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.

[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. 

. . . .“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.

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.

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.

. . . . “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.

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.

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. 

. . . . 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.

. . . 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

. . . . 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.

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.

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

7 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
  5. Huh:

    TheLocal.de
    Ger­many to drop probe into US spy­ing on Merkel

    Pub­lished: 23 Nov 2014 08:56 GMT+01:00

    Ger­many is drop­ping a probe into the alleged tap­ping of Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone by US spies, due to a lack of evi­dence, mag­a­zine Focus said Sat­ur­day.

    Six months after the inves­ti­ga­tion began, the experts have failed to find any sol­id proof to back the case, and have there­fore rec­om­mend­ed that it be dropped, the mag­a­zine report­ed, quot­ing sources close to the Ger­man jus­tice min­istry.

    “The result (of the probe) is almost zilch. A lot of hot air, but noth­ing done,” one source was quot­ed as say­ing.

    Accord­ing to sources close to the judi­cia­ry, the fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor will heed the experts’ rec­om­men­da­tion to drop the probe.

    In June, Ger­man jus­tice had announced that a case had been opened into the alleged spy­ing by for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vices on Ger­man soil.

    ...

    In relat­ed news, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment just signed a new “no spy” agree­ment. But it was­n’t with anoth­er nation. It was a no spy agree­ment with Black­ber­ry in exchange for allow­ing Black­ber­ry buy Ger­man secu­ri­ty firm Secus­mart (which pro­vides secu­ri­ty for Merkel’s phone), where Black­ber­ry agrees to not share pri­vate infor­ma­tion with any for­eign gov­ern­ments and Ger­many’s intel­li­gences ser­vices get to audit Black­ber­ry’s source code:

    Ars Tech­ni­ca
    Ger­man gov­ern­ment says “ja” to BlackBerry’s acqui­si­tion of Secus­mart
    To get approval to buy Düs­sel­dorf firm, Black­Ber­ry had to sign “no-spy” deal.

    by Cyrus Fari­var — Nov 28 2014, 7:00pm CST

    The Ger­man gov­ern­ment has signed off BlackBerry’s acqui­si­tion of the Ger­man com­pa­ny Secus­mart, accord­ing to local media (Google Trans­late).

    Secus­mart is the com­pa­ny that devel­ops soft­ware and hard­ware to pro­tect gov­ern­ment phones, includ­ing the “Merkel Phone” used by Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel. She moved to a more secure device after it came out that the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency had been mon­i­tor­ing her com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

    ...

    Back in July 2014, the Cana­di­an hand­set mak­er announced that it would acquire the Düs­sel­dorf-based com­pa­ny.

    In order to get Berlin’s approval, Black­Ber­ry appar­ent­ly had to agree to a num­ber of gov­ern­ment demands. It was required to give full access of its source code to the the Ger­man infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty agency, known by its Ger­man acronym, BSI.

    Fur­ther, Berlin stip­u­lat­ed that Secusmart’s devel­op­ment would con­tin­ue to take place in Ger­many, and a “bind­ing” agree­ment dic­tates that Black­Ber­ry would not share pri­vate infor­ma­tion with for­eign gov­ern­ments or intel­li­gence agen­cies.

    Nei­ther Black­Ber­ry nor the Ger­man gov­ern­ment gave any fur­ther com­ment to Ger­man press.

    And in oth­er spy­ing-relat­ed news...

    TheLocal.de
    BND spied on Ger­mans liv­ing abroad

    Pub­lished: 28 Nov 2014 11:40 GMT+01:00

    The Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst (BND), Ger­many’s for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vice, spied on some cit­i­zens liv­ing abroad, a for­mer lawyer for the spies told MPs on Thurs­day.

    Dr Ste­fan Bur­baum, who worked at the BND from 2000 to 2005, said that some Ger­mans were tar­get­ed as “office hold­ers”, a legal loop­hole the spies used to cir­cum­vent the law that pro­tects Ger­mans cit­i­zens from being spied on by its own intel­li­gence agency.

    Nor­mal­ly, the intel­li­gence agen­cies must over­come high legal hur­dles laid out in the so-called “G10 law” to spy on Ger­man cit­i­zens, includ­ing when they live abroad.

    Oth­er­wise, infor­ma­tion regard­ing Ger­man cit­i­zens has to be fil­tered out from any for­eign com­mu­ni­ca­tions inter­cept­ed by the BND.

    But the Ger­man spies argue that a cit­i­zen work­ing for a for­eign com­pa­ny abroad is only pro­tect­ed in his pri­vate life, not in his pro­fes­sion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Bur­baum told the Bun­destag inquiry com­mit­tee into Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA) mass spy­ing.

