for sur­veil­lance of ter­ror­ists was being used against the United States.
  • Cit­i­zen [Glenn] Greenwald has also mis­rep­re­sented alleged NSA hoovering-up of com­mu­ni­ca­tions of Nor­we­gian cit­i­zens. The head of Nor­we­gian intel­li­gence has con­tra­dicted Green­wald, indi­cat­ing that it was Nor­we­gian oper­a­tives who gleaned the information.
  • Not only is the BND involved with doing the same thing as NSA, they part­ner with NSA on some of the pro­grams inside Ger­many. The Ger­man out­rage is, as an observer noted, “feigned.”
  • Iron­i­cally, in the dust-up fol­low­ing dis­clo­sure of NSA spy­ing on Euro­pean Union offices, it was revealed that the phone sys­tem that was tapped was run by Siemens. Siemens is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Ger­man intel­li­gence which can be safely assumed to have been tap­ping the calls as well.
  • BND has uti­lized Deutsche Telekom to con­duct the same type of sur­veil­lance in which the NSA engages. Deutsche Telekom is the par­ent com­pany of T-Mobile and recently acquired Metro PCS. It is a safe bet that Amer­i­cans using either T-Mobile or Metro PCS are being spied on by BND. (Deutsche Telekom is con­trolled by the Ger­man government.)
  • The BKA (Ger­man equiv­a­lent of the FBI) is using the Fin­Fisher spy­ware touched on in the Finan­cial Times story above.
  • UPDATE: Merkel has pro­posed an EU-wide com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work in response to NSA spy­ing, as Ger­many is ramp­ing up its own spy­ing on U.S. and British targets.

1a. Begin­ning with review of mate­r­ial cov­ered years ago on For The Record, the pro­gram notes that the infor­ma­tion about NSA and GCHQ hoover­ing up elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions is not new. (Mr. Emory has been dis­cussing this for years, ref­er­enc­ing the analy­sis from open sources.) A New York Times arti­cle from 9/6/2001 high­lights a Euro­pean Par­lia­ment report that was com­piled over the course of a year. The report notes, among other things, that sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries were doing sim­i­lar things.

“World Brief­ing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy Sys­tem” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001.

EXCERPT: [Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The United States-led spy­ing sys­tem known as Ech­e­lon can mon­i­tor vir­tu­ally every com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the world — by e-mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satel­lite, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment was told. But in report­ing on a year­long study of the sys­tem that was prompted by con­cern that Amer­i­can com­pa­nies were using data from the sys­tem to gain a com­pet­i­tive edge, Ger­hard Schmid, a Ger­man mem­ber of the Par­lia­ment, said that many Euro­pean coun­tries had sim­i­lar abil­i­ties . . .

1b. Russ­ian pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin summed up the nature of the pub­lic dis­clo­sures of Snowden.

“Putin Defends Snowden’s Stopover, Rejects U.S. ‘Dri­vel’” by Anton Doro­shev, Nicole Gaou­ette & Nathan Gill;  bloomberg.com; 6/25/2013. 

EXCERPT: . . . .“Per­son­ally I’d pre­fer to keep out of such ques­tions,” he said. “It’s like shear­ing a piglet: all squeal­ing and no wool.” . . . .

1c. For­mer French Spy­mas­ter Bernard Squarcini noted the fact that all coun­tries, includ­ing France, engage in the same kind of activ­ity that NSA does. He found it remark­able that offi­cials could react with the feigned aston­ish­ment that they displayed.

“Paris Also Snoops on US, Says ex-French Spy Boss by Tony Todd; France24; 10/24/2013.
Spy­ing on allies is all in a day’s work, the for­mer head of France’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency (pic­tured) said on Thurs­day, fol­low­ing reports that the US National Secu­rity Agency recorded mil­lions of French phone calls.
France spies on the US just as the US spies on France, the for­mer head of France’s counter-espionage and counter-terrorism agency said Fri­day, com­ment­ing on reports that the US National Secu­rity Agency (NSA) recorded mil­lions of French telephone calls.

Bernard Squarcini, head of the Direc­tion Cen­trale du Ren­seigne­ment Intérieur (DCRI) intel­li­gence ser­vice until last year, told French daily Le Figaro he was “aston­ished” when Prime Min­is­ter Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was “deeply shocked” by the claims.

“I am amazed by such dis­con­cert­ing naiveté,” he said in the inter­view. “You’d almost think our politi­cians don’t bother to read the reports they get from the intel­li­gence services.”

On Mon­day, French daily Le Monde pub­lished a story based on leaks from NSA whistle­blower Edward Snow­den, alleg­ing that the NSA had recorded 70 mil­lion phone calls in France in a 30-day period from Decem­ber 10 to Jan­u­ary 8 this year.

‘Deep dis­ap­proval’

The fol­low­ing day French Pres­i­dent Franços Hol­lande called his US coun­ter­part Barack Obama to express “deep dis­ap­proval of these prac­tices, which are unac­cept­able between friends and allies because they infringe on the pri­vacy of French citizens”.

But for Squarcini, who was ques­tioned in 2011 over sur­veil­lance of jour­nal­ists inves­ti­gat­ing alleged ille­gal cam­paign fund­ing for for­mer pres­i­dent Nico­las Sarkozy, spy­ing on allies is all in a day’s work.

“The French intel­li­gence ser­vices know full well that all coun­tries, whether or not they are allies in the fight against ter­ror­ism, spy on each other all the time,” he said.

“The Amer­i­cans spy on French com­mer­cial and indus­trial inter­ests, and we do the same to them because it’s in the national inter­est to pro­tect our companies.”

“There was noth­ing of any real sur­prise in this report,” he added. “No one is fooled.” . . . .

2a. Le Monde reported on the French spy­ing pro­gram cited above:

“France ‘Has Vast Data Sur­veil­lance’ — Le Monde Report”; BBC; 7/4/2013.

EXCERPT: France’s for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vice inter­cepts com­puter and tele­phone data on a vast scale, like the con­tro­ver­sial US Prism pro­gramme, accord­ing to the French daily Le Monde.

The data is stored on a super­com­puter at the head­quar­ters of the DGSE intel­li­gence ser­vice, the paper says.

The oper­a­tion is “out­side the law, and beyond any proper super­vi­sion”, Le Monde says.

Other French intel­li­gence agen­cies allegedly access the data secretly.

It is not clear how­ever whether the DGSE sur­veil­lance goes as far as Prism. So far French offi­cials have not com­mented on Le Monde’s alle­ga­tions.

The DGSE allegedly analy­ses the “meta­data” — not the con­tents of e-mails and other com­mu­ni­ca­tions, but the data reveal­ing who is speak­ing to whom, when and where.

Con­nec­tions inside France and between France and other coun­tries are all mon­i­tored, Le Monde reports.

The paper alleges the data is being stored on three base­ment floors of the DGSE build­ing in Paris. The secret ser­vice is the French equiv­a­lent of Britain’s MI6. . . .

The oper­a­tion is designed, say experts, to uncover ter­ror­ist cells. But the scale of it means that “any­one can be spied on, any time”, Le Monde says. . . .

2b. A story that broke the day the pro­gram was recorded and is not in the orig­i­nal broad­cast informs us that France is expand­ing its sur­veil­lance effort, with­out sub­stan­tive oversight!

“France Broad­ens Its Sur­veil­lance Power” by Scott Sayare; The New York Times; 12/15/2013.

EXCERPT: For all their indig­na­tion last sum­mer, when the scope of the United States’ mass data col­lec­tion began to be made pub­lic, the French are hardly inno­cents in the realm of elec­tronic sur­veil­lance. Within days of the reports about the National Secu­rity Agency’s activ­i­ties, it was revealed that French intel­li­gence ser­vices oper­ated a sim­i­lar sys­tem, with sim­i­larly min­i­mal oversight.

And last week, with lit­tle pub­lic debate, the leg­is­la­ture approved a law that crit­ics feared would markedly expand elec­tronic sur­veil­lance of French res­i­dents and businesses.

The pro­vi­sion, qui­etly passed as part of a rou­tine mil­i­tary spend­ing bill, defines the con­di­tions under which intel­li­gence agen­cies may gain access to, or record tele­phone con­ver­sa­tions, e-mails, Inter­net activ­ity, per­sonal loca­tion data and other elec­tronic communications.

The law pro­vides for no judi­cial over­sight and allows elec­tronic sur­veil­lance for a broad range of pur­poses, includ­ing “national secu­rity,” the pro­tec­tion of France’s “sci­en­tific and eco­nomic poten­tial” and pre­ven­tion of “ter­ror­ism” or “criminality.” . . . .

2c. A for­mer French For­eign Min­is­ter said he was “shocked,” but then went on to admit that all coun­tries did this and con­fessed to jeal­ousy over the extent of the NSA sur­veil­lance. A British diplo­mat notes that tele­phonic com­mu­ni­ca­tions are assumed by the diplo­matic com­mu­nity to be monitored.

For­mer U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Madeleine Albright relates the French ambas­sador query­ing her about the nature of a pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tion, appar­ently inter­cepted by French intelligence.

“NSA Spy­ing Threat­ens to Ham­per US For­eign Pol­icy” by Deb Riech­mann; Asso­ci­ated Press; 10/26/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . . “The mag­ni­tude of the eaves­drop­ping is what shocked us,” for­mer French For­eign Min­is­ter Bernard Kouch­ner said in a radio inter­view. “Let’s be hon­est, we eaves­drop too. Every­one is lis­ten­ing to every­one else. But we don’t have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous.”

So where in the world isn’t the NSA? That’s one big ques­tion raised by the dis­clo­sures. Whether the tap­ping of allies is a step too far might be moot.

