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“U‑2, Brut?”: Baby Face Snowden and the Destabilization of Obama

NSA Sur­veil­lance Map, leaked by Snow­den pri­or to Oba­ma’s meet­ing with Merkel.

Baby Face Snow­den’s can­di­date of choice

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.)

COMMENT: In the 1930’s, there was a famous Amer­i­can crim­i­nal named Baby Face Nel­son. In the sec­ond decade of this cen­tu­ry, we are wit­ness­ing the activ­i­ties of anoth­er Amer­i­can crim­i­nal of youth­ful visage–Edward J. Snow­den. A career spook, Snow­den has, of course, been the source for dis­clo­sures about NSA spy­ing on indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions.

Pre­vi­ous­ly, we not­ed that Ron Paul backer Snowden decamped to Hong Kong and leaked infor­ma­tion about U.S. hack­ing of Chi­nese com­put­ers just as Pres­i­dent Oba­ma was meet­ing with the Chi­nese prime min­is­ter Xi, embar­rass­ing the Pres­i­dent at a sen­si­tive time.

(Users of this web­site are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to exam­ine in detail the pre­vi­ous, above-linked posts on this sub­ject.)

Now, Snow­den has fol­lowed up his Chi­nese “op” by leak­ing infor­ma­tion about NSA spy­ing on EU mem­bers. The most “spied-upon” EU mem­ber state is–unsurprisingly–Germany. The lat­est dis­clo­sure comes as Oba­ma was prepar­ing to meet with Angela Merkel of Ger­many.

The tim­ing of this, on top of the “remark­able coin­ci­dence” of Snow­den show­ing up in Hong Kong and leak­ing embar­rass­ing infor­ma­tion as Oba­ma is meet­ing with Xi, is more than even the most cred­u­lous should believe.

As not­ed in a pre­vi­ous post, this inci­dent strikes us as being remark­ably sim­i­lar to the down­ing of a U‑2 spy plane pri­or to the Eisenhower/Kruschev sum­mit. In The Guns of Novem­ber, Part I, we exam­ined infor­ma­tion from Colonel L. Fletch­er Prouty indi­cat­ing that the U‑2 had been delib­er­ate­ly sab­o­taged by CIA hard­lin­ers to frus­trate attempts at improv­ing U.S./Soviet rela­tions. The leak­ing of the infor­ma­tion to down the U‑2 was blamed on none oth­er than Lee Har­vey Oswald!

“Snow­den’s Ride”, to coin a term, has all the ear­marks of an intel­li­gence oper­a­tion, like the U‑2 gam­bit. Cen­tral to this is Thiel’s Palan­tir firm, almost cer­tain­ly the devel­op­er of the PRISM func­tion. As dis­cussed in our last post, the notion that there would be two Sil­i­con Val­ley soft­ware func­tions with iden­ti­cal names used by NSA/intelligence com­mu­ni­ty is not cred­i­ble. There would have been lit­i­ga­tion.

Also as not­ed in our last post, we won­der what role may have been played in this by Michael J. Mor­rell, who brief Dubya on intel­li­gence mat­ters and who was at his side on 9/11. Note that Snow­den also worked for CIA, as well as NSA. That “the Com­pa­ny” may be scor­ing points against a rival agency is also to be con­sid­ered.

It should come as no sur­prise that the NSA would tar­get Ger­many as a “hot spot” for elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance. An overview of the most impor­tant ter­ror­ist inci­dents affect­ing the Unit­ed States over the last quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry reveals impor­tant evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries lead­ing to Ger­many:

  • The bomb­ing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Locker­bie, Scot­land, in 1988 was exe­cut­ed in Ger­many. The bomb was placed aboard the plane in Ger­many and the bombers were heav­i­ly infil­trat­ed by Ger­man intel­li­gence. One or more of the cell of bombers was a Ger­man intel­li­gence oper­a­tive. 
  • The financ­ing for the first World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing in 1993 came from oper­a­tives in Ger­many.
  • The actu­al mas­ter­mind of the Okla­homa City bomb­ing, accord­ing to ATF infor­mant Car­ol Howe, was Andreas Strass­meir. Strass­meir was a “for­mer” Bun­deswehr offi­cer and the son of Chan­cel­lor Hel­mut Kohl’s chief of staff. Andreas’ grand­fa­ther was one of the char­ter mem­bers of the NSDAP under Hitler. The resem­blance between Strass­meir and “John Doe #2” is strik­ing.
  • Not only did the 9/11 hijack con­spir­a­tors coa­lesce in Ham­burg, but there is strong evi­dence that Ger­man intel­li­gence was involved with the attack. Many of hijack­er Mohamed Atta’s asso­ciates in South Flori­da were Ger­mans. Atta was moved around under the cov­er of the Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety (Gesellschaft). (See text excerpts below.) In Flori­da, he was asso­ci­at­ing with the sons and daugh­ters of promi­nent Ger­man indus­tri­al­ists. (See text excerpts below.) Of inter­est, also, is the fact that CIA pilots appar­ent­ly made a “run” to the Bor­mann ranch. (See text excerpts below.) This sounds like a reg­u­lar route. In our con­ver­sa­tions with Daniel Hop­sick­er, we have not­ed that the South Flori­da avi­a­tion milieu had been a focal point of covert oper­a­tions for decades, dat­ing back to the Sec­ond World War. The Bor­mann ranch was in the three-bor­ders area high­light­ed in FTR #457. Did the Ger­man asso­ciates of Mohamed Atta come up the oth­er end of that pipeline?
  • The “vac­u­um clean­er” activ­i­ties of NSA/GCHQ have been known for a long time–we have done pro­grams about it dat­ing back many years. The for­mal, pub­lic attack on the ECHELON net­work began in 1998. That attack came from Ger­many and Under­ground Reich-asso­ci­at­ed ele­ments such as the Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion. 
  • In August of 1998, sev­er­al things hap­pened almost simultaneously–as the German/EU/Free Con­gress Foundation/Underground Reich attack on ECHELON/Menwith Hill was gain­ing momen­tum, Osama bin Laden stopped using his cell phone and began using couri­ers for impor­tant com­mu­ni­ca­tion. At this time, Ger­man intel­li­gence had the Ham­burg cell (of 9/11 hijack­ers) under elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance. Ger­man intel­li­gence did NOT alert the Unit­ed States.

“NSA Map Shows Ger­many Most Spied-on of EU Mem­bers”; UPI.com; 6/10/2013.

EXCERPT: While the Unit­ed States spies on all Euro­pean Union nations, it spies on Ger­many the most, say papers sup­plied by a for­mer employ­ee of the top U.S. spy agency.

The rank­ings of what EU nations are snooped on, and how much, can be seen in a col­or-cod­ed map of covert Nation­al Secu­rity Agency sur­veil­lance activ­i­ties, EUObserver.com report­ed Mon­day.

Nations sub­ject to the least spy­ing activ­i­ties are shad­ed green; those with the most red.

All EU mem­bers are var­i­ous shades of green on the map. Ger­many is orange.

The map, called Bound­less Infor­mant, is among doc­u­ments released by Edward Snow­den, a for­mer CIA employ­ee and NSA con­trac­tor who says he is the per­son who this month leaked infor­ma­tion about the U.S. meta­da­ta col­lec­tion pro­gram known as PRISM. . . .

“His­to­ry of the Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety”

EXCERPT: In the 1920’s, Carl Duis­berg, Gen­er­al Direc­tor of Bay­er AG in Ger­many, envi­sioned send­ing Ger­man stu­dents to the Unit­ed States on work-study pro­grams. Duis­berg was con­vinced that inter­na­tion­al prac­ti­cal train­ing was crit­i­cal to the growth of Ger­man indus­try. Many of the return­ing trainees lat­er rose to promi­nent posi­tions at AEG, Bay­er, Bosch, Daim­ler Benz, and Siemens, bring­ing with them new meth­ods for mass pro­duc­tion, new ideas, and new busi­ness prac­tices. Fol­low­ing World War II, alum­ni from the first exchanges found­ed the Carl Duis­berg Gesellschaft (CDG) in 1949 to help engi­neers, busi­ness­men and farm­ers gain inter­na­tion­al work expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary for the rebuild­ing of Ger­many . . . .

Excerpt from the Descrip­tion for FTR #484

. . . . Daniel also notes that some of Atta’s Ger­man asso­ciates in Flori­da were sons and daugh­ters of promi­nent Ger­man indus­tri­al­ists. . . .

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile by Paul Man­ning; p. 292.

EXCERPT: . . . A for­mer CIA con­tract pilot, who once flew the run into Paraguay and Argenti­na to the Bor­mann ranch described the estate as remote, ‘worth your life unless you entered their air space with the right iden­ti­fi­ca­tion codes. . . .

Discussion

8 comments for ““U‑2, Brut?”: Baby Face Snowden and the Destabilization of Obama”

  1. Here’s a sto­ry that fall under the cat­e­go­ry of “who watch­es the watchers...or at least gives the watch­ers secu­ri­ty clear­ances?”. Part of the answer appears to be “some ran­dom mas­sive con­trac­tor with eth­i­cal issues that hap­pens to be owned by the same own­ers of Booz Allen Hamil­ton and that’s been under inves­ti­ga­tion since 2011″:

    Watch­dog says con­trac­tor that per­formed back­ground check of NSA leak­er under inves­ti­ga­tion
    By Asso­ci­at­ed Press, Updat­ed: Thurs­day, June 20, 9:04 PM

    WASHINGTON — A gov­ern­ment watch­dog tes­ti­fied Thurs­day there may have been prob­lems with a secu­ri­ty clear­ance back­ground check con­duct­ed on the 29-year-old fed­er­al con­trac­tor who dis­closed pre­vi­ous­ly secret Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency pro­grams for col­lect­ing phone records and Inter­net data — just as news media dis­closed more infor­ma­tion about those pro­grams.