    “The office hold­er is the legal per­son,” Bur­baum said. “It’s a small excep­tion. But a Ger­man cit­i­zen can func­tion as an office hold­er in a for­eign orga­ni­za­tion.

    “The deci­sive thing is whether he’s com­mu­ni­cat­ing as a cit­i­zen or as an office hold­er.”

    “This con­struct of an office hold­er is just as absurd in prac­tice as it appears in the law,” Kon­stan­tin von Notz of the Green par­ty said.

    Fur­ther, for­eign­ers’ com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­duct­ed abroad are not pro­tect­ed, even if they are in con­tact with Ger­man peo­ple or work for a Ger­man com­pa­ny.

    MPs from the Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic (SPD), Green and Left (Linke) par­ties all crit­i­cized the BND’s abil­i­ty to oper­ate in a “law­less zone” when it came to spy­ing on for­eign­ers.

    Under the “G10 Law” the BND is also allowed access to data from Ger­man tele­coms firms to search for specif­i­cal­ly iden­ti­fied sus­pi­cious traf­fic.

    But Bur­baum told the MPs that the BND reg­u­lar­ly retains traf­fic which it had not received spe­cif­ic per­mis­sion to inves­ti­gate which it col­lects dur­ing such trawls.

    In this way, access acquired under the “G10 law” becomes a “foot in the door” to oth­er­wise closed-off sources of data, Bur­baum said.

    ...

    This cer­tain­ly seems rel­e­vant giv­en the new “no spy, except for spy­ing on the source code” agr­ree­ment with Black­ber­ry:

    “Under the “G10 Law” the BND is also allowed access to data from Ger­man tele­coms firms to search for specif­i­cal­ly iden­ti­fied sus­pi­cious traf­fic.

    But Bur­baum told the MPs that the BND reg­u­lar­ly retains traf­fic which it had not received spe­cif­ic per­mis­sion to inves­ti­gate which it col­lects dur­ing such trawls.”

    Well, hope­ful­ly the Ger­man par­lia­ment will con­tin­ue look­ing into the rules gov­ern­ing its own intel­li­gence ser­vices. Who knows what they’ll dis­cov­er.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 29, 2014, 4:48 pm
  6. @Pterrafractyl–

    “Lack of sol­id proof . . . .” What hypocrisy!

    One won­ders if the fact that BND was caught mon­i­tor­ing Ker­ry’s and Clin­ton’s cell phones has any­thing to do with this?

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 29, 2014, 5:11 pm
  7. @Dave: Yeah, the loop­hole described above, where the BND neglects to erase the data gath­ered “acci­den­tal­ly” on Ger­man cit­i­zens, sure sounds awful­ly sim­i­lar to the sit­u­a­tion where the BND was “acci­den­tal­ly” cap­tur­ing John Ker­ry’s and Hillary Clin­ton’s phone calls:

    The Verge
    Ger­many record­ed John Ker­ry, Hillary Clin­ton phone calls ‘by acci­dent’

    By Dante D’O­razio
    on August 16, 2014 10:25 am

    Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry and his pre­de­ces­sor, Hilary Clin­ton, were both caught up in Ger­man spy efforts, says a new report. Accord­ing to Ger­man week­ly Der Spiegel, the coun­try’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency, BND, inad­ver­tent­ly record­ed phone calls from both Sec­re­taries of State.

    Details of the calls aren’t avail­able, but the mag­a­zine repots that nei­ther Ker­ry nor Clin­ton were tar­gets of the BND. Instead, the two US offi­cials were on calls that were caught up in the spy agen­cy’s sur­veil­lance efforts in the Mid­dle East. The Ker­ry call was record­ed in 2013, while Clin­ton was tapped in a 2012 call with for­mer UN sec­re­tary-gen­er­al Kofi Annan. The lat­ter call, the mag­a­zine explains, was record­ed as part of anti-ter­ror­ism efforts — appar­ent­ly Clin­ton’s phone call was on the “same fre­quen­cies” as those tar­get­ed by the BND. The agency only lat­er dis­cov­ered what it had actu­al­ly record­ed, and, accord­ing to the report, sought to keep the sur­veil­lance of the US offi­cials a secret. The record­ings were then “imme­di­ate­ly” destroyed.

    ...

    And then there’s the fact that the BND spy that was sell­ing doc­u­ments to the CIA, Markus R., was report­ed­ly one of the BND agents tasked with delet­ing these “acci­den­tal” data acqui­si­tions which he instead pro­ceed­ed to sell to the CIA. And the record­ings of Hillary Clin­ton’s phone calls were just one part of the doc­u­ment stash Markus R. sold to the CIA. So you have to won­der what else he sold them...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 30, 2014, 9:04 pm

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