The British ambas­sador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, tweeted this past week: “I work on assump­tion that 6+ coun­tries tap my phone. Increas­ingly rare that diplo­mats say any­thing sen­si­tive on calls.” . . . .

. . . . Madeleine Albright, sec­re­tary of state dur­ing the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion, recalled being at the United Nations and hav­ing the French ambas­sador ask her why she said some­thing in a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion appar­ently inter­cepted by the French. . . .

3. Europe’s elec­tronic sur­veil­lance capa­bil­ity is for­mi­da­ble and more than com­pa­ra­ble to the NSA. Note that James Clap­per tes­ti­fied that elec­tronic sur­veil­lance given to other coun­tries for sur­veil­lance of ter­ror­ists was being used against the United States.

 “Europe’s Spy­ing Busi­nesses Thrive Amid Sur­veil­lance Uproar” by Chris Bryant;  Finan­cial Times; 7/1/2013.

EXCERPT: Europe’s politi­cians are out­raged about alleged US mon­i­tor­ing of EU tele­phone and com­puter com­mu­ni­ca­tions. But when it comes to build­ing and export­ing spy equip­ment, few are as capa­ble as Europe.

That much was evi­dent last month when the world’s lead­ing sell­ers of elec­tronic sur­veil­lance tech­nol­ogy gath­ered in Prague at the ISS World trade show.

Police and spy agency offi­cials lis­tened to closed-door pre­sen­ta­tions by a suc­ces­sion of Euro­pean com­pa­nies about their highly sophis­ti­cated inter­net and tele­phone com­mu­ni­ca­tion interception wares.

Hack­ing Team, a Milan-based maker of eaves­drop­ping soft­ware, demon­strated in Prague its remotely con­trolled spy­ware that can tap encrypted com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Skype calls and instant mes­sen­ger chats. The sys­tem also has audio and video capa­bil­ity, which allows police to spy using the target’s own webcam.

Munich-based Tro­vi­cor schooled agents on its “cell-based mon­i­tor­ing solu­tion” to han­dle mass record­ings while Gamma Inter­na­tional, a UK-German com­pany, demon­strated its con­tro­ver­sial “Fin­Fisher” spy­ware tool for remotely mon­i­tor­ing mobile phone communications.

At a time when Euro­pean coun­tries are loudly con­demn­ing the US and UK’s spy­ing activ­i­ties, Europe’s spy tech­nol­ogy exper­tise is a poten­tial source of embarrassment.

Pri­vacy activists and politi­cians fear that, if left unreg­u­lated, sales of Euro­pean sur­veil­lance tech­nol­ogy could infringe human rights over­seas, as well as dam­ag­ing the cyber secu­rity of peo­ple in Europe. . . .

. . . .This means that more than 50 per cent of the almost $6bn a year mar­ket for off-the-shelf sur­veil­lance equip­ment – the kind favoured by nearly all gov­ern­ments except the US – is con­trolled by west­ern Euro­pean com­pa­nies, accord­ing to Mr Lucas. . . .

. . . . In fact, it was James Clap­per, US direc­tor of national intel­li­gence, who told the US Sen­ate in March that for­eign gov­ern­ments had begun using sur­veil­lance tech­nolo­gies orig­i­nally mar­keted for “law­ful inter­cep­tion” to tar­get US systems. . . .

4.  Cit­i­zen [Glenn] Greenwald has also mis­rep­re­sented alleged NSA hoovering-up of com­mu­ni­ca­tions of Nor­we­gian cit­i­zens. The head of Nor­we­gian intel­li­gence has con­tra­dicted Green­wald, indi­cat­ing that it was Nor­we­gian oper­a­tives who gleaned the information.

“Norway’s Intel Chief Exposes Yet Another Green­wald Dis­tor­tion” by Charles John­son; Lit­tle Green Foot­balls; 11/19/2013.

EXCERPT: Glenn Greenwald’s lat­est story extracted from the NSA doc­u­ments stolen by Edward Snow­den is yet another exam­ple of how he dis­torts the infor­ma­tion to smear the US — every time.

His arti­cle for Dag­bladet claims that the NSA spied on “33 mil­lion” Nor­we­gian tele­phone calls, but Norway’s chief of mil­i­tary intel­li­gence says the claim is totally false. In fact, the tele­phone meta­data dis­cussed in Greenwald’s story was col­lected by Nor­we­gian intel­li­gence and shared with the NSA — and it was not even col­lected in Nor­way.

OSLO, Nor­way — Norway’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence chief said Tues­day his coun­try car­ries out sur­veil­lance on mil­lions of phone calls in con­flict areas around the world and shares that data with allies, includ­ing the United States.

Lt. Gen. Kjell Grand­ha­gen made the state­ment at a hastily orga­nized news con­fer­ence called in response to a story in the tabloid Dag­bladet, which reported that 33 mil­lion Nor­we­gian phone calls had been mon­i­tored by the U.S. National Secu­rity Agency.

Grand­ha­gen vig­or­ously denied the story.

We had to cor­rect that pic­ture because we know that this in fact is not about sur­veil­lance in Nor­way or against Nor­way, but it is about the Nor­we­gian intel­li­gence effort abroad,” he told The Asso­ci­ated Press.

He stressed that his agency’s actions were legal under Nor­we­gian law since the sur­veil­lance was based on sus­pi­cions of terrorism-related activ­ity and that poten­tial tar­gets could include Nor­we­gian cit­i­zens abroad.

Grand­ha­gen said his intel­li­gence agency had “absolutely no indi­ca­tion” that the NSA was spy­ing on Nor­we­gians.

Not only has Green­wald been shown — again — to be dis­tort­ing and exag­ger­at­ing the facts, this also strongly refutes his claim that there’s some­thing uniquely evil about USA intel­li­gence activ­i­ties. Even Nor­way has a mass meta­data col­lec­tion pro­gram going on. If any­thing is clear by now from all this, it’s that every coun­try in the world that has the capa­bil­ity to do this kind of sur­veil­lance is doing it. And they’re doing it to pro­tect their cit­i­zens from ter­ror­ism, not for some nefar­i­ous evil privacy-destroying agenda.

5. Not only is the BND involved with doing the same thing as NSA, they part­ner with NSA on some of the pro­grams inside Ger­many. The Ger­man out­rage is, as an observer noted “feigned.”

Allied Ser­vices (I); german-foreign-policy.com; 7/2/2013. 

EXCERPT: . . . . From the very begin­ning, the claims by the gov­ern­ment and the BND of hav­ing had no idea about these NSA activ­i­ties have only pro­voked a bored smile from spe­cial­ists. “Experts have known that for a long time,” insists BND expert, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom. “The Ger­man gov­ern­ment must long since have also known about it through BND eval­u­a­tions and Stud­ies by the Fed­eral Office of Infor­ma­tion Secu­rity (BSI).” The “uproar” in Berlin is, “feigned, in this ques­tion.“[2] . . .

. . . . He [his­to­rian Joseph Fos­chep­oth] has found that in 1968, Bonn con­cluded a secret admin­is­tra­tive agree­ment, which, based on agree­ments of the 1950s, had oblig­ated the Ger­man gov­ern­ment “to carry out sur­veil­lance of post and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion for the West­ern vic­to­ri­ous pow­ers, or to allow them to carry out this sur­veil­lance them­selves.” Accord­ing to Fos­chep­oth, this admin­is­tra­tive agree­ment “remains unal­tered in force, today.” This pro­vides the legal basis for US mil­i­tary intel­li­gence agen­cies to autonomously exe­cute “sur­veil­lance of the post and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion traf­fic” in Ger­many.[10] . . .

6. Iron­i­cally, in the dust-up fol­low­ing dis­clo­sure of NSA spy­ing on Euro­pean Union offices, it was revealed that the phone sys­tem that was tapped was run by Siemens. Siemens is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Ger­man intel­li­gence which can be safely assumed to have been tap­ping the calls as well.

“Attacks from Amer­ica: NSA Spied on Euro­pean Union Offices” by Laura Poitras, Mar­cel Rosen­bach, Fidelius Schmid and Hol­ger Stark; Der Spiegel; 6/29/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . A lit­tle over five years ago, secu­rity experts dis­cov­ered that a num­ber of odd, aborted phone calls had been made around a cer­tain exten­sion within the Jus­tus Lip­sius build­ing, the head­quar­ters of the Euro­pean Coun­cil, the pow­er­ful body rep­re­sent­ing the lead­ers of the EU’s 27 mem­ber states. The calls were all made to num­bers close to the one used as the remote ser­vic­ing line of the Siemens tele­phone sys­tem used in the build­ing. . . .

7. BND has uti­lized Deutsche Telekom to con­duct the same type of sur­veil­lance in which the NSA engages. Deutsche Telekom is the par­ent com­pany of T-Mobile and recently acquired Metro PCS. It is a safe bet that Amer­i­cans using either T-Mobile or Metro PCS are being spied on by BND. (Deutsche Telekom is con­trolled by the Ger­man government.)

“Ger­man Intel­li­gence Scrubs Euroean Records after Wik­iLeaks Expo­sure” by Wik­iLeaks staff; wikileaks.org; 11/16/2008.

EXCERPT: Between Fri­day night and Sun­day morn­ing, a mas­sive dele­tion oper­a­tion took place at the Euro­pean Inter­net address reg­is­ter (RIPE) to scrub ref­er­ences to a cover used by Germany’s pre­mier spy agency, the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst, or BND.

The cleanup oper­a­tion comes the night after Wik­ileaks revealed over two dozen covert BND net­works pro­vided by T-Systems (Deutsche Telekom). The IP addresses were assigned to an unreg­is­tered com­pany at a Munich-based PO box linked to T-Systems.