    Appear­ing at a Sen­ate hear­ing, Patrick McFar­land, the U.S. Office of Per­son­nel Management’s inspec­tor gen­er­al, said USIS, the com­pa­ny that con­duct­ed the back­ground inves­ti­ga­tion of for­mer NSA sys­tems ana­lyst Edward Snow­den, is now under inves­ti­ga­tion itself.

    McFar­land declined to say what trig­gered the inquiry of USIS or whether the probe is relat­ed to Snow­den. But when asked by Sen. Jon Tester, D‑Mont., if there were any con­cerns about the USIS back­ground check on Snow­den, McFar­land answered: “Yes, we do believe that there may be some prob­lems.”

    Mean­while, new details emerged about the scope of two recent­ly dis­closed NSA pro­grams — one that gath­ers U.S. phone records and anoth­er that is designed to track the use of U.S.-based Inter­net servers by for­eign­ers with pos­si­ble links to ter­ror­ism.

    Two new doc­u­ments pub­lished Thurs­day by The Guardian news­pa­per — one labeled “top secret” and the oth­er “secret” — said NSA can keep copies of inter­cept­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions from or about U.S. cit­i­zens indef­i­nite­ly if the mate­r­i­al con­tains sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence or evi­dence of crimes.

    McFar­land declined after the Sen­ate hear­ing to describe to reporters the type of inves­ti­ga­tion his office is con­duct­ing. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D‑Mo., said she was told the inquiry is a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion relat­ed “to USIS’ sys­temic fail­ure to ade­quate­ly con­duct inves­ti­ga­tions under its con­tract.”

    “We are lim­it­ed in what we can say about this inves­ti­ga­tion because it is an ongo­ing crim­i­nal mat­ter,” said McCaskill, chair­woman of the Sen­ate sub­com­mit­tee on finan­cial and con­tract­ing over­sight. “But it is a reminder that back­ground inves­ti­ga­tions can have real con­se­quences for our nation­al secu­ri­ty.”

    McCaskill’s pan­el con­duct­ed the hear­ing joint­ly with Tester’s sub­com­mit­tee on effi­cien­cy and effec­tive­ness of fed­er­al pro­grams.

    USIS, based in Falls Church, Va., said in a state­ment that it has nev­er been informed that it is under crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion. USIS received a sub­poe­na from the inspec­tor general’s office in Jan­u­ary 2012 for records, the state­ment said. “USIS com­plied with that sub­poe­na and has coop­er­at­ed ful­ly with the government’s civ­il inves­tiga­tive efforts,” accord­ing to the com­pa­ny.

    USIS declined to com­ment on whether it con­duct­ed a back­ground inves­ti­ga­tion of Snow­den. The com­pa­ny said it per­forms thou­sands of back­ground inves­ti­ga­tions each year for OPM and oth­er gov­ern­ment agen­cies. “These inves­ti­ga­tions are con­fi­den­tial and USIS does not com­ment on them,” the USIS state­ment said.

    The back­ground check USIS per­formed on Snow­den was done in 2011 and was part of peri­od­ic rein­ves­ti­ga­tions that are required for employ­ees who hold secu­ri­ty clear­ances, accord­ing to McFar­land and Michelle Schmitz, the assis­tant inspec­tor gen­er­al for inves­ti­ga­tions at OPM.

    Schmitz said the inves­ti­ga­tion of USIS com­menced lat­er in 2011.

    Booz Allen Hamil­ton, the com­pa­ny where Snow­den was work­ing at the time of the dis­clo­sures, fired him for vio­la­tions of the firm’s code of ethics and firm pol­i­cy. The com­pa­ny said he had been a Booz Allen employ­ee for less than three months.

    Snow­den worked pre­vi­ous­ly at the CIA and prob­a­bly obtained his secu­ri­ty clear­ance there. But like oth­ers who leave the gov­ern­ment to join pri­vate con­trac­tors, he was able to keep his clear­ance after he left and began work­ing for out­side firms.

    Of the 4.9 mil­lion peo­ple with clear­ance to access “con­fi­den­tial and secret” gov­ern­ment infor­ma­tion, 1.1 mil­lion, or 21 per­cent, work for out­side con­trac­tors, accord­ing to a Jan­u­ary report from the Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence. Of the 1.4 mil­lion who have the high­er “top secret” access, 483,000, or 34 per­cent, work for con­trac­tors.

