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

For The Record  

FTR #807 Update on the Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook

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

Edward Snow­den, unplugged

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram brings up do date the mas­sive series on “L’Af­faire Snowden”–the intel­li­gence oper­a­tion front­ed by “Eddie the Friend­ly Spook,” the Peach Fuzz Fas­cist.

An ultra-right winger, as well as a spy, Snow­den has been engaged in an “op” with a num­ber of goals in mind, includ­ing the desta­bi­liza­tion of the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion.

An Atlantic arti­cle notes a joint Brazilian/EU effort to build a Transat­lantic fiber-optic cable to thwart U.S. sur­veil­lance and Merkel’s plans to cre­ate a data-secure EU inter­net struc­ture. All of this sup­pos­ed­ly in response to Snow­den’s “dis­clo­sures.” As we have not­ed in the past, this is sheer non­sense.

Ger­many, EU coun­tries and oth­er major intel­li­gence ser­vices do the same thing. Ger­many, Brazil and the EU have known of the NSA’s activ­i­ties for years. Ger­many has been a long-stand­ing part­ner with NSA. Snowden–whom we think is being direct­ed by BND (as well as by an ele­ment of CIA)–engaged in his “op” in order to jus­ti­fy a pre-arranged eco­nom­ic offen­sive against the Amer­i­can IT sec­tor! The arti­cle also notes that the inven­tion of the Inter­net was a huge boon to the U.S. econ­o­my. As we not­ed in our series on Eddie the Friend­ly Spook, the Snow­den “op” is an act of eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal war­fare against the Unit­ed States.

Anoth­er arti­cle from Busi­ness Insid­er chron­i­cles seri­ous dam­age to the U.S. high-tech econ­o­my as a result of Snow­den’s “op.”

The Turn­er Diaries and Hunter, pub­lished by Green­wald’s client, the Nation­al Alliance

We also note that, per the lat­est Wash­ing­ton Post sto­ry on L’Af­faire Snow­den, Eddie the Friend­ly Spook turned over doc­u­ments to Cit­i­zen Green­wald con­tain­ing sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion about Nation­al secu­ri­ty mat­ters, as well as inti­mate infor­ma­tion about reg­u­lar cit­i­zens. As we not­ed in FTR #774, the Snow­denistas are blithe­ly insen­si­tive to the fact that NO ONE has vet­ted Snow­den, Green­wald, Julian Assange and/or Wik­ileak­ers as wor­thy of being in receipt of such sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion about nation­al secu­ri­ty and pri­vate cit­i­zens’ inti­mate lives.

The Pierre Omid­yar-fund­ed “Inter­cept” fea­tures an arti­cle by Nazi fel­low-trav­el­er Cit­i­zen Green­wald in which he runs inter­fer­ence for Mus­lim Broth­er­hood oper­a­tives. The group includes CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad, who blamed the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing on the Mossad and Egypt­ian Intel­li­gence, as well as Faisal Gill, a pro­tege of Grover Norquist and very much in the Al-Taqwa orbit.

Omid­yar has sup­port­ed bru­tal micro-finance pro­grams in the Third World (act­ing in con­junc­tion with Phoenix Pro­gram vet­er­an Roy Proster­man), helped finance the fas­cist coup in Ukraine in 2014 and assist­ed in the elec­tion of Hin­du nationalist/fascist Naren­dra Modi in India.

Viviane Red­ing, EU Jus­tice Com­mis­sion­er from Lux­em­bourg and an appar­ent pup­pet of Mar­tin Sel­mayr is advo­cat­ing the cre­ation of an EU spy agency to do exact­ly the same thing as the NSA! Like Merkel and the oth­er hyp­ocrites and cry­ba­bies in Europe, she clear­ly does NOT object to what NSA and GCHQ do. She wants the EU to do the same thing!

In an attempt to stave off the oust­ing of CIA sta­tion chief in Berlin, Ger­many was offered inclu­sion in the Five Eyes Club and turned it down. One won­ders what is going on behind the scenes and what they want in return?

In yet anoth­er exam­ple of the con­sum­mate hypocrisy man­i­fest­ed by Ger­many and the EU, it now emerges that Ger­many mon­i­tored phone calls by both John Ker­ry and Hillary Clin­ton. It turns out that the mate­r­i­al that “Markus R.” was giv­ing to CIA were the tran­scripts of the BND phone calls by Clin­ton and Ker­ry, both relat­ing to the Syr­i­an civ­il war.

In our series on Eddie the Friend­ly Spook, we spent much time and dis­cus­sion high­light­ing Palantir–the appar­ent mak­er of the PRISM soft­ware (their dis­claimers to the con­trary notwith­stand­ing). We not­ed that the largest stock­hold­er in both Palan­tir and Face­book is Ron Paul backer Peter Thiel, an explic­it oppo­nent of democ­ra­cy (in part because he thinks women should­n’t vote). We now learn–unsurprisingly–that Palan­tir (part­ly cre­at­ed with funds from the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty) is col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion on Face­book users for the mil­i­tary. Y‑A-W‑N.

Face­book’s new Mes­sanger App requires a stun­ning degree of infor­ma­tion sur­ren­dered by their users, real­iz­ing our fore­cast of Face­book as a vir­tu­al panop­ti­con.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of Glenn Green­wald’s Nazi con­nec­tions; review of Snow­den’s far-right polit­i­cal con­nec­tions and views; review of the pro­found links between the Snow­denistas and Wik­iLeaks; review of Julian Assange’s far-right and fas­cist con­nec­tions; review of Peter Thiel’s links to Face­book and Palan­tir.

1. An Atlantic arti­cle notes a joint Brazilian/EU effort to build a Transat­lantic fiber-optic cable to thwart U.S. sur­veil­lance and Merkel’s plans to cre­ate a data-secure EU inter­net struc­ture. All of this sup­pos­ed­ly in response to Snow­den’s “dis­clo­sures.” As we have not­ed in the past, this is sheer non­sense.

Ger­many, EU coun­tries and oth­er major intel­li­gence ser­vices do the same thing. Ger­many, Brazil and the EU have known of the NSA’s activ­i­ties for years. Ger­many has been a long-stand­ing part­ner with NSA. Snowden–whom we think is being direct­ed by BND (as well as by an ele­ment of CIA)–engaged in his “op” in order to jus­ti­fy a pre-arranged eco­nom­ic offen­sive against the Amer­i­can IT sec­tor! The arti­cle also notes that the inven­tion of the Inter­net was a huge boon to the U.S. econ­o­my. As we not­ed in our series on Eddie the Friend­ly Spook, the Snow­den “op” is an act of eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal war­fare against the Unit­ed States.

“The End of the Inter­net?” by Gor­don M. Gold­stein; The Atlantic; July/August 2014.

. . . . The Web’s growth has been broad­ly con­ge­nial to Amer­i­can inter­ests, and a large boon to the Amer­i­can econ­o­my.

That brings us to Edward Snow­den and the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency. Snowden’s dis­clo­sures of the NSA’s sur­veil­lance of inter­na­tion­al Web traf­fic have pro­voked world­wide out­rage and a grow­ing coun­ter­re­ac­tion. Brazil and the Euro­pean Union recent­ly announced plans to lay a $185 mil­lion under­sea fiber-optic com­mu­ni­ca­tions cable between them to thwart U.S. sur­veil­lance. In Feb­ru­ary, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel called for the Euro­pean Union to cre­ate its own region­al Inter­net, walled off from the Unit­ed States. “We’ll talk to France about how we can main­tain a high lev­el of data pro­tec­tion,” Merkel said. “Above all, we’ll talk about Euro­pean providers that offer secu­ri­ty for our cit­i­zens, so that one shouldn’t have to send e‑mails and oth­er infor­ma­tion across the Atlantic.”

Merkel’s explo­ration of a closed, pan-Euro­pean cloud-com­put­ing net­work is sim­ply the lat­est exam­ple of what the ana­lyst Daniel Cas­tro of the Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy and Inno­va­tion Foun­da­tion calls “data nation­al­ism,” a phe­nom­e­non gath­er­ing momen­tum where­by coun­tries require that cer­tain types of infor­ma­tion be stored on servers with­in a state’s phys­i­cal bor­ders. The nations that have already imple­ment­ed a patch­work of data-local­iza­tion require­ments range from Aus­tralia, France, South Korea, and India to Indone­sia, Kaza­khstan, Malaysia, and Viet­nam, accord­ing to Anu­pam Chan­der and Uyen P. Le, two legal schol­ars at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis. “Anx­i­eties over sur­veil­lance … are jus­ti­fy­ing gov­ern­men­tal mea­sures that break apart the World Wide Web,” they wrote in a recent white paper. As a result, “the era of a glob­al Inter­net may be pass­ing.”

Secu­ri­ty con­cerns have cat­alyzed data-nation­al­iza­tion efforts, yet Cas­tro, Chan­der, and Le all ques­tion the ben­e­fits, argu­ing that the secu­ri­ty of data depends not on their loca­tion but on the sophis­ti­ca­tion of the defens­es built around them. Anoth­er motive appears to be in play: the Web’s frag­men­ta­tion would enable local Inter­net busi­ness­es in France or Malaysia to carve out roles for them­selves, at the expense of glob­al­ly dom­i­nant com­pa­nies, based dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly in the Unit­ed States. Cas­tro esti­mates that the U.S. cloud-com­put­ing indus­try alone could lose $22 bil­lion to $35 bil­lion in rev­enue by 2016.

The Snow­den affair has brought to a boil geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions that were already sim­mer­ing. . . .