T-Systems purged the RIPE data­base of all addresses exposed by Wik­ileaks, mov­ing the addresses into a sev­eral giant anony­mous “Class B” address pools.

The move comes just a few hours after T-Systems Com­puter Emer­gency Response Team (CERT) con­tacted Wik­ileaks to demand removal of an inter­nal T-Systems memo list­ing the BND cover addresses. Wik­ileaks refused and T-System did not respond to requests for fur­ther detail by the time of writing.

Yet an inves­ti­ga­tion into the addresses over the week­end reveals key infor­ma­tion about the BND’s Inter­net activities. . . . .

Web­site ref­er­ences reveal that in 2006 numer­ous hosters of Inter­net web­sites com­plained about out of con­trol “data min­ing” robots from two of the BND-linked IP addresses. One of the hosters ran a pop­u­lar dis­cus­sion forum on counter-terrorism operations.

The integrity and trans­parency of the RIPE sys­tem is not assisted by the T-Systems dele­tion. Ger­man cit­i­zens may won­der at the dou­ble stan­dard. At a time when the population’s Inter­net addresses are being recorded by ISPs under laws deri­sively referred to as “Stasi 2.0″, the “real Stasi”—the BND, has had the largest telco in Ger­many scrub its addresses from the Euro­pean record within 24 hours of their exposure.

8. A recent Guardian story takes stock of the fact that the BND–German for­eign intelligence–is “as bad as the NSA.”

“Ger­man Intel­li­gence Ser­vice Is as Bad as the NSA” by Kai Bier­mann; The Guardian; 10/4/2013.

EXCERPT: In recent weeks there has been much crit­i­cism of the US National Secu­rity Agency. It spies on peo­ple indis­crim­i­nately – even the cit­i­zens of its Euro­pean allies – goes the furi­ous and clearly jus­ti­fied accu­sa­tion. Politi­cians in Ger­many and the EU have repeat­edly crit­i­cised the US. Yet it seems they them­selves are sit­ting in a rather large glass house.

The Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice – the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst (BND) – to name an exam­ple close to home, does exactly the same thing as the NSA abroad and it does so within a sim­i­lar legal frame­work. “The dif­fer­ences between the BND and the NSA are much smaller than is gen­er­ally accepted by the pub­lic,” write Ste­fan Heumann and Ben Scott in their study on the legal foun­da­tions of inter­net sur­veil­lance pro­grammes in the US, the UK and Germany. . . .

. . . . Heumann works at the Ger­man think­tank Neue Ver­ant­wor­tung (New Respon­si­bil­ity), Scott was an adviser to the for­mer US sec­re­tary of state Hillary Clin­ton and is now a pol­icy adviser at the Open Tech­nol­ogy Insti­tute, part of the New Amer­ica Foun­da­tion think­tank. In their study, the ana­lysts com­pared the legal foun­da­tions, focus and par­lia­men­tary over­sight of spy­ing pro­grammes in three countries.

Their find­ings: the NSA runs the biggest spy­ing pro­gramme and has the advan­tage that its tar­gets – the inter­net providers – are mainly based in the US. Yet at its core the NSA’s sur­veil­lance is no dif­fer­ent from that of the British GCHQ and the BND in Ger­many. The under­ly­ing laws have the same struc­ture, write Heumann and Scott, even if “their inter­pre­ta­tion can differ”.

Heumann and Scott are not the first to say this. The Berlin-based lawyer Niko Härt­ing, for exam­ple, has com­pared the legal foun­da­tions for the work of the NSA and the BND. He also found that both agen­cies are essen­tially doing the same thing in that they con­sider every­one liv­ing out­side their ter­ri­tory to be “with­out rights”. In short: intel­li­gence ser­vices are allowed to spy on for­eign­ers com­pletely unim­peded. Härt­ing points out that it is, after all, the job of for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vices to watch every­body else. . . . .

9. Like the French intel­li­gence ser­vice, BND is expand­ing its inter­net sur­veil­lance capabilities.

“Ger­many to Spend Mil­lions to Expand Inter­net Sur­veil­lance — Report” by Uta Winkhaus; Europe Online Mag­a­zine; 6/16/2013.

EXCERPT: Germany‘s main intel­li­gence agency plans to expand inter­net sur­veil­lance by launch­ing a five-year pro­gramme that will cost 100 mil­lion euros (133 mil­lion dol­lars), Der Spiegel mag­a­zine reported Sunday.

The report about the fed­eral intel­li­gence service‘s (BND) plans comes days after whistle­blower Edward Snow­den revealed details of top-secret US gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance pro­grammes that gath­ered vast tele­phone records and inter­net data.

With the addi­tional fund­ing, the BND will add 100 new employ­ees to its tech­ni­cal intel­li­gence depart­ment and bol­ster its com­put­ing and server capac­i­ties, the report said.

The gov­ern­ment has already released a first tranche of 5 mil­lion euros, accord­ing to Der Spiegel.

To fight ter­ror­ism and orga­nized crime, the BND is per­mit­ted by law to mon­i­tor 20 per cent of all com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Ger­many and for­eign nations. Until now, it only had the capac­ity to check on 5 per cent of traf­fic — emails, tele­phone calls, Face­book and Skype chats — because of tech­ni­cal issues.

With the new capa­bil­i­ties, the BND wants to ensure that cross-border traf­fic can be mon­i­tored as com­pre­hen­sively as pos­si­ble, just as is done in the United States by the National Secu­rity Agency (NSA), which spe­cial­izes in elec­tronic intelligence. . . .

10. A story from the fall of 2011 notes that the BND is oper­at­ing in vio­la­tion of Ger­man law. (A tip of the hat to the Chaos Com­puter Club for their work on this one.)

“The World from Berlin: Elec­tronic Sur­veil­lance Scan­dal Hits Ger­many” by David Gor­don Smith and Kris­ten Allen;  Der Spiegel; 10/10/2011.

EXCERPT: A Ger­man hacker orga­ni­za­tion claims to have cracked spy­ing soft­ware allegedly used by Ger­man author­i­ties. The Tro­jan horse has func­tions which go way beyond those allowed by Ger­man law. The news has sparked a wave of out­rage among politi­cians and media commentators.

It sounds like some­thing out of George Orwell’s novel “1984” — a com­puter pro­gram that can remotely con­trol someone’s com­puter with­out their knowl­edge, search its com­plete con­tents and use it to con­duct audio-visual sur­veil­lance via the micro­phone or webcam.

But the spy soft­ware that the famous Ger­man hacker orga­ni­za­tion Chaos Com­puter Club has obtained is not used by crim­i­nals look­ing to steal credit-card data or send spam e-mails. If the CCC is to be believed, the so-called “Tro­jan horse” soft­ware was used by Ger­man author­i­ties. The case has already trig­gered a polit­i­cal shock­wave in the coun­try and could have far-reaching consequences.

On Sat­ur­day, the CCC announced that it had been given hard dri­ves con­tain­ing a “state spy­ing soft­ware” which had allegedly been used by Ger­man inves­ti­ga­tors to carry out sur­veil­lance of Inter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The orga­ni­za­tion had ana­lyzed the soft­ware and found it to be full of defects. They also found that it trans­mit­ted infor­ma­tion via a server located in the US. As well as its sur­veil­lance func­tions, it could be used to plant files on an individual’s com­puter. It was also not suf­fi­ciently pro­tected, so that third par­ties with the nec­es­sary tech­ni­cal skills could hijack the Tro­jan horse’s func­tions for their own ends. The soft­ware pos­si­bly vio­lated Ger­man law, the orga­ni­za­tion said.

So-called Tro­jan horse soft­ware can be sur­rep­ti­tiously deliv­ered by a harmless-looking e-mail and installed on a user’s com­puter with­out their knowl­edge, where it can be used to, for exam­ple, scan the con­tents of a hard drive. In 2007, the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­istry announced it had designed a Tro­jan horse that could be used to search the hard dri­ves of ter­ror suspects.

Beyond the Limits

The hard dri­ves that the CCC ana­lyzed came from at least two dif­fer­ent Ger­man states. It was unclear whether the soft­ware, which is said to be at least three years old, had been used by state-level or national author­i­ties. In a Sun­day state­ment, the Inte­rior Min­istry denied that the soft­ware had been used by the Fed­eral Crim­i­nal Police Office (BKA), which is sim­i­lar to the Amer­i­can FBI. The state­ment did not explic­itly rule out the pos­si­bil­ity that the soft­ware could have been used by state-level police forces.

If the CCC’s claims are true, then the soft­ware has func­tions which were expressly for­bid­den by Germany’s high­est court, the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tional Court, in a land­mark 2008 rul­ing which sig­nif­i­cantly restricted what was allowed in terms of online sur­veil­lance. The court also spec­i­fied that online spy­ing was only per­mis­si­ble if there was con­crete evi­dence of dan­ger to indi­vid­u­als or society. . . .

11. The BKA (Ger­man equiv­a­lent of the FBI) is using the Fin­Fisher spy­ware touched on in the Finan­cial Times story above.

“Secret Gov­ern­ment Doc­u­ment Reveals: Ger­man Fed­eral Police Plans To Use Gamma Fin­Fisher Spy­ware” by Andre Meis­ter; Netzpolitik.org; 1/16/2013.

EXCERPT: The Ger­man Fed­eral Police office has pur­chased the com­mer­cial Spy­ware toolkit Fin­Fisher of Elaman/Gamma Group. This is revealed by a secret doc­u­ment of the Min­istry of the Inte­rior, which we are pub­lish­ing exclu­sively. Instead of legit­imiz­ing prod­ucts used by author­i­tar­ian regimes for the vio­la­tion of human rights, the Ger­man state should restrict the export of such state malware.