2. Anoth­er arti­cle from Busi­ness Insid­er chron­i­cles seri­ous dam­age to the U.S. high-tech econ­o­my as a result of Snow­den’s “op.”

“New Report Shows Edward Snow­den’s Rev­e­la­tions Are Seri­ous­ly Dam­ag­ing U.S. Tech Firms” by Eugene Kim; Busi­ness Insid­er; 7/30/014.

 The non­prof­it New Amer­i­ca Foun­da­tion released a new report this week that sum­ma­rizes the impact of Edward Snowden’s NSA rev­e­la­tion on U.S. tech firms.
With­in weeks of the first NSA rev­e­la­tion last year, com­pa­nies like Drop­box and Ama­zon Web Ser­vices report­ed imme­di­ate drops in their sales, the report said. Cit­ing a pre­vi­ous report, it said the NSA’s PRISM pro­gram could cost cloud-com­put­ing com­pa­nies from $22 bil­lion to $180 bil­lion over the next three years.

“This ero­sion in trust threat­ens to do the most imme­di­ate dam­age to the cloud com­put­ing indus­try, which would lose bil­lions of dol­lars in the next three to five years as a result,” it said.

In par­tic­u­lar, U.S. tech firms are being severe­ly hit in over­seas mar­kets, the report said. Com­pa­nies such as Cis­co, Qual­comm, IBM, Microsoft, and HP have all report­ed declines in sales in Chi­na fol­low­ing the NSA rev­e­la­tions. In fact, accord­ing to The Wall Street Jour­nal, Cis­co said it’s expect­ing rough­ly a 10% loss in quar­ter­ly rev­enue because of the “Snow­den effect.” A web-host­ing com­pa­ny called Servint report­ed­ly lost more than half of its over­seas clients fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tion.

Amer­i­can firms are also los­ing the trust of for­eign gov­ern­ments because of this. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment said it would end its con­tract with Ver­i­zon last month, while Brazil picked Swedish firm Saab over Boe­ing for a deal to replace its fight­er jets, accord­ing to the report. It said more and more for­eign com­peti­tors are ben­e­fit­ing from the per­ceived image of being “NSA-proof” or “safer” than U.S. firms.

As a result, coun­tries like Ger­many, Brazil, and India are close to enact­ing a new law that would require com­pa­nies to use local data cen­ters. For exam­ple, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel, after refus­ing to vis­it the U.S. for months after the NSA dis­clo­sures, has called for data local­iza­tion laws. Brazil and India are propos­ing IT com­pa­nies to either set up or keep their data cen­ters with­in local bound­aries, while Greece, Brunei, and Viet­nam are fol­low­ing suit with sim­i­lar mea­sures, the report said.

All of this could slow the growth of the U.S. tech indus­try by as much as 4% and seri­ous­ly under­mine America’s cred­i­bil­i­ty around the world, the report con­clud­ed.

3. We also note that, per the lat­est Wash­ing­ton Post sto­ry on L’Af­faire Snow­den, Eddie the Friend­ly Spook turned over doc­u­ments to Cit­i­zen Green­wald con­tain­ing sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion about Nation­al secu­ri­ty mat­ters, as well as inti­mate infor­ma­tion about reg­u­lar cit­i­zens. As we not­ed in FTR #774, the Snow­denistas are blithe­ly insen­si­tive to the fact that NO ONE has vet­ted Snow­den, Green­wald, Julian Assange and/or Wik­ileak­ers as wor­thy of being in receipt of such sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion about nation­al secu­ri­ty and pri­vate cit­i­zens’ inti­mate lives.

“Civ­il Lib­er­ties Hero Edward Snow­den Com­mits Mas­sive Civ­il Lib­er­ties Vio­la­tion” by Charles John­son; Lit­tle Green Foot­balls; 7/6/2014

I can’t help notic­ing that the most impor­tant and trou­bling aspect of Bar­ton Gellman’s new NSA sto­ry for the Wash­ing­ton Post is not even men­tioned in the text: In NSA-Inter­cept­ed Data, Those Not Tar­get­ed Far Out­num­ber the For­eign­ers Who Are.

But first, here’s what is in the text:

Among the most valu­able con­tents — which The Post will not describe in detail, to avoid inter­fer­ing with ongo­ing oper­a­tions — are fresh rev­e­la­tions about a secret over­seas nuclear project, dou­ble-deal­ing by an osten­si­ble ally, a mil­i­tary calami­ty that befell an unfriend­ly pow­er, and the iden­ti­ties of aggres­sive intrud­ers into U.S. com­put­er net­works.

Months of track­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions across more than 50 alias accounts, the files show, led direct­ly to the 2011 cap­ture in Abbot­tabad of Muham­mad Tahir Shahzad, a Pak­istan-based bomb builder, and Umar Patek, a sus­pect in a 2002 ter­ror­ist bomb­ing on the Indone­sian island of Bali. At the request of CIA offi­cials, The Post is with­hold­ing oth­er exam­ples that offi­cials said would com­pro­mise ongo­ing oper­a­tions.

Secret nuclear weapons projects, aggres­sive hack­ers, dou­ble-deal­ing by pur­port­ed allies — why is it sup­posed to be evil and wrong for the NSA to uncov­er these kinds of things? Why in the world would any­one be upset that their com­mu­ni­ca­tions were inter­cept­ed if it helps the US gov­ern­ment dis­cov­er a secret nuclear project?

If my emails are col­lect­ed by the NSA as part of this effort, I say, “Go ahead, col­lect away.” Call me crazy, but I want the US gov­ern­ment to dis­cov­er these things before it’s too late.

Also note that this lat­est release absolute­ly debunks the con­stant claims by the Green­wald crew that the NSA’s pro­grams have noth­ing to do with ter­ror­ism, or that they’re inef­fec­tive at uncov­er­ing ter­ror­ists.

But even more to the point, and the rea­son for my head­line above: hasn’t Edward Snow­den him­self com­mit­ted a tru­ly mas­sive vio­la­tion of civ­il lib­er­ties, by hand­ing over these legal­ly col­lect­ed and prop­er­ly redact­ed pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tions to jour­nal­ists — and to Glenn Green­wald?

Many oth­er files, described as use­less by the ana­lysts but nonethe­less retained, have a star­tling­ly inti­mate, even voyeuris­tic qual­i­ty. They tell sto­ries of love and heart­break, illic­it sex­u­al liaisons, men­tal-health crises, polit­i­cal and reli­gious con­ver­sions, finan­cial anx­i­eties and dis­ap­point­ed hopes. The dai­ly lives of more than 10,000 account hold­ers who were not tar­get­ed are cat­a­logued and record­ed nev­er­the­less.

And now they’re in the hands of peo­ple like Glenn Green­wald, Jacob Apple­baum, Julian Assange and who knows who else.

I’m con­tin­u­al­ly amazed at the capac­i­ty of the civ­il lib­er­tar­i­an crowd to blithe­ly vio­late the civ­il lib­er­ties of oth­ers in their dead-end quest for a purist lib­er­tar­i­an ide­al.

4. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, Glenn Green­wald linked–unnecessarily–to Holo­caust denier David Irv­ing’s site.

“Glenn Green­wald Uses a Holo­caust Denier as a Source, Then Denies It” by Charles John­son; Lit­tle Green Foot­balls; 8/6/2014.

This morn­ing when I looked in on Twit­ter, I noticed a tweet by author Jere­my Duns high­light­ing a com­ment made by Glenn Green­wald in Feb­ru­ary of this year:

Duns was actu­al­ly point­ing out Greenwald’s cozy rela­tion­ship with anoth­er shady indi­vid­ual, but when I clicked on the tweet to see what Green­wald had writ­ten I was aston­ished to see it was a link to the web­site of infa­mous British Holo­caust denier David Irv­ing:

I’ve encoun­tered this vile web­site many times over the years; Irv­ing often copies entire news arti­cles and posts them here, pos­si­bly to get peo­ple to link to his site with­out know­ing what kind of site it is.

So it might be pos­si­ble to call this an hon­est mis­take… except for what hap­pened next. Because when some­one then chal­lenged Green­wald about link­ing to a Holo­caust denial site, he didn’t admit an error. Instead, he attacked and mocked the per­son point­ing it out, then claimed he couldn’t find the arti­cle any­where else — imply­ing that he knew all along he was link­ing to a high­ly ques­tion­able source.

Well. When I saw that last tweet, chal­leng­ing the object of Greenwald’s deri­sion to find a link at The Inde­pen­dent, I quick­ly Googled the first sen­tence of the arti­cle, and look what popped up right away, at the Irish Inde­pen­dent: the very same arti­cle. Court Endors­es Use of Tor­ture to Obtain Ter­ror Evi­dence — Independent.ie.

What was Greenwald’s response when this was point­ed out to him? He just dropped it. No apol­o­gy, no acknowl­edg­ment that he used a dis­rep­utable source, noth­ing.

So appar­ent­ly, Green­wald quick­ly searched to find some­thing that backed up his nar­ra­tive, and didn’t real­ly care what kind of source he found. His own tweets seem to indi­cate he knew he was send­ing peo­ple to David Irving’s site, but didn’t con­sid­er that impor­tant. Duns points out that this is a long-run­ning pat­tern of the Mighty Greenwald’s:

And lest we for­get, yours tru­ly has also been a tar­get of this slop­py unpro­fes­sion­al sourc­ing by Green­wald, when he attacked me by link­ing to a fake graph­ic at an extreme right wing site run by crazed stalk­ers.

Just anoth­er day in the life of the Ulti­mate Alpha, ush­er­ing in a brave new era of jour­nal­ism.