In Octo­ber 2011, Ger­man hacker orga­ni­za­tion Chaos Com­puter Club (CCC) ana­lyzed a mal­ware used by Ger­man gov­ern­ment author­i­ties. The prod­uct of the Ger­man com­pany Dig­i­Task was not just pro­grammed badly and lack­ing ele­men­tary secu­rity, it was in breach of Ger­man law. In a land­mark case, the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tional Court of Ger­many ruled in 2008 that sur­veil­lance soft­ware tar­get­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions must be tech­no­log­i­cally lim­ited to a spe­cific task. Instead, the CCC found that the Dig­i­Task soft­ware took over the entire com­puter and included the option to remotely add fea­tures, thereby clearly vio­lat­ing the court ruling.

Since then, many Ger­man author­i­ties have stopped using Dig­i­Task spy­ware and started to cre­ate their own state mal­ware. For this task, a “Cen­ter of Com­pe­tence for Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Sur­veil­lance (CC ITÜ)” was estab­lished, sport­ing a three mil­lion Euro bud­get and a team of 30 peo­ple. Today, the Fed­eral Min­istry of the Inte­rior is inform­ing the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment Bun­destag about the center’s progress and work. Mem­bers of the Finance Com­mit­tee of the Ger­man Par­lia­ment are receiv­ing a clas­si­fied doc­u­ment, that we are now publishing. . . .

12. Next, we visit a VERY reveal­ing story. In response to the Snow­den mate­r­ial, the EU is so “shocked, shocked” that its lead­ers have resolved to cre­ate their own mil­i­tary intel­li­gence capa­bil­ity to do EXACTLY what they are crit­i­ciz­ing. This pre­sum­ably is in addi­tion to the fact that Euro­pean intel­li­gence agen­cies already to the same thing for which NSA is being criticized.

Crit­ics

“EU Plan­ning to ‘Own and Oper­ate’ Spy Drones and an Air Force” by Bruno Water­field; The Tele­graph [UK]; 7/26/2013.

EXCERPT: The Euro­pean Union is plan­ning to “own and oper­ate” spy drones, sur­veil­lance satel­lites and air­craft as part of a new intel­li­gence and secu­rity agency under the con­trol of Baroness Ashton.

The con­tro­ver­sial pro­pos­als are a major move towards cre­at­ing an inde­pen­dent EU mil­i­tary body with its own equip­ment and oper­a­tions, and will be strongly opposed by Britain.

Offi­cials told the Daily Tele­graph that the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and Lady Ashton’s Euro­pean Exter­nal Action Ser­vice want to cre­ate mil­i­tary com­mand and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems to be used by the EU for inter­nal secu­rity and defence pur­poses. Under the pro­pos­als, pur­chas­ing plans will be drawn up by autumn.

The use of the new spy drones and satel­lites for “inter­nal and exter­nal secu­rity poli­cies”, which will include police intel­li­gence, the inter­net, pro­tec­tion of exter­nal bor­ders and mar­itime sur­veil­lance, will raise con­cerns that the EU is cre­at­ing its own ver­sion of the US National Secu­rity Agency.

Senior Euro­pean offi­cials regard the plan as an urgent response to the recent scan­dal over Amer­i­can and British com­mu­ni­ca­tions sur­veil­lance by cre­at­ing EU’s own secu­rity and spy­ing agency.

“The Edward Snow­den scan­dal shows us that Europe needs its own autonomous secu­rity capa­bil­i­ties, this pro­posal is one step fur­ther towards Euro­pean defence inte­gra­tion,” said a senior EU official. . . .

13. Baroness Ash­ton is viewed as weak and sub­ject to being a Ger­man pawn.

“Assertive­ness”; German-Foreign-Policy.com; 8/12/2009.

EXCERPT: Berlin is insist­ing on access to essen­tial posts in the Euro­pean Exter­nal Action Ser­vice (EEAS). Accord­ing to news reports, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment is demand­ing that the post of EEAS Gen­eral Sec­re­tary be given to a Ger­man. Lead­ing per­son­nel from the Chan­cellery and the For­eign Min­istry are being sug­gested. The gen­eral sec­re­tary heads the admin­is­tra­tion and is sec­ond only to the EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for For­eign Affairs and Secu­rity Pol­icy, Cather­ine Ash­ton, who is con­sid­ered to be very weak, mean­ing that a Ger­man EEAS gen­eral sec­re­tary would have a free hand. The struc­tur­ing of the EEAS is one of Berlin’s most essen­tial objec­tives since the Lis­bon Treaty took effect, rein­forc­ing the EU on its path toward becom­ing a world power. As was expressed in Berlin’s for­eign min­istry, the basic fea­tures of the new admin­is­tra­tion must be insti­tu­tion­al­ized by April 2010, so that the British Con­ser­v­a­tives, expected to be the vic­tors of the next par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in the spring of 2010, will not be able to have any influ­ence. They are capa­ble of putting up seri­ous resis­tance to Ger­man hege­monic policy. . . .

14. We review the cur­ricu­lum vitae of Ernst Uhrlau.

“Ernst Uhrlau”; Wikipedia.

EXCERPT: . . . . From 1996–98, Ernst Uhrlau was the Chief of Ham­burg Police. In 1998, Uhrlau was appointed a Coor­di­na­tor of the Intel­li­gence Com­mu­nity in the office of the Chancellor.

On 1 Decem­ber 2005, he was appointed to the post of the head of the BND. . . .

15. In FTR #761, we noted that Ernst Uhlrau had an inter­est­ing cur­ricu­lum vitae. Chief of the Ham­burg police dur­ing a period in which Ger­man intel­li­gence had mem­bers of the Ham­burg cell of 9/11 hijack­ers under sur­veil­lance, Uhrlau was appointed spe­cial adviser to the Chan­cel­lor on intel­li­gence mat­ters in 1998. He became head of the BND in 2005.

Dur­ing Uhrlau’s tenure as BND direc­tor, files on BND offi­cials with SS and Gestapo back­grounds were shred­ded. Note that the indi­vid­u­als whose files were destroyed were BND exec­u­tives, not field agents, and that they has held “sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.”

Accord­ing to Der Spiegel, BND offi­cers were recruited from the fam­i­lies of BND oper­a­tives, per­mit­ting a per­pet­u­a­tion of Nazi ide­ol­ogy and method­ol­ogy from the orig­i­nal Gehlen SS and Gestapo recruits!

“Obscur­ing the Past: Intel­li­gence Agency Destroyed Files on For­mer SS Mem­bers” by Klaus WiegrefeDer Spiegel; 11/30/2013.

EXCERPT: His­to­ri­ans con­duct­ing an inter­nal study of ties between employ­ees of the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence agency and the Third Reich have made a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. In 2007, the BND destroyed per­son­nel files of employ­ees who had once been mem­bers of the SS and the Gestapo. . . .

. . . . Now, only one week before Uhrlau’s retire­ment, the com­mis­sion has uncov­ered what is a true his­tor­i­cal scan­dal. The researchers have found that the BND destroyed the per­son­nel files of around 250 BND offi­cials in 2007. The agency has con­firmed that this happened.

The com­mis­sion claims that the destroyed doc­u­ments include papers on peo­ple who were “in sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.” They added that some of the indi­vid­u­als had even been inves­ti­gated after 1945 for pos­si­ble war crimes. His­to­rian Klaus-Dietmar Henke, spokesman for the com­mis­sion, told SPIEGEL ONLINE he was “some­what stunned” by the occurrence.

Did Agency Employ­ees Seek to Sab­o­tage Inves­ti­ga­tion? . . .

. . . . It is no secret that some peo­ple within the BND are unhappy about Uhrlau’s project. Some employ­ees are fun­da­men­tally opposed to the agency shed­ding light on its own past. Oth­ers are wor­ried about the rep­u­ta­tions of their own fam­i­lies — for many years, the BND delib­er­ately recruited new staff from among the rel­a­tives of exist­ing BND employees. . . .

16. In a story that will be dis­cussed in the next install­ment of “The Adven­tures of Eddie the Friendly Spook,” a VERY impor­tant story was unearthed for us by “Pter­rafractyl.” A very reveal­ing arti­cle in Der Spiegel notes two VERY impor­tant things: the very same Angela Merkel who is “shocked, shocked” at what the NSA is doing has not only put road­blocks in Euro­pean data pri­vacy rules to guard against unwar­ranted gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance but is actively seek­ing admit­tance to the “Five Eyes” club, which dates to World War II!

She’s not “shocked, shocked” at all! She wants access to the Five Eyes, which means–DUH–that she APPROVES of this very thing!

What a hyp­ocrite she is! And what a sick, sick spec­ta­cle this whole bloody mess is, with a bunch of nitwits cat­er­waul­ing about “civil lib­er­ties,” “human rights,” “the con­sti­tu­tion,” and so forth.

“Appear­ances and Real­ity: Merkel Balks at EU Pri­vacy Push” by Gre­gor Peter Schmitz Der Spiegel; 10/28/2013.

Chan­cel­lor Merkel has put on a good show of being out­raged by Amer­i­can spy­ing. But, at the same time, she has impeded efforts to strengthen data secu­rity. Does she really want more pri­vacy, or is she more inter­ested in being accepted into the exclu­sive group of info-sharing coun­tries known as the ‘Five Eyes’ club?

One par­tic­u­lar point of clar­i­fi­ca­tion was espe­cially impor­tant to Angela Merkel dur­ing the EU sum­mit in Brus­sels last week. When she com­plained about the NSA’s alleged tap­ping of her cell­phone, the Ger­man chan­cel­lor made clear that her con­cern was not for her­self, but for the “tele­phones of mil­lions of EU cit­i­zens,” whose pri­vacy she said was com­pro­mised by US spying.