5. The Pierre Omid­yar-fund­ed “Inter­cept” fea­tures an arti­cle by Nazi fel­low-trav­el­er Cit­i­zen Green­wald in which he runs inter­fer­ence for Mus­lim Broth­er­hood oper­a­tives. The group includes CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad, who blamed the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing on the Mossad and Egypt­ian Intel­li­gence, as well as Faisal Gill, a pro­tege of Grover Norquist and very much in the Al-Taqwa orbit.

Omid­yar has sup­port­ed bru­tal micro-finance pro­grams in the Third World (act­ing in con­junc­tion with Phoenix Pro­gram vet­er­an Roy Proster­man), helped finance the fas­cist coup in Ukraine in 2014 and assist­ed in the elec­tion of Hin­du nationalist/fascist Naren­dra Modi in India.

“Meet the Mus­lim-Amer­i­can Lead­ers the FBI and NSA Have Been Spy­ing On” by Glenn Green­wald and Mur­taza Hus­sain; The Inter­cept; 7/9/2014.

. . . .Accord­ing to doc­u­ments pro­vid­ed by NSA whistle­blow­er Edward Snow­den, the list of Amer­i­cans mon­i­tored by their own gov­ern­ment includes:

• Faisal Gill, a long­time Repub­li­can Par­ty oper­a­tive and one-time can­di­date for pub­lic office who held a top-secret secu­ri­ty clear­ance and served in the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty under Pres­i­dent George W. Bush;

• Asim Ghafoor, a promi­nent attor­ney who has rep­re­sent­ed clients in ter­ror­ism-relat­ed cas­es;

• Hooshang Ami­rah­ma­di, an Iran­ian-Amer­i­can pro­fes­sor of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions at Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty;

• Agha Saeed, a for­mer polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor at Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty who cham­pi­ons Mus­lim civ­il lib­er­ties and Pales­tin­ian rights;

• Nihad Awad, the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), the largest Mus­lim civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion in the coun­try. [CAIR is very close­ly linked to the Mus­lim Brotherhood–D.E.]. . . .

6. Viviane Red­ing, EU Jus­tice Com­mis­sion­er from Lux­em­bourg and an appar­ent pup­pet of Mar­tin Sel­mayr is advo­cat­ing the cre­ation of an EU spy agency to do exact­ly the same thing as the NSA! Like Merkel and the oth­er hyp­ocrites and cry­ba­bies in Europe, she clear­ly does NOT object to what NSA and GCHQ do. She wants the EU to do the same thing!

“EU Should Cre­ate Own Spy Agency, Red­ing Says” by Andrew Rettman; EUob­serv­er; 11/4/2013.

EU jus­tice com­mis­sion­er Viviane Red­ing has said the Union should cre­ate its own intel­li­gence ser­vice by 2020.

Speak­ing on Mon­day (4 Novem­ber) to Greek dai­ly Naftem­po­ri­ki on the US snoop­ing scan­dal, she said: “What we need is to strength­en Europe in this field, so we can lev­el the play­ing field with our US part­ners.”

She added: “I would there­fore wish to use this occa­sion to nego­ti­ate an agree­ment on stronger secret ser­vice co-oper­a­tion among the EU mem­ber states — so that we can speak with a strong com­mon voice to the US. The NSA needs a coun­ter­weight. My long-term pro­pos­al would there­fore be to set up a Euro­pean Intel­li­gence Ser­vice by 2020.”

Rev­e­la­tions by US leak­er Edward Snow­den say Amer­i­ca’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA) inter­cepts mil­lions of Euro­peans’ emails and phone calls. . . .

7. In an attempt to stave off the oust­ing of CIA sta­tion chief in Berlin, Ger­many was offered inclu­sion in the Five Eyes Club and turned it down. One won­ders what is going on behind the scenes and what they want in return?

“U.S. Offered Berlin ‘Five Eyes’ Pact. Merkel Was Done With It” by Patrick Don­ahue and John Wal­cott; Bloomberg News; 7/12/2014.

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.”

8a. In yet anoth­er exam­ple of the con­sum­mate hypocrisy man­i­fest­ed by Ger­many and the EU, it now emerges that Ger­many mon­i­tored phone calls by both John Ker­ry and Hillary Clin­ton.

 “Report: Ger­man Intel Spied on Ker­ry, Clin­ton” by Frank Jor­dans; Asso­ci­at­ed Press ; 8/16/2014.

Germany’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency eaves­dropped on calls made by U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry and his pre­de­ces­sor Hillary Clin­ton, Ger­man mag­a­zine Der Spiegel report­ed Sat­ur­day.

The respect­ed news week­ly report­ed that the agency, known by its Ger­man acronym BND, tapped a satel­lite phone con­ver­sa­tion Ker­ry made in 2013 as part of its sur­veil­lance of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in the Mid­dle East. The agency also record­ed a con­ver­sa­tion between Clin­ton and for­mer U.N. Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Kofi Annan a year ear­lier, Der Spiegel claimed.

The mag­a­zine didn’t give a source for its infor­ma­tion, but said the calls were col­lected acci­den­tally, that the three offi­cials weren’t direct­ly tar­geted, and the record­ings were ordered destroyed imme­di­ately. In Clinton’s case, the call report­edly took place on the same “fre­quency” as a ter­ror sus­pect, accord­ing to Der Spiegel.

The tap­ping of Clinton’s call was report­ed Fri­day by Ger­man pub­lic broad­caster ARD and Munich dai­ly Sued­deutsche Zeitung.

If true, the rev­e­la­tions would be embar­rass­ing for the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, which has spent months com­plain­ing to Wash­ing­ton about alleged Amer­i­can spy activ­ity in Ger­many. Last year Ger­man media reports based on doc­u­ments leaked by for­mer NSA con­trac­tor Edward Snow­den prompt­ed a sharp rebuke from Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel, who was alleged­ly among the U.S. intel­li­gence agency’s tar­gets.

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Berlin and the State Depart­ment in Wash­ing­ton declined to com­ment on the lat­est reports.

In its report Sat­ur­day, Der Spiegel also cit­ed a con­fi­den­tial 2009 BND doc­u­ment list­ing fel­low NATO mem­ber Turkey as a tar­get for Ger­man intel­li­gence gath­er­ing.

The Ger­many intel­li­gence agency didn’t imme­di­ately respond to a request for com­ment Sat­ur­day.

8b. Here’s an inter­est­ing twist to the recent uproar over the BND spy that was caught sell­ing secrets to the CIA (lead­ing to the expul­sion of the CIA chief in Ger­many): One of the doc­u­ments the BND agent–Markus R–sold to the CIA was the tran­script of the record­ed phone calls that the BND picked up between Hillary Clin­ton and Kofi Annan when Annan was giv­ing Hillary a brief­ing fol­low­ing nego­ti­a­tions with Syr­ia.

After the chem­i­cal weapons attacks of August 2013, there was quite a bit of dis­cus­sion of Syr­ian offi­cial con­ver­sa­tions picked up by Ger­man intel­li­gence, and both Kerry’s and Clinton’s phone calls were appar­ently get­ting picked up while they were fly­ing over con­flict areas. So the CIA knew these satel­lite phone calls were get­ting picked up by the BND. Note that 2012 phone call between Clin­ton and Kofi Annan report­edly involved a brief­ing of Annan’s nego­ti­a­tions with Syr­ia. Also note that Annan announced his res­ig­na­tion as the envoy to Syr­ia in ear­ly August, 2012 and that Markus R. approached the CIA via email with his offer to sell the doc­u­ments in 2012.

If true, that would sug­gest that the CIA knew these phone calls were get­ting picked up by 2012, and yet the “acci­den­tal” cap­ture of Clinton’s and Kerry’s phone con­ver­sa­tions kept tak­ing place while they fly­ing over con­flict areas.

Those iner­cept­ed calls involved quite a bit of dis­cus­sion over how to address the Syr­ian chem­i­cal weapons sit­u­a­tion.

 The Ger­man For­eign Intel­li­gence Agency has admit­ted tap­ping “at least one” phone call each by cur­rent U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry and then-Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton while they were aboard Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment jets, accord­ing to Ger­man media reports.

The reports claim Kerry’s inter­cepted com­mu­ni­ca­tion was a satel­lite phone call from the Mid­dle East in 2013. Clinton’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion was also a satel­lite call, in 2012, and was report­edly to then-Unit­ed Nations Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Kofi Annan. Both calls were report­ed to have been inter­cepted acci­den­tally while Ger­man intel­li­gence was tar­get­ing ter­ror sus­pects in the Mid­dle East and north­ern Africa.

The intel­li­gence agency (the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst or BND) told Ger­man media that ter­ror groups often use the same fre­quen­cies that the sec­re­taries’ phone calls were made over, so the calls were picked up. The calls were among what the Ger­man news­pa­per Sud­deutsche Zeitung said intel­li­gence sources described as sev­eral cas­es of U.S. offi­cial phone calls being picked up acci­den­tally dur­ing anti-ter­ror com­mu­ni­ca­tions mon­i­tor­ing.

The BND is the Ger­man equiv­a­lent of the Amer­i­can Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency. Ger­man-Amer­i­can rela­tions have chilled in the past year — since for­mer Nation­al Secu­rity Agency work­er Edward Snow­den began leak­ing doc­u­ments detail­ing the extent of America’s glob­al elec­tronic spy­ing and eaves­drop­ping pro­grams. Media reports about Snowden’s leaked doc­u­ments led to the rev­e­la­tion that Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s pri­vate cell­phone had been tappedsince the years when she was a low­er rank­ing Ger­man min­is­ter, and con­tin­u­ing at least until the sum­mer of 2013.

The spy scan­dal includes the elec­tronic spy­ing on mil­lions of pri­vate emails and elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the tap­ping of offi­cial phones and even the hir­ing of Ger­man offi­cials to act as Amer­i­can agentsand pass on secret Ger­man gov­ern­ment infor­ma­tion.

The news reports out­raged Ger­mans, lead­ing to favourable atti­tudes about the Unit­ed States falling to their low­est lev­els in years and cre­at­ing a pub­lic and pri­vate sense of mis­trust. Merkel has repeat­edly called the U.S. spy pro­gram a breach of trust and not­ed that “friends don’t spy on friends.”

In a twist that con­nects this tale to the broad­er spy­ing scan­dal, the new reports note that after Clinton’s phone call was picked up, an order from the BND lead­er­ship was sent out to delete the com­mu­ni­ca­tion. But the Ger­man charged with delet­ing the con­ver­sa­tion was Markus R, who has been charged with sell­ing 218 secret offi­cial doc­u­ments to U.S. intel­li­gence and, rather than delet­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, sold the tran­script to his Amer­i­can con­tacts. Markus R, who under Ger­man law can­not be ful­ly iden­ti­fied unless he is con­victed, alleged­ly made a total of €25,000, or about $32,500, by sell­ing the doc­u­ments to the CIA.

He has been charged with spy­ing for a for­eign intel­li­gence agency.

The BND denied that there was any sys­tem­atic phone tap­ping of U.S. offi­cials while admit­ting oth­er phone calls had been swept up. Ger­man intel­li­gence offi­cials have told Ger­man media that the fre­quen­cies the Amer­i­can offi­cials use are also favourites of ter­ror groups in north­ern Africa and the Mid­dle East.

Both Kerry’s and Clinton’s phone calls were picked up while they were fly­ing over con­flict areas. The Ger­man phone-tap­ping pro­gram in the Mid­dle East is well known to U.S. offi­cials. Dur­ing the Syr­ian con­flict, and par­tic­u­larly after the chem­i­cal weapons attacks of August 2013, there was quite a bit of dis­cus­sion of Syr­ian offi­cial con­ver­sa­tions picked up by Ger­man intel­li­gence.

...

9. In our series on Eddie the Friend­ly Spook, we spent much time and dis­cus­sion high­light­ing Palantir–the appar­ent mak­er of the PRISM soft­ware (their dis­claimers to the con­trary notwith­stand­ing). We not­ed that the largest stock­hold­er in both Palan­tir and Face­book is Ron Paul backer Peter Thiel, an explic­it oppo­nent of democ­ra­cy (in part because he thinks women should­n’t vote). We now learn–unsurprisingly–that Palan­tir (part­ly cre­at­ed with funds from the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty) is col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion on Face­book users for the mil­i­tary. Y‑A-W‑N.
“The US mil­i­tary is Already Using Face­book to Track Your Mood” by Patrick Tuck­er; Quartz; 7/3/2014.

Crit­ics have tar­geted a recent study on how emo­tions spread on the pop­u­lar social net­work site Face­book, com­plain­ing that some 600,000 Face­book users did not know that they were tak­ing part in an exper­i­ment. Some­what more dis­turb­ing, the researchers delib­er­ately manip­u­lated users’ feel­ings to mea­sure an effect called emo­tional con­ta­gion.

Though Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, home to at least one of the researchers, said the study received no exter­nal fund­ing, but it turns out that the uni­ver­sity is cur­rently receiv­ing Defense Depart­ment mon­ey for some extreme­ly sim­i­lar-sound­ing research—the analy­sis of social net­work posts for “sen­ti­ment,” i.e. how peo­ple are feel­ing, in the hopes of iden­ti­fy­ing social “tip­ping points.”

The tip­ping points in ques­tion include “the 2011 Egypt­ian rev­o­lu­tion, the 2011 Russ­ian Duma elec­tions, the 2012 Niger­ian fuel sub­sidy cri­sis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey,” accord­ing to the web­site of the Min­erva Ini­tia­tive, a Defense Depart­ment social sci­ence project.

It’s the sort of work that the US mil­i­tary has been fund­ing for years, most famous­ly via the open-source indi­ca­tors pro­gram, an Intel­li­gence Advanced Research Projects Activ­ity (IARPA) pro­gram that looked at Twit­ter to pre­dict social unrest.

If the idea of the gov­ern­ment mon­i­tor­ing and even manip­u­lat­ing you on Face­book gives you a cold, creep­ing feel­ing, the bad news is that you can expect the intel­li­gence com­mu­nity to spend a great deal more time and mon­ey research­ing sen­ti­ment and rela­tion­ships via social net­works like Face­book. In fact, defense con­trac­tors and high-lev­el USin­tel­li­gence offi­cials say that social net­work data has become one of the most impor­tant tools they use in the col­lect­ing intel­li­gence.

Defense One recent­ly caught up with Lt. Gen. Michael Fly­nn, the direc­tor of the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency who said the US mil­i­tary has “com­pletely revamped” the way it col­lects intel­li­gence around the exis­tence of large, open­ly avail­able data sources and espe­cially social media like Face­book. “The infor­ma­tion that we’re able to extract form social media—it’s giv­ing us insights that frankly we nev­er had before,” he said.

In oth­er words, the head of one of the biggest US mil­i­tary intel­li­gence agen­cies needs you on Face­book.

“Just over a decade ago, when I was a senior intel­li­gence offi­cer, I spent most of my time in the world of ‘ints’—signals intel­li­gence imagery, human intelligence—and used just a lit­tle bit of open-source infor­ma­tion to enrich the assess­ments that we made. Fast for­ward to 2014 and the explo­sion of the infor­ma­tion envi­ron­ment in just the last few years alone. Open-source now is a place I spend most of my time. The open world of infor­ma­tion pro­vides us most of what we need and the ‘ints’ of old, they enrich the assess­ments that we’re able to make from open-source infor­ma­tion.”

Open-source intel­li­gence can take a vari­ety of forms, but among the most volu­mi­nous, per­sonal and use­ful is Face­book and Twit­ter data. The avail­abil­ity of that sort of infor­ma­tion is chang­ing the way that DIA trains intel­li­gence oper­a­tives. Long gone are the spooks of old who would fish through trash for clues on tar­gets. Here to stay are the eyes look­ing through your vaca­tion pic­tures.

“We train them dif­fer­ently even than we did a year ago because of the types of tools we have. There are adjust­ments to the trade craft, and that’s due to the amount of infor­ma­tion we can now get our hands on,” Fly­nn said.

The growth of social media has not just changed day-to-day life at agen­cies like DIA, it’s also giv­en rise to a mini gold rush in defense con­tract­ing. The mil­i­tary will be spend­ing an increas­ing amount of the $50 bil­lion intel­li­gence bud­get on pri­vate con­trac­tors to per­form open-source intel­li­gence gath­er­ing and analy­sis, accord­ing to Fly­nn. That’s evi­denced by the rise in com­pa­nies eager to pro­vide those ser­vices.

Some of them are well known like Palan­tir, the Sil­i­con Val­ley data visu­al­iza­tion giant that’s been fea­tured promi­nently in Bloomberg Busi­ness­week and has graced the cov­er of ForbesCol­lect­ing or ana­lyz­ing social net­work data wasn’t some­thing they orig­i­nally want­ed to get into accord­ing to Bryant Chung, a Palan­tir employ­ee. Palan­tir doesn’t mar­ket itself as a data col­lec­tion com­pany. They pro­vide a tool set to help agen­cies visu­al­ize and share data.

The com­pany wor­ried that part­ner­ing with the intel­li­gence com­mu­nity to do social net­work data col­lec­tion could hurt their rep­u­ta­tion among the tech com­mu­nity, increas­ingly wary of the gov­ern­ment, accord­ing to Chung. When the com­pany was approached by NATO and some US intel­li­gence groups, they decid­ed to explore the mar­ket­place for sen­ti­ment analy­sis of social net­work data.

“There are a lot of oth­er com­mer­cial com­pa­nies already in that space. Unless we know we’re going to crush it, we don’t want to get in,” Chung said. “I think we have a dif­fer­en­ti­ated capa­bil­ity, espe­cially at a macro lev­el. For exam­ple, you are inter­ested in mon­i­tor­ing an elec­tion some­where in Africa and you want to know who are the peo­ple tweet­ing on one side of an elec­tion ver­sus the oth­er, or who are the most influ­en­tial tweet­ers or you what if you have intel­li­gence that an explo­sion is about to hap­pen at a par­tic­u­lar square, can you con­firm that using Tweets?” That’s the sort of thing Palan­tir wants to help you with.

Many of the groups doing this sort of work on behalf of the gov­ern­ment are small out­fits you prob­a­bly have nev­er heard of. And ide­ally, you nev­er would.

One of them is a com­pany out of Austin, Texas, called Snap­Trends, found­ed in 2012. They pro­vide a “social lis­ten­ing” ser­vice that ana­lyzes posts to pro­vide insights about the cir­cum­stances of the poster, one of the most impor­tant of which is the poster’s loca­tion. The com­pany uses cell tow­er den­sity, social net­work knowhow, and var­i­ous oth­er ele­ments to fig­ure out who is post­ing what and where. Are you some­one who refus­es to geo-tag your tweets out of con­cerns for pri­vacy? Do you turn off your phone’s GPS receiv­ing capa­bil­ity to stay under the prover­bial radar? It doesn’t mat­ter to Snap­Trends.