Yet at a work­ing din­ner with fel­low EU heads of state on Thurs­day, where the agenda included a pro­posed law to bol­ster data pro­tec­tion, Merkel’s fight­ing spirit on behalf of the EU’s cit­i­zens seemed to have dissipated.

In fact, inter­nal doc­u­ments show that Ger­many applied the brakes when it came to speedy pas­sage of such a reform. Although a num­ber of EU mem­ber states — includ­ing France, Italy and Poland — were push­ing for the cre­ation of a Europe-wide mod­ern data pro­tec­tion frame­work before Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions take place in May 2014, the issue ended up tabled until 2015.

Great Britain, itself sus­pected of spy­ing on its EU part­ners, and Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, who has for­mer Google CEO Eric Schmidt as one of his advi­sors, put up con­sid­er­able resis­tance. He pushed instead for the final sum­mit state­ment to call sim­ply for “rapid” progress on a solid EU data-protection framework.

A Set­back for  ‘Europe ‘s Dec­la­ra­tion of Independence ’

Merkel also joined those apply­ing the brakes. Over the week­end, SPIEGEL ONLINE gained access to inter­nal Ger­man For­eign Min­istry doc­u­ments con­cern­ing the EU lead­ers’ final sum­mit state­ment. The “track changes” fea­ture reflects a cru­cial pro­posed change to item No. 8 under the sub­ject head­ing “Dig­i­tal Econ­omy” — the sug­ges­tion that the phrase “adop­tion next year” be replaced with “The nego­ti­a­tions have to be car­ried on intensively.”

Ulti­mately, the offi­cial ver­sion of the final sum­mit state­ment sim­ply called for “rapid” progress on the issue — just as Great Britain was hoping for.

This amounts to a set­back for pro­po­nents of the pro­posed data-protection law, which EU Jus­tice Com­mis­sioner Viviane Red­ing has called “Europe’s dec­la­ra­tion of independence.”

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment recently began draft­ing stricter reg­u­la­tions in this area, includ­ing poten­tial fines run­ning into the bil­lions of euros for any Inter­net com­pany caught ille­gally pass­ing pri­vate data to US intel­li­gence agen­cies. Such pro­posed leg­is­la­tion has the sup­port even of some of Merkel’s fel­low con­ser­v­a­tives in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, includ­ing Man­fred Weber of the Chris­t­ian Social Union (CSU), the Bavar­ian sis­ter party to Merkel’s Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­tic Union (CDU), who says: “We need to finally sum­mon the polit­i­cal will for more data protection.”

Amer­i­can tech cor­po­ra­tions could hardly believe their luck at hav­ing Merkel’s sup­port. Now they’re hop­ing for more lee­way to water down the data-protection law as soon as the furor over the lat­est spy­ing scan­dal has sub­sided. One high-ranking Amer­i­can tech-company exec­u­tive told the Finan­cial Times: “When we saw the story about Merkel’s phone being tapped … we thought we were going to lose.” But, he added: “It looks like we won.” [Yeah, the tech com­pa­nies are “shocked, shocked” too–D.E.]

Indeed, the EU lead­ers’ anger was already start­ing to dis­si­pate dur­ing their ses­sions in Brus­sels. Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants say lead­ers pointed out that Europe is not exactly on the side of the angels when it comes to gov­ern­ment spy­ing. Luxembourg’s prime min­is­ter, Jean-Claude Juncker, cau­tioned his fel­low lead­ers, ques­tion­ing whether they were cer­tain their own intel­li­gence agen­cies had never vio­lated data pri­vacy themselves.

Code of Con­duct for Intel­li­gence Agencies

The con­cerns of the tech indus­try, in par­tic­u­lar, received an atten­tive ear among Europe’s lead­ers. One sum­mit par­tic­i­pant relates that restruc­tur­ing data-protection laws was por­trayed as a “labo­ri­ous” task that would require more time to com­plete, and that Merkel did not push for speed on the mat­ter, to the sur­prise of some of her coun­ter­parts. [!–D.E.]

Accord­ing to sum­mit par­tic­i­pants, the Ger­man chan­cel­lor seemed far more inter­ested in the “Five Eyes” alliance among the US, the UK, Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Canada. The top-level allies within this exclu­sive group, which began in 1946 as a pact between Lon­don and Wash­ing­ton, have agreed not to spy on one another, but instead to share infor­ma­tion and resources. In Brus­sels, Cameron stressed to his fel­low lead­ers how many ter­ror­ist attacks had been pre­vented by suc­cess­ful intelligence work.

Merkel, mean­while, stated: “Unlike David, we are unfor­tu­nately not part of this group.” Accord­ing to the New York Times, Ger­many has sought mem­ber­ship in the “Five Eyes” alliance for years, but has been turned down due to oppo­si­tion, includ­ing from the Obama admin­is­tra­tion. But this could now change, the paper speculates.

17. UPDATE: Angela Merkel has pro­posed an EU-wide com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem to guard against NSA and GCHQ spy­ing, while ramp­ing up spy­ing against the U.S.

“Sur­veil­lance Rev­e­la­tions: Angela Merkel Pro­poses Euro­pean Net­work to Beat NSA and GCHQ Spy­ing” by Tony Pat­ter­son; The Inde­pen­dent [UK]; 2/16/2014.

EXCERPT: Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel of Ger­many has announced plans to set up a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work as part of a broad counter-espionage offen­sive designed to curb mass sur­veil­lance con­ducted by the US National Secu­rity Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ. . . .

. . . . Announc­ing the project in her weekly pod­cast, Ms Merkel said she envis­aged set­ting up a Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work which would offer pro­tec­tion from NSA sur­veil­lance by side-stepping the cur­rent arrange­ment whereby emails and other inter­net data auto­mat­i­cally pass through the United States.

The NSA’s Ger­man phone and inter­net sur­veil­lance oper­a­tion is reported to be one of the biggest in the EU. In co-operation with GCHQ it has direct access to under­sea cables car­ry­ing transat­lantic com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Europe and the US.

Ms Merkel said she planned to dis­cuss the project with the French Pres­i­dent, François Hol­lande, when she meets him in Paris on Wednes­day. “Above all we’ll talk about Euro­pean providers that offer secu­rity to our cit­i­zens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other infor­ma­tion across the Atlantic,” she said. “Rather one could build up a com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work inside Europe.”

French gov­ern­ment offi­cials responded by say­ing Paris intended to “take up” the Ger­man initiative.

Ms Merkel’s pro­pos­als appear to be part of a wider Ger­man counter-espionage offen­sive, reported to be under way in sev­eral of Germany’s intel­li­gence agen­cies, against NSA and GCHQ surveillance.

Der Spiegel mag­a­zine said on Sun­day that it had obtained infor­ma­tion about plans by Germany’s main domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, the Fed­eral Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, for a “mas­sive” increase in counter-espionage measures.

The mag­a­zine said there were plans to sub­ject both the Amer­i­can and British Embassies in Berlin to sur­veil­lance. It said the mea­sures would include obtain­ing exact details about intel­li­gence agents who were accred­ited as diplo­mats, and infor­ma­tion about the tech­nol­ogy being used within the embassies. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #765 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 10: Shearing the Piglet (“They’re Shocked, Shocked!”)”

  1. Regard­ing the dif­fi­culty of review­ing 200k doc­u­ments (as dis­cussed near the begin­ning of side 2), note that the esti­mate given out by the NSA is up to 1.7 mil­lion doc­u­ments taken:

    Wash­ing­ton Post
    Snow­den still hold­ing ‘keys to the king­dom’
    By Wal­ter Pin­cus, Pub­lished: Decem­ber 18, 2013

    We’ve yet to see the full impact of for­mer National Secu­rity Agency con­trac­tor Edward Snowden’s unau­tho­rized down­load­ing of highly clas­si­fied intel­li­gence documents.

    Among the roughly 1.7 mil­lion doc­u­ments he walked away with — the vast major­ity of which have not been made pub­lic — are highly sen­si­tive, spe­cific intel­li­gence reports, as well as cur­rent and his­toric require­ments the White House has given the agency to guide its col­lec­tion activ­i­ties, accord­ing to a senior gov­ern­ment offi­cial with knowl­edge of the situation.

    The lat­ter cat­e­gory involves about 2,000 unique task­ings that can run to 20 pages each and give rea­sons for selec­tive tar­get­ing to NSA col­lec­tors and ana­lysts. These orders alone may run 31,500 pages.

    If dis­closed, that infor­ma­tion would reveal vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties within U. S. intel­li­gence gath­er­ing at the strate­gic level, the offi­cial said.

    ...

    Where the copies of these sen­si­tive task­ing doc­u­ments are is an unan­swered question.

    Snow­den, in Hong Kong, dis­trib­uted NSA doc­u­ments dur­ing the first week in Juneto three jour­nal­ists — Glenn Green­wald, doc­u­men­tary film­maker Laura Poitras and Bar­ton Gell­man. Gellman’s sto­ries based on them have been pub­lished in The Wash­ing­ton Post.

    Snow­den went pub­lic June 9, after the first sto­ries appeared. Then he went into hiding.

    On June 24, the South China Morn­ing Post pub­lished a story based on a June 12 inter­view with Snow­den in which he indi­cated that he had more doc­u­ments to leak. “If I have time to go through this infor­ma­tion, I would like to make it avail­able to jour­nal­ists in each coun­try to make their own assess­ment, inde­pen­dent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowl­edge of U.S. net­work oper­a­tions against their peo­ple should be pub­lished,” Snow­den was quoted as saying.

    On July 14, the Asso­ci­ated Press pub­lished a story in which Green­wald said that Snow­den — then in Moscow at the air­port — had “lit­er­ally thou­sands of doc­u­ments” that con­sti­tute “basi­cally the instruc­tion man­ual for how the NSA is built.” Green­wald, who said he had spo­ken to Snow­den hours ear­lier, told the AP that in order to prove his cred­i­bil­ity Snow­den “had to take ones that included very sen­si­tive, detailed blue­prints of how the NSA does what they do.”