One tweet and they can find you.

“If it’s a dense envi­ron­ment. I can put you with­in a block. If it’s a [bad] envi­ron­ment I can put you with­in two or three blocks,” said Todd Robin­son, direc­tor of oper­a­tions for Defense Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence for the com­pany Gen­eral Dynam­ics Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, GDIT, and Snap­Trends pres­i­dent for Mid­dle East­ern oper­a­tions. GDIT part­nered with Snap­Trends to sell their ser­vices to the gov­ern­ment. “Once I do have you, I click this but­ton right here, I can go back five years [of social media posts.]”

Snap­Trends says that the tool was extreme­ly help­ful in the inves­ti­ga­tion fol­low­ing the 2013 Boston Marathon bomb attacks. Using social net­work analy­sis, “we found the col­lege kids that had access to the com­put­ers [owned by the sus­pects]. We were able to get to them first,” said Robins.

The use of social net­work data for intel­li­gence isn’t just fair, Rob­bins says, it’s a no-brain­er. Scrawl­ing Face­book for clues about human behav­ior doesn’t require break­ing in via back­doors or oth­er elab­o­rate pieces of tech­no­log­i­cal trick­ery. “When you join Twit­ter and Face­book, you sign an agree­ment say­ing you will post that to a pub­lic web page. We just pull data from that web page.”

”I’m a retired intel­li­gence guy,” he said. “This is not that dif­fi­cult, peo­ple.

But while social data may be an impor­tant tool in intel­li­gence col­lec­tion, it’s hard­ly a per­ma­nent one.

In the same way that observ­ing the behav­ior of some sub­atomic par­ti­cles changes the behav­ior of those par­ti­cles (called the observ­er effect), watch­ing the tweets and posts of tar­gets can cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where peo­ple tweet less. You poi­son your own well by draw­ing from it. That hap­pens on an indi­vid­ual lev­el in terms of spe­cific human tar­gets but also on a larg­er, soci­etal lev­el.

“We’ve seen that already,” Robin­son said. “There is always a risk that as peo­ple under­stand this, they’ll quit putting [posts] on there.”

The view was sec­onded by Snap­Trends co-founder and­ CEO, Eric Klas­son. “The more the ‘bad guys’ know about what is pos­si­ble, the less they will use social media. This under­mines state, local, fed­eral and inter­na­tional law enforce­ment efforts,” he told Defense One.

When asked if he was con­cerned that peo­ple might stop using Face­book, Twit­ter and oth­er social net­works as a result of US intel­li­gence activ­i­ties, Fly­nn answered mat­ter-of-fact­ly: “Yes.” . . . .

10. In a breath­tak­ing­ly creepy inva­sion of pri­va­cy, Face­book is forc­ing all smart­phone users to install a new mes­sag­ing app. The Android ver­sion of the app — and to a less­er extent the iPhone ver­sion as well — allows Face­book to access your phone cam­era and record audio, call and send mes­sages with­out your per­mis­sion, iden­ti­fy details about you and all your con­tacts, and send that info on to third par­ties.

If you want to car­ry on send­ing and receiv­ing mes­sages on Face­book you now have no choice but to install Face­book Mes­sen­ger — and give the com­pa­ny access to a wealth of per­son­al data stored on your phone.

Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg has also admit­ted that his long-term plan is to ‘mon­e­tize’ the app.

 “Facebook’s Mes­sen­ger App Has a Sig­nif­i­cant Amount of Access to Your Smart­phone” by Patrick O’Rourke; o.canada.com; 7/31/2014.

Facebook’s Mes­sen­ger app, which will soon be the only way to use the social media platform’s pop­u­lar mes­sag­ing ser­vice, appar­ent­ly wants access to a great deal of the per­son­al infor­ma­tion stored on your smart­phone, just like many pop­u­lar free mes­sag­ing and social appli­ca­tions.

Face­book says their Mes­sen­ger app is designed to improve the user’s expe­ri­ence and that it will actu­al­ly increase mes­sag­ing speed by 20 per cent; it will also like­ly make your life slight­ly more com­pli­cat­ed.

Facebook’s Mes­sen­ger appli­ca­tion, requires more mem­o­ry, data and bat­tery life than the stand­alone Face­book appli­ca­tion, accord­ing to recent tests, and also, at least accord­ing to the app’s terms of ser­vice, has the abil­i­ty to view a sig­nif­i­cant amount of your per­son­al data.

Below is a copy of the pri­va­cy con­cerns you like­ly clicked through with­out read­ing when you first down­loaded the appli­ca­tion; because who reads those any­ways (although we all should):

Iden­ti­ty: Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, pro­file data

Contacts/Calender: Uses one of more of: Cal­en­der con­tact infor­ma­tion

Loca­tion: Uses the device’s loca­tion

Uses one or more of: SMS, MMS. Charges may apply

Phone: Uses one of more of: phone, call log. Charges may apply

Photos/Media/Files: Uses one or more of: Files on the device such as images, videos or audio, the device’s exter­nal stor­age

Camera/Microphone: Uses one or more of: Camera(s), microphone(s)

Wi-Fi con­nec­tion infor­ma­tion: Allows the app to view infor­ma­tion about Wi-Fi net­work­ing, such as whether Wi-Fi is enabled and names of con­nect­ed Wi-Fi devices.

Device ID & call infor­ma­tion: Allows the app to deter­mine the phone num­ber and device IDs, whether a call is active and the remote num­ber con­nect­ed by a call

Also, it’s impor­tant to point out that since the app’s ini­tial release, the word­ing in Face­book Messenger’s terms of ser­vice has been changed to sound slight­ly less omi­nous: here’s what it used to look like, accord­ing to the Huff­in­g­ton Post.

face­book per­mis­sions

Face­book Messenger’s per­mis­sions, just like many free mes­sag­ing apps, are inva­sive.

While the inva­sive nature of Face­book Mes­sen­ger is noth­ing new, since no free app is ever tru­ly “free,” the lev­el of access Mes­sen­ger has to the your phone remains shock­ing. Pop­u­lar mes­sag­ing apps like What­sApp, Yo, SnapChat and even Cana­di­an-devel­oped mes­sag­ing appli­ca­tion Kik, as well as most mes­sag­ing ser­vices, all demand sim­i­lar access to infor­ma­tion, a require­ment of Android’s per­mis­sion sys­tem, which can be found at this link. . . .

Discussion

7 comments for “FTR #807 Update on the Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook”

  1. Der Spiegel quot­ed Turkey’s for­mer deputy head of gov­ern­ment Ertu­grul Yal­cin­bayir as say­ing his coun­try had long sus­pect­ed they were being spied on by Ger­many and oth­er nations. “Now we need a no-spy deal,” he said:

    REPORT: Ger­many Has Been Spy­ing On Turkey For The Past Four Decades
    Made­line Cham­bers, Reuters

    Aug. 24, 2014, 8:12 AM

    BERLIN (Reuters) — Ger­many’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency has been spy­ing on Turkey for near­ly four decades, Focus mag­a­zine said on Sat­ur­day in a report which could raise ten­sions fur­ther between the NATO allies.

    The details about the dura­tion of pos­si­ble sur­veil­lance and on the deci­sion-mak­ing sur­round­ing it go fur­ther than first reports ear­li­er this week.

    Turkey sum­moned Ger­many’s ambas­sador in Ankara on Mon­day after media reports that Berlin had iden­ti­fied Ankara as a top tar­get of sur­veil­lance in a gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment from 2009 and had been spy­ing on Turkey for years.

    Focus mag­a­zine said the BND intel­li­gence agency had been spy­ing on Turkey since 1976 and that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment under the then Social Demo­c­rat chan­cel­lor Hel­mut Schmidt had express­ly approved the step.

    The mag­a­zine also cit­ed gov­ern­ment sources as say­ing the BND’s cur­rent man­date to mon­i­tor Turk­ish polit­i­cal and state insti­tu­tions had been agreed by a gov­ern­ment work­ing group. That includ­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the chan­cel­lor’s office, the defence, for­eign and econ­o­my min­istries.

    A spokesman for the Ger­man gov­ern­ment declined to com­ment on the report.

    The report is a fur­ther embar­rass­ment for Angela Merkel’s gov­ern­ment which faces accu­sa­tions of hypocrisy because of its out­rage over alle­ga­tions of wide­spread sur­veil­lance by the Unit­ed States on Ger­mans, includ­ing the tap­ping of the chan­cel­lor’s phone.

    How­ev­er, con­ser­v­a­tive law­mak­er Hans-Peter Uhl told Focus there were “good rea­sons” for the BND to bug Turkey. He cit­ed human traf­fick­ing, drugs and ter­ror­ism as issues of con­cern and his com­ments chime with the views of many Ger­man politi­cians.

    “We need to know what is com­ing to us from EU-appli­cant Turkey,” Focus quot­ed him as say­ing.

    Ger­many is Turkey’s largest trad­ing part­ner in the Euro­pean Union and home to at least three mil­lion Turks. But rela­tions are not always smooth. Merkel’s con­ser­v­a­tives are scep­ti­cal about Turk­ish EU mem­ber­ship.

    Der Spiegel quot­ed Turkey’s for­mer deputy head of gov­ern­ment Ertu­grul Yal­cin­bayir as say­ing his coun­try had long sus­pect­ed they were being spied on by Ger­many and oth­er nations.
    “Now we need a no-spy deal,” he said.

    ...

    Der Spiegel mag­a­zine report­ed that the BND has also tar­get­ed Alba­nia, anoth­er mem­ber of NATO, for sur­veil­lance.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 27, 2014, 9:36 am
  2. It looks like the spy­ing row between Ger­many and Turkey has moved past the “we want a no-spy agreement”-phase and arrived at the “ok, we’re just going to counter-spy in retaliation”-phase:

    Hit back if Ger­many is spy­ing on Turkey, Turk­ish min­is­ter tells intel agency

    DENIZLI – Dogan News Agency
    August/30/2014

    A Turk­ish min­is­ter has crit­i­cized the country’s nation­al intel­li­gence agency over recent reports of Ger­man spy­ing, urg­ing them to fight back the espi­onage attempts.

    “If the Ger­man intel­li­gence eaves­drops on Turkey, the job of our intel­li­gence agency is to pre­vent them from doing so,” Econ­o­my Min­is­ter Nihat Zey­bekçi told reporters in the west­ern province of Deni­zli late Aug. 29.

    And in retal­i­a­tion, our intel­li­gence should eaves­drop on them. Although we are allies [with Ger­many], this is what I think on the issue. If there is an order to spy on the prime min­is­ters, the min­is­ters, this has no place in friend­ship, but you shall not let them spy on you,” the min­is­ter said.

    Mean­while, Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Efkan Ala met his Ger­man coun­ter­part, Thomas de Maiziere, in Ankara Aug. 30, and voiced Ankara’s con­cerns over the spy­ing reports.

    “I told the esteemed min­is­ter that such things can­not be accept­ed,” Ala said at a joint press con­fer­ence after the meet­ing. “We agreed [with Maiziere] that our intel­li­gence units will come togeth­er to resolve the issue.”

    Maiziere said he under­stood the ques­tions and con­cerns of Ankara.

    “Intel­li­gence is nev­er open­ly shared with the pub­lic,” the Ger­man min­is­ter said. “It is also not pos­si­ble to dis­cuss such an issue open­ly in press con­fer­ences. Our intel­li­gence units will come togeth­er and take the issue off the agen­da as soon as pos­si­ble,” he added.

    Ala said Turkey and Ger­many have strong ties and the inte­ri­or min­is­ters of the two coun­tries will meet once a year to direct­ly resolve prob­lems.

    On Aug. 18, Turkey sum­moned the Ger­man ambas­sador and called for a full expla­na­tion fol­low­ing Der Spiegel magazine’s report that the BND for­eign intel­li­gence agency had been spy­ing on Turkey for years and iden­ti­fied Ankara as a top sur­veil­lance tar­get in an inter­nal gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment from 2009.

    Turkey’s For­eign Min­istry described the report as “absolute­ly unac­cept­able,” if true.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 1, 2014, 3:21 pm
  3. No com­ment redux:

    TODAY’S ZAMAN
    US refus­es to com­ment on alleged spy­ing on Turkey
    Sep­tem­ber 02, 2014, Tues­day
    17:50:28
    ISTANBUL

    The Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment has refused to respond to claims that it spied on Turkey made based on doc­u­ments from the archive of US whistle­blow­er Edward Snow­den seen by Ger­man mag­a­zine Der Spiegel.

    White House Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil spokes­woman Caitlin Hay­den stat­ed that she would not com­ment on issues relat­ed to US intel­li­gence on Tues­day.

    Accord­ing to the doc­u­ments, Turkey was both a part­ner of the US — with Wash­ing­ton close­ly coop­er­at­ing with Ankara in its fight against the ter­ror­ist Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Par­ty (PKK) — and a lead­ing tar­get of US spy­ing.

    An offi­cial from the US State Depart­ment, who wished to remain anony­mous, told Cihan News Agency on Tues­day that US Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma had pre­vi­ous­ly ordered offi­cials to review their intel­li­gence meth­ods after spy­ing scan­dals broke in the coun­try. The offi­cial claimed that Oba­ma had expressed con­cerns about eaves­drop­ping issues dur­ing his speech at the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice on Jan. 17.

    Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan down­played the alle­ga­tions that Ger­many and the US have been eaves­drop­ping on Turkey, say­ing that such eaves­drop­ping is rel­a­tive­ly nor­mal and adding that Turk­ish offi­cials will dis­cuss the sub­ject with the lead­ers of these coun­tries.

    Before pay­ing his first offi­cial vis­it as pres­i­dent to the Turk­ish Repub­lic of North­ern Cyprus (KKTC), Erdo­gan told jour­nal­ists at the air­port on Mon­day: “I’ll tell you there is no such thing, for a coun­try with a strong intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tion, as not eaves­drop­ping on var­i­ous coun­tries in the world. All of them do it some­how.

    Erdo­gan also said that what is impor­tant is who is doing what, with which meth­ods, and how they dis­close this intel­li­gence. Recall­ing that this week he will be meet­ing with world lead­ers dur­ing a NATO sum­mit in Wales, as well as lat­er in the month at the Unit­ed Nations sum­mit in New York, Erdo­gan stressed that he will raise these issues.

    Erdo­gan added that he thinks such alle­ga­tions that threat­en world peace should be kept under con­trol, but chose not to elab­o­rate fur­ther.

    On Sun­day, Der Spiegel pub­lished a lengthy report claim­ing that Ger­many is not the only West­ern coun­try whose intel­li­gence agency has spied on Turkey, accord­ing to doc­u­ments from the archive of US whistle­blow­er Snow­den. The Der Spiegel report claimed that the US and the UK have also spied on Turkey.

    Indi­cat­ing the depth of the coop­er­a­tion, Der Spiegel wrote: “The [Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency] NSA even deliv­ered its Turk­ish part­ners the mobile phone loca­tion data of PKK lead­ers on an hourly basis. ... The US gov­ern­ment also pro­vid­ed the Turks with infor­ma­tion about PKK mon­ey flows and the where­abouts of some of its lead­ers liv­ing in exile abroad.”

    Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Bülent Arinç told the Turk­ish press on Mon­day that the out­go­ing chargé d’af­faires at the US Embassy in Ankara, Jess Bai­ley, was sum­moned to the Turk­ish For­eign Min­istry ear­ly on Mon­day morn­ing to dis­cuss the alle­ga­tions of eaves­drop­ping on Turkey.

    For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Tan­ju Bil­giç issued a state­ment say­ing that the rel­e­vant Turk­ish author­i­ties are look­ing into the alle­ga­tions about the intel­li­gence activ­i­ties of the US gov­ern­ment on Turkey that were pub­lished in the Ger­man press. “If the alle­ga­tions are true, clear­ly such activ­i­ties can­not be accept­ed in any way between two friends, or indeed any coun­tries,” said Bil­giç.

    He also said that Turkey expects the US to inves­ti­gate these alle­ga­tions, and if they are true, then the US must end these activ­i­ties that direct­ly tar­get Turkey’s state insti­tu­tions and for­eign mis­sions.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 2, 2014, 10:44 am
  4. “I would say of all the facts that have dri­ven this episode over the last year, the most under-appre­ci­at­ed one is this: what a con­ser­v­a­tive whistle­blow­er Edward Snow­den is,” says Green­wald. “The rea­son for that is because he was so adamant about what his goal was: not to uni­lat­er­al­ly destroy the NSA or the pro­grams he revealed but to let Amer­i­cans mean­ing­ful­ly debate them. That’s why he feels so vin­di­cat­ed. ... I prob­a­bly would have been more aggres­sive if I’d had a dif­fer­ent source.” It sounds like Green­wald has been going easy on the NSA this whole time. Yowza:

    Politi­co
    Has Green­wald, Inc. Peaked?

    Thanks to Ed Snow­den, Glenn Green­wald went from blog­ging to the big time. But his stock may be drop­ping fast.

    By MICHAEL HIRSH

    Sep­tem­ber 03, 2014

    For about a year, the glob­al enter­prise you might call Glenn Green­wald, Inc. has been tak­ing off like a red-hot app. The ques­tion now is whether the sud­den rise of Greenwald—a 47-year-old lawyer-cum-activist from Queens by way of George Wash­ing­ton University—will soon fol­low the course of most Infor­ma­tion Age star­tups: Boom. Bust. Bye.

    Only a year and a half ago, Green­wald was a left-wing blog­ger who was known main­ly to a devot­ed band of online fol­low­ers for his invari­ably harsh view of Amer­i­can nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy and fierce advo­ca­cy of open­ness in gov­ern­ment. Among those who was said to fol­low Greenwald’s writ­ings was a dis­con­tent­ed dig­i­tal oper­a­tive work­ing deep inside what both he and Green­wald viewed as a Big Broth­er-style sur­veil­lance state. That guy’s name was Edward Snow­den.

    ...

    Look­ing back, Green­wald believes that he and Snow­den have pro­found­ly changed the glob­al con­ver­sa­tion about state sur­veil­lance and how the media cov­ers it. “There’s been a real­ly sig­nif­i­cant con­scious­ness shift in the way peo­ple see the role that the Unit­ed States plays in the world,” Green­wald said in a tele­phone inter­view from his office in Brazil over the sum­mer. He point­ed to a Pew Research poll in July that detailed the impact of “the Snow­den effect,” not­ing that because of the NSA rev­e­la­tions “admi­ra­tion for America’s respect for the per­son­al free­doms of its own peo­ple has gone down sig­nif­i­cant­ly in 22 of 36 nations.” Asked whether it both­ered him that he had helped to dam­age America’s brand — con­sid­er­ing that the suc­ces­sor to claimant of sole super­pow­er some­day could be Chi­na or some even less free­dom-lov­ing coun­try than the Unit­ed States—Greenwald sug­gest­ed that he has a high­er call­ing than mere patri­o­tism. “I look at the work I do and the effect it has on world, not as an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen,” he said.