    These doc­u­ments, Green­wald said, “would allow some­body who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that sur­veil­lance or repli­cate it.”

    But, Green­wald added, Snow­den had insisted they not be made pub­lic. On July 19, Green­wald told Ger­man pub­lic broad­caster ARD that Snow­den in June in Hong Kong had given him and Poitras about 9,000 to 10,000 top-secret documents.

    On Oct. 17, the New York Times’ James Risen pub­lished a story based on an inter­view with Snow­den in which he said he did not take any NSA doc­u­ments with him to Rus­sia, where he now has a year-long res­i­dency permit.

    Green­wald recently told ABC News, “We pub­lished only a small frac­tion of the ones that we have been given so far because we have gone through each of them and made sure that noth­ing we are pub­lish­ing endan­gers human lives.”

    Still, there are “a lot of very sig­nif­i­cant sto­ries that are yet to be reported,” he said dur­ing an inter­view for an ABC News spe­cial to be aired this month.

    So where are the task­ing doc­u­ments? I’ve not asked Gell­man, Green­wald or Poitras because were I in their posi­tions I would not say one way or the other.

    The NSA’s Led­gett con­sid­ers them so impor­tant that the secu­rity of those doc­u­ments is worth hav­ing a dis­cus­sion with Snow­den about amnesty.

    “My per­sonal view is, yes, it’s worth hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion about. I would need assur­ances that the remain­der of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assur­ances would be very high,” Led­gett said.

    ...

    So, if the NSA’s num­bers are accu­rate, there might be around 1.5 mil­lion doc­u­ments in addi­tion to the 200k doc­u­ments handed off to Poitras and Green­wald. Pre­sum­ably, those 1.5 mil­lion doc­u­ments are part of Snowden’s Dead Man’s Switch and are amongst the most dam­ag­ing files taken (since that’s that whole point of the Dead Man’s Switch approach) although who knows how dam­ag­ing the 1.5 mil­lion doc­u­ments really are rel­a­tive to the ~200k passed on to jour­nal­ists. The 1.5 mil­lion extra doc­u­ments might just be a mish mash of every­thing that was grabbed but that Snow­den never had time to even begin look­ing over. Like a giant national secu­rity grab bag o’ fun and mystery!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 21, 2013, 4:05 pm
  2. Snow­den con­tin­ued his Brazil­ian charm offen­sive over the week­end in an inter­view with GloboTV where he talked about how much he’d like to help Brazil inves­ti­gate the NSA but can’t with­out asy­lum. He also pointed out that he didn’t want Brazil to give him asy­lum in exchange for help with the inves­ti­ga­tion. It’s almost roman­tic:

    Snow­den in charm offen­sive in Brazil’s press

    (AFP) – 12/23/2013

    Brasília — US leaker Edward Snow­den said in a TV inter­view here that he would accept asy­lum in Brazil if offered, but not if it were in exchange for infor­ma­tion about US intelligence.

    Snow­den, in an inter­view broad­cast late Sun­day on the news show “Fan­tas­tico” on Globo TV net­work, also crit­i­cized the panel that is review­ing US intel­li­gence gath­er­ing, point­ing out that it was hand-picked by the White House and that the changes it called for were cosmetic.

    Nev­er­the­less he acknowl­edged that the panel rep­re­sented an impor­tant first step in rein­ing in the mas­sive US sur­veil­lance programs.

    The inter­view was con­ducted via email through an attor­ney in New York, and Snowden’s answers were broad­cast in Portuguese.

    The US panel rec­om­mended curb­ing the pow­ers of the National Secu­rity Agency, warn­ing that its sweeps in the war on ter­ror have gone too far.

    Tens of thou­sands of doc­u­ments leaked by for­mer NSA con­trac­tor Snow­den to The Guardian news­pa­per and other media out­lets have detailed the nature of the agency’s hith­erto shad­owy activities.

    On Tues­day, the Folha de Sao Paulo news­pa­per ran “an open let­ter to the Brazil­ian peo­ple” signed by Snow­den in which he said he stood ready to help the Brazil­ian Senate’s inves­ti­ga­tion of US eaves­drop­ping on Brazil­ian targets.

    But in the inter­view broad­cast Sun­day, Snow­den clar­i­fied that he was not offer­ing to swap infor­ma­tion for an asylum.

    Snowden’s charm offen­sive with the Brazil­ian gov­ern­ment and peo­ple may mean he is hop­ing for a fresh look from Pres­i­dent Dilma Rousseff’s gov­ern­ment — per­haps for asy­lum or a human­i­tar­ian visa.

    In July the rogue intel­li­gence ana­lyst unsuc­cess­fully sought asy­lum in Brazil, as well as in other countries.

    Snow­den was granted one-year asy­lum sta­tus by Rus­sia and is liv­ing in an undis­closed loca­tion. Recently his Russ­ian lawyer said he had started work­ing for a major web­site to earn some money after run­ning out of cash.

    ...

    Rouss­eff said that she would not com­ment on the Snow­den case because the US leaker has not for­mally filed an asy­lum request.

    Brazil­ian police and law­mak­ers want to inter­view Snow­den, even if it is via tele­con­fer­ence, to ques­tion him about the cybersnooping.

    ...

    Unfor­tu­nately for all the roman­tics, this bud­ding rela­tion­ship with Brazil isn’t nec­es­sar­ily exclusive?

    RT
    Snow­den will help Ger­many inves­ti­gate NSA spy­ing if granted asy­lum – report
    Pub­lished time: Decem­ber 23, 2013 00:23
    Edited time: Decem­ber 23, 2013 03:07

    Edward Snow­den is offer­ing Ger­many his help with inves­ti­gat­ing NSA spy­ing activ­i­ties on its soil, if Berlin grants him polit­i­cal asy­lum, Stern reports, cit­ing cor­re­spon­dence with the whistleblower.

    “I have a great respect for Ger­many,” Snow­den wrote to the Ger­man Stern pub­li­ca­tion. The for­mer NSA con­trac­tor also wrote that he would be will­ing to help Ger­man offi­cials inves­ti­gate alleged NSA spy­ing in Ger­many, if he is granted asylum.

    Not fear­ing pos­si­ble pros­e­cu­tion and extra­di­tion to the US, the whistle­blower noted that no one in the Ger­man gov­ern­ment seri­ously believes that the US will “imple­ment sanc­tions against Ger­many in response to crit­i­cism of ille­gal sur­veil­lance” because it will cause “greater harm to the US rather than Germany.”

    Snow­den doubts the abil­ity of US Con­gress to imple­ment any reforms, fol­low­ing a report by an expert panel tasked with review­ing NSA global sur­veil­lance activ­i­ties released by the White House ear­lier this week. The Secret Ser­vice Com­mit­tee, Snow­den wrote, is prais­ing the intel­li­gence ser­vices rather than keep­ing them in check.

    Last week Snow­den sent a sim­i­lar open let­ter to Brazil, offer­ing his help with “inves­ti­ga­tions into sus­pected crimes against Brazil­ian cit­i­zens” but not­ing that the US gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to limit his “abil­ity to speak out until a coun­try grants me per­ma­nent polit­i­cal asylum.”

    Snow­den again reit­er­ated the mes­sage on Sun­day in an email exchange with the Brazil­ian Globo TV chan­nel, say­ing that he would like to move to Brazil if he was per­mit­ted by its gov­ern­ment. The Brazil­ian for­eign min­istry said that it can only con­sider such a request for asy­lum once it receives an offi­cial application.

    ...

    Or maybe these are all head games. Payas gonna play:

    Buz­zFeed
    Snow­den Lawyer: No Deal For Asy­lum In Germany

    Snow­den would never trade infor­ma­tion for asy­lum, says his lawyer. posted on Decem­ber 23, 2013 at 11:25am EST

    Rosie Gray Buz­zFeed Staff

    Edward Snow­den is not request­ing asy­lum in Ger­many in exchange for help­ing the coun­try inves­ti­gate National Secu­rity Agency sur­veil­lance, Snowden’s lawyer says, con­tra­dict­ing reports in the Russ­ian news media.

    “Edward Snow­den would never offer infor­ma­tion in exchange for asy­lum and he has never sug­gested oth­er­wise,” ACLU lawyer Ben Wiz­ner, who rep­re­sents Snow­den, told Buz­zFeed. “Reports to the con­trary are false.”

    Ger­many was one of the coun­tries where Snow­den applied for asy­lum back when he was liv­ing in Moscow’s Shereme­tyevo Air­port. But he is not cur­rently renew­ing that request, his lawyer said.

    “He applied when he was in the air­port but not since,” Wiz­ner said.

    Both Rus­sia Today and Life News, an out­let known for its close ties to Russ­ian secu­rity ser­vices, reported that Snow­den is offer­ing Ger­many help with its inquiry into National Secu­rity Agency spy­ing in exchange for per­ma­nent asy­lum. The infor­ma­tion is based off an inter­view Snow­den did with the Ger­man Stern mag­a­zine. Rus­sia Today reports, “The for­mer NSA con­trac­tor also wrote that he would be will­ing to help Ger­man offi­cials inves­ti­gate alleged NSA spy­ing in Ger­many, if he is granted asylum.”

    Wiz­ner pro­vided Buz­zFeed with an email from the Stern reporter in which the reporter told him, “The head­line below doesn’t cover our story accu­rately. We just said that ES would accept asy­lum from Ger­many with­out hes­i­ta­tion because he would trust the Ger­man gov­ern­ment not to extra­dite him to the US. We also men­tioned that he doubts the will­ing­ness of the US Con­gress to reform intel­li­gence policy.”