    Green­wald also believes that his kind of “activist jour­nal­ism” is com­ing to be seen as a legit­i­mate alter­na­tive to the pre­ten­sions of the tra­di­tion­al media, which still tries for an objec­tiv­i­ty and even-hand­ed­ness that, he said, can’t ever be achieved. Increas­ing­ly, whistle­blow­ers like Snow­den will leak to jour­nal­ists like him who have an agen­da, rather than to tra­di­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions that strive to be fair to gov­ern­ments as well as to those who expose their secrets, Green­wald says. As evi­dence, he point­ed to a much-shared debate he had last year with Bill Keller, the for­mer exec­u­tive edi­tor of the New York Times, over the “future of jour­nal­ism.”

    “Five years ago Bill Keller nev­er would have acknowl­edged that some­one like me, who got his start on the Inter­net, even exist­ed,” Green­wald said.That’s chang­ing now because today’s leak­ers, like Snow­den, want a sym­pa­thet­ic ear—like him. “Snow­den decid­ed the Times had been too accom­mo­dat­ing and close to the gov­ern­ment,” he said. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, Green­wald, Inc. is now lay­ing grand plans for the future pro­duc­tion of Snow­dens. “I think one of most excit­ing things about the Snow­den rev­e­la­tions is that we cre­at­ed a tem­plate for oth­er peo­ple to come for­ward with blow­ing the whis­tle,” he says. “I pro­vid­ed the tem­plate for vig­or­ous­ly defend­ing my source and sto­ry, and aggres­sive report­ing, and a big part of what I want to do is nur­ture that mod­el.”

    ...

    In late July Omid­yar announced on his blog that he was no longer as intent on cre­at­ing a “big flag­ship web­site” for First Look Media, say­ing, “We have def­i­nite­ly rethought some of our orig­i­nal ideas and plans.” The founder said that instead he want­ed to “test more ideas” for reach­ing a “mass audi­ence.” Asked whether the new com­pa­ny was waver­ing or uncer­tain of its mis­sion, Green­wald said that Omid­yar is “more com­mit­ted than ever to build­ing the Inter­cept … Peo­ple instinc­tive­ly look for evi­dence of ‘waver­ing’ with new enter­pris­es — it’s the human desire to see oth­ers fail — but any­one look­ing for that here is going to be sore­ly dis­ap­point­ed.”

    Green­wald also denies delib­er­ate­ly drib­bling out infor­ma­tion to pro­mote him­self or his book, say­ing the spo­radic nature of the Snow­den dis­clo­sures has a lot more to do with the time it takes to under­stand them. “One of things I don’t think is quite appre­ci­at­ed by some peo­ple is that the archive we were giv­en is vast in size,” he said. “The doc­u­ments are extreme­ly com­pli­cat­ed. Many of them take mul­ti­ple times to read before you can under­stand what they are.” (He added that there is no con­flict of inter­est in the Omid­yar fund’s legal sup­port of his domes­tic part­ner, say­ing he mere­ly asked Omid­yar to take up the fund­ing of the law­suit when his for­mer employ­er, the Guardian, said it could no longer pay the legal fees after Green­wald left the news­pa­per.)

    Green­wald, how­ev­er, admits that he’s ready to move onto oth­er sto­ries besides the NSA.

    Snow­den, of course, won’t be able to do that—perhaps ever. He may spend the rest of his life as a Russ­ian exile (his visa was extend­ed at the end of July, and giv­en Putin’s cur­rent ani­mus toward Wash­ing­ton over Ukraine, it wouldn’t be sur­pris­ing if it were renewed again). Still, Green­wald says, he finds that Snow­den is con­sid­ered a hero wher­ev­er he goes (out­side of the Unit­ed States), and both of them only want to give the pub­lic what it deserves to know. “I would say of all the facts that have dri­ven this episode over the last year, the most under-appre­ci­at­ed one is this: what a con­ser­v­a­tive whistle­blow­er Edward Snow­den is,” says Green­wald. “The rea­son for that is because he was so adamant about what his goal was: not to uni­lat­er­al­ly destroy the NSA or the pro­grams he revealed but to let Amer­i­cans mean­ing­ful­ly debate them. That’s why he feels so vin­di­cat­ed. … I prob­a­bly would have been more aggres­sive if I’d had a dif­fer­ent source.”

    If you’re won­der­ing how much more “aggres­sive” Green­wald could get in his report­ing....he could prob­a­bly get a lot more aggres­sive.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 4, 2014, 7:21 pm
  5. It looks like Switzer­land’s boom­ing data pri­va­cy indus­try might be get­ting a local mas­cot:

    The Inde­pen­dent
    Switzer­land ‘could grant Edward Snow­den asy­lum if he tes­ti­fies against NSA’

    Natasha Culzac Author Biog­ra­phy

    Mon­day 08 Sep­tem­ber 2014

    Switzer­land would grant Edward Snow­den asy­lum if he revealed the extent of espi­onage activ­i­ties by the US gov­ern­ment, rec­om­men­da­tions by the Swiss Attor­ney Gen­er­al report­ed­ly con­clude.

    Accord­ing to Swiss news­pa­per Son­ntags Zeitung, an offi­cial has said that Mr Snow­den should be guar­an­teed safe entry and res­i­den­cy in the coun­try, in return for his knowl­edge on America’s intel­li­gence activ­i­ties.

    Last month, Mr Snow­den was told he was told he could remain in Rus­sia for anoth­er three years.

    He was not grant­ed polit­i­cal asy­lum, but again award­ed tem­po­rary res­i­dence as an exten­sion of the one-year visa giv­en to him last sum­mer.

    In the Swiss doc­u­ment, the ques­tion “What rules would apply if Edward Snow­den is brought to Switzer­land and the Unit­ed States makes an extra­di­tion request?” was posed, lead­ing offi­cials to con­sid­er the diplo­mat­ic headache that would fol­low their accep­tance of Mr Snow­den as polit­i­cal refugee.

    In it, four pos­si­bil­i­ties were report­ed­ly exam­ined, with the Attor­ney Gen­er­al stat­ing that he would be inter­est­ed in a tes­ti­mo­ny by Mr Snow­den against the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA) and his full dis­clo­sure of its wide­spread sur­veil­lance.

    Mr Snowden’s par­tic­i­pa­tion could be part of crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings or as part of a par­lia­men­tary inquiry, Swiss paper Le Matin says, and that extra­di­tion would be reject­ed if the coun­try thinks it is being sought on polit­i­cal grounds or if the for­mer assis­tant at the CIA faces the death penal­ty at home.

    The report also states that the Swiss Office of Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s Min­istry of Pub­lic Con­fed­er­a­tion (MPC) is inves­ti­gat­ing the activ­i­ties of “for­eign states in Switzer­land” includ­ing activ­i­ties such as espi­onage.

    As report­ed by Der Bund, how­ev­er, the report does acknowl­edge that “upper-lev­el gov­ern­ment com­mit­ments” could cre­ate an obsta­cle.

    Mr Snowden’s Swiss lawyer Mar­cel Boson­net report­ed­ly wel­comed the con­clu­sions, say­ing: “The legal require­ments for safe con­duct are met”, and said that Mr Snow­den is inter­est­ed in apply­ing for asy­lum.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 8, 2014, 2:37 pm
  6. Here’s an update on Snow­den’s odds of find­ing asy­lum in Switzer­land: Accord­ing to the Swiss pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor, Snow­den would prob­a­bly not be extra­dit­ed to the US because of the “polit­i­cal char­ac­ter” of charges of trea­son and divulging state secrets. But he also prob­a­bly would­n’t be grant­ed polit­i­cal asy­lum because he has already been giv­en a three-year res­i­den­cy from Rus­sia, although that deci­sion would ulti­mate­ly be up to the gov­ern­ment and jus­tice offi­cials. So will Snow­den have future adven­tures in Switzer­land? The mes­sage from the Swiss pros­e­cu­tors sure sound like a big “maybe, pos­si­bly, we’ll see...”:

    Swiss say would shield Snow­den from ‘polit­i­cal’ extra­di­tion to U.S.

    ZURICH Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:55pm EDT

    (Reuters) — For­mer intel­li­gence con­trac­tor Edward Snow­den could be grant­ed safe pas­sage in Switzer­land if he helped a poten­tial crim­i­nal inquiry into U.S. spy­ing there, the Swiss pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor’s office said on Mon­day.

    He would prob­a­bly not be extra­dit­ed to the Unit­ed States if Wash­ing­ton asked, but it was also unlike­ly that he would be grant­ed polit­i­cal asy­lum, accord­ing to a doc­u­ment lay­ing out Switzer­land’s legal options if Snow­den were to vis­it.

    The pros­e­cu­tor’s office, which pro­vid­ed the doc­u­ment to Reuters, stressed the issue was “pure­ly hypo­thet­i­cal” because Snow­den had not been invit­ed to come from his cur­rent refuge in Rus­sia. It had no fur­ther com­ment.

    The doc­u­ment was leaked last week and prompt­ed a live­ly debate in the Swiss media.

    ...

    GENEVA CIA ACTIVITIES

    Accord­ing to the three-page Swiss doc­u­ment, “Edward Snow­den could be assured of free move­ment by the fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor if he coop­er­at­ed with a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion” into U.S. spy activ­i­ties he says he learned about while work­ing in Gene­va.

    Switzer­land would not com­ply with a U.S. extra­di­tion request if he is accused of trea­son or divulging state secrets because such charges would have a “polit­i­cal char­ac­ter” under Swiss law, the doc­u­ment said.