    Snow­den wrote a sim­i­lar let­ter to the peo­ple of Brazil last week that was widely inter­preted as a quid pro quo request for asy­lum, though jour­nal­ist Glenn Green­wald said that was not the case.

    In Novem­ber, the Guardian reported that Snow­den “indi­cated his own will­ing­ness to speak as a wit­ness to the Bun­destag” after Ger­man law­mak­ers mulled ways to bring him to Ger­many to tes­tify in front of par­lia­ment on NSA spying.

    “What has been omit­ted from the report­ing is the key con­text that Sen­a­tors and other offi­cials from both Ger­many and Brazil have been vig­or­ously pur­su­ing Snow­den for months to try to get him to par­tic­i­pate in their inves­ti­ga­tions, answer ques­tions, attend hear­ings, etc.,” said Green­wald. “He wrote those let­ters to explain why he **can­not** par­tic­i­pate in those inves­ti­ga­tions even though he’d like to: namely, because his sit­u­a­tion is so pre­car­i­ous because he lacks per­ma­nent asy­lum anywhere.”

    Green­wald flagged an inter­view with Brazil­ian TV Snow­den did yes­ter­day in which he said, “I would never exchange infor­ma­tion for asy­lum, and I’m sure the Brazil­ian gov­ern­ment wouldn’t either.”

    “It’s gen­uinely shock­ing how false the report­ing from the U.S. media has been on this,” Green­wald said.

    Green­wald said he didn’t know why Russ­ian media was jump­ing on the Ger­many story now and thought they were “re-cycling” sto­ries about what hap­pened in November.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 23, 2013, 1:30 pm
  3. Bar­ton Gell­man just did an inter­view with Snow­den. There were lots of inter­est­ing tid bits. For instance, reveal­ing the US wire­tap­ping of Angela Merkel’s phone wasn’t so much about the fact that it was Merkel that was tar­geted, but instead the fact that Obama lied to the pub­lic about not know­ing about it.

    Also, there was appar­ently never a “Dead Man’s Switch” of dam­ag­ing doc­u­ments that would be released if any­thing hap­pened to him. As Snow­den put it, “That sounds more like a sui­cide switch...It wouldn’t make sense”. So...remember when Glenn Green­wald claimed “He has already dis­trib­uted thou­sands of doc­u­ments and made sure that var­i­ous peo­ple around the world have his com­plete archive. If some­thing hap­pens to him, these doc­u­ments would be made pub­lic. This is his insur­ance pol­icy. The U.S. gov­ern­ment should be on its knees every­day pray­ing that noth­ing hap­pens to Snow­den, because if any­thing should hap­pen, all the infor­ma­tion will be revealed and this would be its worst night­mare.” That was never the case accord­ing to the lat­est inter­view:

    Wash­ing­ton Post
    Edward Snow­den, after months of NSA rev­e­la­tions, says his mission’s accomplished

    By Bar­ton Gell­man, Pub­lished: Decem­ber 23

    MOSCOW — The famil­iar voice on the hotel room phone did not waste words.

    “What time does your clock say, exactly?” he asked.

    He checked the reply against his watch and described a place to meet.

    “I’ll see you there,” he said.

    Edward Joseph Snow­den emerged at the appointed hour, alone, blend­ing into a light crowd of locals and tourists. He cocked his arm for a hand­shake, then turned his shoul­der to indi­cate a path. Before long he had guided his vis­i­tor to a secure space out of pub­lic view.

    Dur­ing more than 14 hours of inter­views, the first he has con­ducted in per­son since arriv­ing here in June, Snow­den did not part the cur­tains or step out­side. Rus­sia granted him tem­po­rary asy­lum on Aug. 1, but Snow­den remains a tar­get of sur­pass­ing inter­est to the intel­li­gence ser­vices whose secrets he spilled on an epic scale.

    ...

    Six months after the first rev­e­la­tions appeared in The Wash­ing­ton Post and Britain’s Guardian news­pa­per, Snow­den agreed to reflect at length on the roots and reper­cus­sions of his choice. He was relaxed and ani­mated over two days of nearly unbro­ken con­ver­sa­tion, fueled by burg­ers, pasta, ice cream and Russ­ian pastry.

    Snow­den offered vignettes from his intel­li­gence career and from his recent life as “an indoor cat” in Rus­sia. But he con­sis­tently steered the con­ver­sa­tion back to sur­veil­lance, democ­racy and the mean­ing of the doc­u­ments he exposed.

    “For me, in terms of per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion, the mission’s already accom­plished,” he said. “I already won. As soon as the jour­nal­ists were able to work, every­thing that I had been try­ing to do was val­i­dated. Because, remem­ber, I didn’t want to change soci­ety. I wanted to give soci­ety a chance to deter­mine if it should change itself.”

    “All I wanted was for the pub­lic to be able to have a say in how they are gov­erned,” he said. “That is a mile­stone we left a long time ago. Right now, all we are look­ing at are stretch goals.”

    ...

    ‘War­heads on foreheads’

    Snow­den has focused on much the same point from the begin­ning: Indi­vid­ual tar­get­ing would cure most of what he believes is wrong with the NSA.

    Six months ago, a reporter asked him by encrypted e-mail why Amer­i­cans would want the NSA to give up bulk data col­lec­tion if that would limit a use­ful intel­li­gence tool.

    “I believe the cost of frank pub­lic debate about the pow­ers of our gov­ern­ment is less than the dan­ger posed by allow­ing these pow­ers to con­tinue grow­ing in secret,” he replied, call­ing them “a direct threat to demo­c­ra­tic governance.”

    In the Moscow inter­view, Snow­den said, “What the gov­ern­ment wants is some­thing they never had before,” adding: “They want total aware­ness. The ques­tion is, is that some­thing we should be allowing?”

    Snow­den likened the NSA’s pow­ers to those used by British author­i­ties in Colo­nial Amer­ica, when “gen­eral war­rants” allowed for any­one to be searched. The FISA court, Snow­den said, “is autho­riz­ing gen­eral war­rants for the entire country’s metadata.”

    “The last time that hap­pened, we fought a war over it,” he said.

    Tech­nol­ogy, of course, has enabled a great deal of con­sumer sur­veil­lance by pri­vate com­pa­nies, as well. The dif­fer­ence with the NSA’s pos­ses­sion of the data, Snow­den said, is that gov­ern­ment has the power to take away life or freedom.

    At the NSA, he said, “there are peo­ple in the office who joke about, ‘We put war­heads on fore­heads.’ Twit­ter doesn’t put war­heads on foreheads.”

    Pri­vacy, as Snow­den sees it, is a uni­ver­sal right, applic­a­ble to Amer­i­can and for­eign sur­veil­lance alike.

    “I don’t care whether you’re the pope or Osama bin Laden,” he said. “As long as there’s an indi­vid­u­al­ized, artic­u­la­ble, prob­a­ble cause for tar­get­ing these peo­ple as legit­i­mate for­eign intel­li­gence, that’s fine. I don’t think it’s impos­ing a ridicu­lous bur­den by ask­ing for prob­a­ble cause. Because, you have to under­stand, when you have access to the tools the NSA does, prob­a­ble cause falls out of trees.”

    ...

    When it comes to spy­ing on allies, by Snowden’s lights, the news is not always about the target.

    “It’s the decep­tion of the gov­ern­ment that’s revealed,” Snow­den said, not­ing that the Obama admin­is­tra­tion offered false pub­lic assur­ances after the ini­tial reports about NSA sur­veil­lance in Ger­many “The U.S. gov­ern­ment said: ‘We fol­low Ger­man laws in Ger­many. We never tar­get Ger­man cit­i­zens.’ And then the story comes out and it’s: ‘What are you talk­ing about? You’re spy­ing on the chan­cel­lor.’ You just lied to the entire coun­try, in front of Congress.”

    In pri­vate, U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cials still main­tain that spy­ing among friends is rou­tine for all con­cerned, but they are giv­ing greater weight to the risk of get­ting caught.

    “There are many things we do in intel­li­gence that, if revealed, would have the poten­tial for all kinds of blow­back,” Clap­per told a House panel in October.

    ...

    Accord­ing to senior intel­li­gence offi­cials, two uncer­tain­ties feed their great­est con­cerns. One is whether Rus­sia or China man­aged to take the Snow­den archive from his com­puter, a worst-case assump­tion for which three offi­cials acknowl­edged there is no evidence.

    In a pre­vi­ous assign­ment, Snow­den taught U.S. intel­li­gence per­son­nel how to oper­ate securely in a “high-threat dig­i­tal envi­ron­ment,” using a train­ing sce­nario in which China was the des­ig­nated threat. He declined to dis­cuss the where­abouts of the files, but he said that he is con­fi­dent he did not expose them to Chi­nese intel­li­gence in Hong Kong. And he said he did not bring them to Russia.

    “There’s noth­ing on it,” he said, turn­ing his lap­top screen toward his vis­i­tor. “My hard drive is com­pletely blank.”

    The other big ques­tion is how many doc­u­ments Snow­den took. The NSA’s incom­ing deputy direc­tor, Rick Led­gett, said on CBS’s “60 Min­utes” recently that the num­ber may approach 1.7 mil­lion, a huge and unex­plained spike over pre­vi­ous esti­mates. Led­gett said he would favor try­ing to nego­ti­ate an amnesty with Snow­den in exchange for “assur­ances that the remain­der of the data could be secured.”

    Obama’s national secu­rity adviser, Susan E. Rice, later dis­missed the possibility.

    “The gov­ern­ment knows where to find us if they want to have a pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tion about res­o­lu­tions that don’t involve Edward Snow­den behind bars,” said the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union’s Ben Wiz­ner, the cen­tral fig­ure on Snowden’s legal team.

    Some news accounts have quoted U.S. gov­ern­ment offi­cials as say­ing Snow­den has arranged for the auto­mated release of sen­si­tive doc­u­ments if he is arrested or harmed. There are strong rea­sons to doubt that, begin­ning with Snowden’s insis­tence, to this reporter and oth­ers, that he does not want the doc­u­ments pub­lished in bulk.

    If Snow­den were fool enough to rig a “dead man’s switch,” con­fi­dants said, he would be invit­ing any­one who wants the doc­u­ments to kill him.

    Asked about such a mech­a­nism in the Moscow inter­view, Snow­den made a face and declined to reply. Later, he sent an encrypted mes­sage. “That sounds more like a sui­cide switch,” he wrote. “It wouldn’t make sense.”

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 25, 2013, 10:37 pm
  4. It looks like entry into the ‘Five Eyes’ pact is no longer enough:

    Bloomberg
    U.S. Offered Berlin ‘Five Eyes’ Pact. Merkel Was Done With It
    By Patrick Don­ahue and John Wal­cott Jul 12, 2014 10:39 AM CT

    U.S. Ambas­sador John Emer­son made his way to the For­eign Min­istry in Berlin armed with a plan to head off the worst diplo­matic clash of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship.

    Emer­son came to the July 9 meet­ing with an offer autho­rized in Wash­ing­ton: pro­vide Ger­many a U.S. intelligence-sharing agree­ment resem­bling one avail­able only to four other nations. The goal was to assuage Merkel and pre­vent the expul­sion of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency’s chief of sta­tion in Berlin.

    It wasn’t enough.

    The same morn­ing, across the bound­ary once marked by the Berlin Wall, Merkel con­vened her top min­is­ters fol­low­ing the 9:30 a.m. Cab­i­net meet­ing on the sixth floor of the Chan­cellery and resolved to ask the U.S. intel­li­gence chief to leave Ger­man soil.

    Merkel, who ulti­mately deter­mined the government’s course, had to act. Pub­lic and polit­i­cal pres­sure after more than a year of accu­sa­tions of Amer­i­can espi­onage over­reach, stoked by indig­na­tion at the lack of a suf­fi­cient response from Wash­ing­ton, had left the Ger­man gov­ern­ment with no alternative.

    “We don’t live in the Cold War any­more, where every­body prob­a­bly mis­trusted every­body else,” Merkel, who has pre­vi­ously reserved her Cold War-mentality accu­sa­tions for Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, said in an inter­view with Ger­man broad­caster ZDF today.

    No Trust

    The spy­ing scan­dal has blown open a rift between the U.S. and Ger­many, a nation once under Amer­i­can tute­lage in the decades after World War II. The lat­est alle­ga­tions, involv­ing U.S. dou­ble agents, rekin­dled anger over the dis­clo­sure last year that Merkel’s mobile phone had been hacked by the U.S.

    “The notion that you always have to ask your­self in close coop­er­a­tion whether the one sit­ting across from you could be work­ing for the oth­ers -– that’s not a basis for trust,” Merkel told ZDF. “So we obvi­ously have dif­fer­ent per­cep­tions and we have to dis­cuss that intensively.”

    Merkel also sig­naled dis­plea­sure with U.S. spy­ing at a news con­fer­ence in Berlin on July 10. Within an hour, her office issued a state­ment say­ing that the two new inves­ti­ga­tions into U.S. cloak-and-dagger meth­ods, on top of “ques­tions over the past months” fol­low­ing leaks on National Secu­rity Agency activ­ity, forced the gov­ern­ment to take action.

    Invited to Leave

    At that point, the U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cer was invited to leave the coun­try rather than suf­fer the diplo­matic ignominy of being declared “per­sona non grata” and expelled under the Vienna Con­ven­tion. Merkel’s spokesman, Stef­fen Seib­ert, said yes­ter­day that the gov­ern­ment expected the uniden­ti­fied offi­cial to leave the coun­try “soon.”

    The evic­tion was “a nec­es­sary step and a mea­sured response to the breach of trust that took place,” Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Frank-Walter Stein­meier told reporters yes­ter­day. He’ll meet U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry in Vienna tomor­row to dis­cuss the mat­ter on the side­lines of talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

    The onus is on the U.S. to sug­gest solu­tions, and Ger­man offi­cials are wait­ing to hear what Kerry will pro­pose, accord­ing to a Ger­man diplo­mat who asked not to be iden­ti­fied dis­cussing the conflict.

    The rev­e­la­tions at once dis­rupt the U.S. secu­rity rela­tion­ship with a core Euro­pean ally and expose Ger­man anx­i­ety over the bal­ance to strike between pri­vacy issues and com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism. Ham­burg was home to three of the Sept. 11, 2001, sui­cide pilots.

    ...

    Intel­li­gence Sharing

    The arrange­ment, ini­ti­ated in 1946 between the U.S. and U.K., calls for the U.S. and the other English-speaking coun­tries to share most of the elec­tronic inter­cepts and some of the other intel­li­gence they col­lect, with the under­stand­ing that they will limit their spy­ing on one another.

    “We are not cur­rently look­ing to alter the Five Eyes struc­ture,” said Caitlin Hay­den, a spokes­woman for the White House’s National Secu­rity Coun­cil, in an e-mailed state­ment. “But we remain open to dis­cus­sions with our close allies and part­ners, includ­ing Ger­many, about how we can bet­ter coor­di­nate our intel­li­gence efforts.”

    Post­war Ger­many has had a more mod­est intel­li­gence estab­lish­ment than the U.S. or U.K., focused largely on the for­mer East Ger­many and Soviet Union and on ter­ror­ist groups. Ger­man offi­cials balked at expand­ing their col­lec­tion and shar­ing under such an unwrit­ten arrange­ment, accord­ing to the U.S. official.

    The alle­ga­tions of snoop­ing have par­tic­u­lar res­o­nance for Merkel, who lived for 35 years in com­mu­nist East Ger­many and who, as the daugh­ter of a Protes­tant pas­tor, endured spe­cial scrutiny from the state-security ser­vice, the Stasi.

    Big ’If’

    While German-U.S. rela­tions dipped dur­ing the 2003 Iraq war when Merkel’s pre­de­ces­sor, Ger­hard Schroeder, refused to join Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s coali­tion against Sad­dam Hus­sein, ties improved under Merkel. She was awarded the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom by Obama in 2011.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest declined to com­ment on the details of the alle­ga­tions, telling reporters at the begin­ning of the week that accu­sa­tions over spy­ing were sub­ject to a “a big ‘if’.”

    “We highly value the close work­ing rela­tion­ship we have with the Ger­mans on a wide range of issues,” Earnest said, “but par­tic­u­larly on secu­rity and intel­li­gence matters.”

    U.S. law­mak­ers, includ­ing some fre­quently crit­i­cal of Obama, have been sim­i­larly reticent.

    Law­mak­ers’ Concerns

    “I don’t know how much the admin­is­tra­tion could have done to defuse this,” Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ed Royce, the Cal­i­for­nia Repub­li­can who heads the House For­eign Affairs Com­mit­tee, said yes­ter­day at a break­fast with reporters hosted by the Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor. “Given the cir­cum­stances, the admin­is­tra­tion is attempt­ing at this time to deal with the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, and I’m hope­ful that they’re successful.”

    Sen­a­tor Mark Udall, a Col­orado Demo­c­rat and Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee mem­ber, has told reporters that he was eager to learn more about the sit­u­a­tion at a clas­si­fied brief­ing for the panel mem­bers next week.

    “I am con­cerned that we’re send­ing the wrong mes­sage to a key ally,” Udall said.

    Before the cur­rent ten­sions, the U.S. and Ger­many had a his­tory of exten­sive intel­li­gence coop­er­a­tion. For many years, much of U.S. elec­tronic spy­ing on Iran was con­ducted out of a CIA sta­tion in Frank­furt known as Tefran, accord­ing to a for­mer U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cial who described the coop­er­a­tion on con­di­tion of anonymity.

    Review Agree­ments

    A num­ber of peo­ple in the U.S. gov­ern­ment say that, more than two decades after the Cold War ended, it’s time to con­sider agree­ments with more coun­tries to help track ter­ror­ists, weapons pro­lif­er­a­tion and espi­onage, accord­ing to U.S. offi­cials who asked not to be identified.

    They said the con­flict with Ger­many also has under­scored con­cern that intel­li­gence agen­cies lack any good risk-assessment model to judge the ben­e­fits of oper­a­tions against friendly pow­ers against the poten­tial risks.

    “This is so stu­pid,” Ger­man Finance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble, Germany’s longest-serving law­maker, said July 9, reflect­ing frus­tra­tion and amaze­ment about the turn of events in U.S.-German relations.

    Schaeu­ble, who helped nego­ti­ate Ger­man reuni­fi­ca­tion 25 years ago this year, said, “It makes you want to cry.”

    So Merkel turned down a Five Eyes-style agree­ment?! And instead, accord­ing to Ger­man offi­cials, the onus is on the U.S. to sug­gest solu­tions. Ok. And, accord­ing to the arti­cle, “a num­ber of peo­ple in the U.S. gov­ern­ment say that, more than two decades after the Cold War ended, it’s time to con­sider agree­ments with more coun­tries to help track ter­ror­ists, weapons pro­lif­er­a­tion and espi­onage, accord­ing to U.S. offi­cials who asked not to be iden­ti­fied”. So could we be about to see a pro­lif­er­a­tion of new ‘no spy’/intelligence shar­ing agree­ments based on a yet-to-be-decided US-German tem­plate? That should be interesting.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 13, 2014, 5:48 pm

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