    The guar­an­tee for Snow­den’s free pas­sage in Switzer­land could be trumped by “high­er state oblig­a­tions” such as a treaty, the doc­u­ment said, adding this required more study.

    Mar­cel Boson­net, Snow­den’s lawyer in Switzer­land, did not com­ment on the doc­u­ment.

    The pros­e­cu­tors said Snow­den was not like­ly to be grant­ed asy­lum in Switzer­land because he has already been giv­en a three-year res­i­den­cy in Rus­sia last month.

    The deci­sion on whether to grant Snow­den asy­lum in Switzer­land ulti­mate­ly lies with the gov­ern­ment and with jus­tice offi­cials.

    Snow­den worked as a com­put­er tech­ni­cian for the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency in the U.S. mis­sion to the Unit­ed Nations in Gene­va between 2007 and 2009.

    He has told Lon­don’s Guardian news­pa­per he had a “for­ma­tive” expe­ri­ence in the Swiss city when the CIA delib­er­ate­ly got a Swiss banker drunk and encour­aged him to dri­ve home.

    When he was arrest­ed, a CIA oper­a­tive offered to inter­vene and lat­er recruit­ed the banker, Snow­den has claimed. Some Swiss offi­cials have ques­tioned if the inci­dent ever hap­pened.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 16, 2014, 4:41 pm
  7. Here’s anoth­er reminder that the anti-NSA poli­cies of for­eign gov­ern­ments may not nec­es­sar­i­ly be anti-sur­veil­lance poli­cies: “For­eign sup­pli­ers may be able to avoid replace­ment if they share their core tech­nol­o­gy or give China’s secu­ri­ty inspec­tors access to their prod­ucts, the peo­ple said. The tech­nol­o­gy may then be seen as safe and con­trol­lable, they said.”:

    Bloomberg News
    Chi­na is Plan­ning to Purge For­eign Tech­nol­o­gy and Replace With Home­grown Sup­pli­ers
    By Bloomberg News Dec 18, 2014 3:13 AM CT

    Chi­na is aim­ing to purge most for­eign tech­nol­o­gy from banks, the mil­i­tary, state-owned enter­pris­es and key gov­ern­ment agen­cies by 2020, step­ping up efforts to shift to Chi­nese sup­pli­ers, accord­ing to peo­ple famil­iar with the effort.

    The push comes after a test of domes­tic alter­na­tives in the north­east­ern city of Sip­ing that was deemed a suc­cess, said the peo­ple, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t pub­lic. Work­ers there replaced Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Win­dows with a home­grown oper­at­ing sys­tem called NeoKylin and swapped for­eign servers for ones made by China’s Inspur Group Ltd., they said.

    The plan for changes in four seg­ments of the econ­o­my is dri­ven by nation­al secu­ri­ty con­cerns and marks an increas­ing­ly deter­mined move away from for­eign sup­pli­ers under Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, the peo­ple said. The cam­paign could have last­ing con­se­quences for U.S. com­pa­nies includ­ing Cis­co Sys­tems Inc. (CSCO), Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Machines Corp. (IBM), Intel Corp. (INTC) and Hewlett-Packard Co.

    “The shift is real,” said Char­lie Dai, a Bei­jing-based ana­lyst for For­rester Research Inc. “We have seen emerg­ing cas­es of replac­ing for­eign prod­ucts at all lay­ers from appli­ca­tion, mid­dle­ware down to the infra­struc­ture soft­ware and hard­ware.”

    Secu­ri­ty Pan­el

    Chi­na is mov­ing to bol­ster its tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor after Edward Snow­den revealed wide­spread spy­ing by the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and accused the intel­li­gence ser­vice of hack­ing into the com­put­ers of Tsinghua Uni­ver­si­ty, one of the China’s top research cen­ters. In Feb­ru­ary, Xi called for faster devel­op­ment of the indus­try at the first meet­ing of his Inter­net secu­ri­ty pan­el.

    For­eign sup­pli­ers may be able to avoid replace­ment if they share their core tech­nol­o­gy or give China’s secu­ri­ty inspec­tors access to their prod­ucts, the peo­ple said. The tech­nol­o­gy may then be seen as safe and con­trol­lable, they said.

    Chi­na ranks sec­ond behind the U.S. in tech­nol­o­gy spend­ing, with out­lays ris­ing 8.1 per­cent to $182 bil­lion last year, accord­ing to research firm IDC. The U.S. spent $656 bil­lion, a 4.2 per­cent increase over 2012.

    The push to devel­op local sup­pli­ers comes as Chi­nese reg­u­la­tors have pur­sued anti-trust probes against west­ern com­pa­nies, includ­ing Microsoft and Qual­comm Inc. (QCOM) Recent months have seen Microsoft’s Chi­na offices raid­ed, Win­dows 8 banned from gov­ern­ment com­put­ers and Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPads exclud­ed from pro­cure­ment lists.

    Trade War

    “I see a trade war hap­pen­ing. This could get ugly fast, and it has,” said Ray Mota, chief exec­u­tive offi­cer of Gilbert, Ari­zona-based ACG Research, who expects the issue to result in direct talks between the U.S. and Chi­na. “It’s not going to be a tech­nol­o­gy dis­cus­sion. It’s going to be a polit­i­cal dis­cus­sion.”

    In Sep­tem­ber, the Chi­na Bank­ing Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion ordered banks and finance agen­cies to ensure that at least 75 per­cent of their com­put­er sys­tems used safe tech­nol­o­gy by 2019. The reg­u­la­tor called on finan­cial insti­tu­tions to ded­i­cate at least 5 per­cent of their IT bud­gets towards the goal.

    While the CBRC pol­i­cy doesn’t make a dis­tinc­tion between for­eign and domes­tic prod­ucts, it says banks must favor com­pa­nies who share their “core knowl­edge and key tech­nol­o­gy.” It also cau­tions banks from rely­ing too heav­i­ly on one sup­pli­er.

    Chi­nese firms, like Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co. and ZTE Corp. (000063), have already begun to gain local mar­ket share at for­eign rivals’ expense.

    Inspur Group’s Inspur Elec­tron­ic Infor­ma­tion Indus­try Co. (000977) rose as much as 2.6 per­cent in Shen­zhen before clos­ing 1.5 per­cent high­er at 39.54 yuan.

    Bei­jing Ori­ent Nation­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sci­ence & Tech­nol­o­gy Co. (300166), a provider of soft­ware prod­ucts to phone com­pa­nies and finan­cial insti­tu­tions, climbed 9.9 per­cent to the high­est since its Jan­u­ary 2011 list­ing. Sin­o­da­ta Co. (002657), which pro­vides tech­nol­o­gy ser­vices to the bank­ing sec­tor, added 9.8 per­cent.

    Mil­i­tary Order

    About 80 per­cent of banks’ core servers and sys­tems are made by for­eign brands, Yan Qing­min, a CBRC vice chair­man, said Nov. 27 at a con­fer­ence in Bei­jing spon­sored by the news mag­a­zine Cai­jing.

    “Most of China’s finan­cial IT sys­tems are from for­eign coun­tries,” Yan said. “From the per­spec­tive of nation­al secu­ri­ty, it pos­es poten­tial threats to us.”

    The CBRC may start account­ing for banks’ use of Chi­nese tech­nol­o­gy in its reg­u­la­to­ry reviews, the Shang­hai Secu­ri­ties News report­ed Dec. 4.

    Xi’s Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion issued a sim­i­lar, although less detailed, order in Octo­ber, accord­ing to a report in the par­ty-run People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Dai­ly. That doc­u­ment described infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty as key to win­ning bat­tles.

    Intel, Microsoft, HP, Cis­co and Qual­comm declined to com­ment. IBM said it isn’t aware of any Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy against using its servers in the bank­ing indus­try.

    Indus­tri­al & Com­mer­cial Bank of Chi­na, the country’s biggest bank, deployed a new IBM main­frame in August, the two com­pa­nies said.

    ...

    Domes­tic Soft­ware

    Sim­i­lar efforts were con­firmed by one provin­cial-lev­el work­er and two local gov­ern­ment work­ers in Jilin’s cap­i­tal of Changchun, who asked not to be named while dis­cussing inter­nal mat­ters. The two local gov­ern­ment work­ers said some spe­cial­ized soft­ware was swapped for domes­tic ver­sions, includ­ing a tax pro­gram designed by the Harbin Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy.

    Chi­na faces obsta­cles in replac­ing for­eign soft­ware and hard­ware on a nation­al scale. Almost three decades after para­mount leader Deng Xiaop­ing approved his State Hi-Tech Devel­op­ment Plan, Chi­nese com­pa­nies hold a frac­tion of glob­al mar­ket share. They’re still unable to match the most advanced prod­ucts, such as high-end bank servers.

    “A key gov­ern­ment moti­va­tion is to bring Chi­na up from low-end man­u­fac­tur­ing to the high end,” said Kit­ty Fok, Chi­na man­ag­ing direc­tor for IDC.

    Nation­al secu­ri­ty pro­vides Chi­na a pow­er­ful ral­ly­ing cry, par­tic­u­lar­ly with­in its sprawl­ing state sec­tor. Chi­na Nation­al Petro­le­um Corp., the country’s largest ener­gy pro­duc­er, announced Nov. 26 — dur­ing China’s first Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Week — that it had replaced its Microsoft e‑mail with the home­grown eYou pro­gram to improve secu­ri­ty.

    “The tech­nol­o­gy gap is clos­ing,” said Mota, who advis­es Cis­co and HP, as well as Huawei and ZTE. “In Chi­na, they have the patience to fig­ure it out.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 18, 2014, 12:44 pm

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