    OPM’s Fed­er­al Inves­tiga­tive Ser­vices divi­sion per­forms almost all the back­ground inves­ti­ga­tions for fed­er­al agen­cies and near­ly 75 per­cent of the inves­ti­ga­tors who per­form back­ground checks are con­trac­tors, accord­ing to infor­ma­tion on the agency’s web­site.

    At the hear­ing, McFar­land called for much clos­er over­sight of the inves­ti­ga­tors who con­duct back­ground checks. He said that 18 back­ground inves­ti­ga­tors and record searchers have been crim­i­nal­ly con­vict­ed since 2006 for fab­ri­cat­ing infor­ma­tion in back­ground reports.

    McFarland’s office is active­ly work­ing on 11 fab­ri­ca­tion cas­es and anoth­er 36 cas­es involv­ing back­ground inves­ti­ga­tors are pend­ing, accord­ing to data he pro­vid­ed to the sub­com­mit­tees.

    Of the 18 inves­ti­ga­tors who were crim­i­nal­ly con­vict­ed, 11 were fed­er­al employ­ees and sev­en were con­trac­tors. Of the 47 active and pend­ing cas­es, six involve fed­er­al employ­ees and 41 involve con­trac­tors, accord­ing to McFar­land.

    The new doc­u­ments revealed by The Guardian were signed by Attor­ney Gen­er­al Eric Hold­er. They include point-by-point direc­tions on how an NSA employ­ee must work to deter­mine that a per­son being tar­get­ed has not entered the Unit­ed States. If NSA finds the tar­get has entered the U.S., it will stop gath­er­ing phone and Inter­net data imme­di­ate­ly, the doc­u­ments say.

    ...

    Inter­est­ing­ly, even though Snow­den passed his back­ground check in 2011 and was an ex-CIA employ­ee, Booz Allen Hamil­ton report­ed­ly had reserves about him. It’s unclear what dis­crep­an­cies they found on his resume, but some­thing about his edu­ca­tion­al claims report­ed­ly did not add up:

    Exclu­sive: NSA con­trac­tor hired Snow­den despite con­cerns about resume dis­crep­an­cies

    By Mark Hosen­ball

    WASHINGTON | Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:52pm EDT

    (Reuters) — Hir­ing screen­ers at Booz Allen Hamil­ton, a con­trac­tor for the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency, found pos­si­ble dis­crep­an­cies in a resume sub­mit­ted by Edward Snow­den, but the com­pa­ny still employed him, a source with detailed knowl­edge of the mat­ter said on Thurs­day.

    Snow­den, who dis­closed top secret doc­u­ments about U.S. sur­veil­lance of tele­phone and Inter­net data after leav­ing his job as a sys­tems admin­is­tra­tor at an NSA facil­i­ty in Hawaii, was hired this spring after he con­vinced his screen­ers that his descrip­tion of his edu­ca­tion was truth­ful, said the source, who is not autho­rized to speak pub­licly about the mat­ter.

    It is unclear pre­cise­ly which ele­ment of Snow­den’s resume caused per­son­nel offi­cials at Booz Allen Hamil­ton to raise ques­tions about his back­ground. Also unclear is how he sat­is­fied their con­cerns.

    ...
    Before he was hired by Booz Allen Hamil­ton, Snow­den also was screened by USIS, a Vir­ginia-based inves­ti­ga­tions firm hired sep­a­rate­ly by the U.S. gov­ern­ment to con­duct back­ground checks on prospec­tive employ­ees and con­trac­tors. Based on reports from firms such as USIS, the NSA decides whether a poten­tial con­tract work­er gets a secu­ri­ty clear­ance.

    Dur­ing the hear­ing, Sen­a­tor John Tester of Mon­tana asked U.S. gov­ern­ment per­son­nel offi­cials whether they had “any con­cerns that Mr. Snow­den’s back­ground inves­ti­ga­tion by USIS ... may not have been car­ried out in an appro­pri­ate or thor­ough man­ner.”

    “Yes, we do believe that there — there may be some prob­lems,” said Patrick McFar­land, inspec­tor gen­er­al of the U.S. Office of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment. McFar­land did not elab­o­rate.

    ...

    QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS BACKGROUND

    Accord­ing to sources famil­iar with the mat­ter, Snow­den, a high school dropout who lat­er passed the high school equiv­a­len­cy test known as the GED, stat­ed on his resume ear­li­er this year he attend­ed com­put­er-relat­ed class­es at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty, a Tokyo cam­pus of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Liv­er­pool in Britain.

    Accord­ing to the sources, the resume stat­ed that Snow­den “esti­mat­ed” he would receive a mas­ter’s degree in com­put­er secu­ri­ty from Liv­er­pool some­time this year.

    Some of the edu­ca­tion­al infor­ma­tion list­ed on the resume did not check out pre­cise­ly, said the sources, who are not autho­rized to com­ment pub­licly.

    Despite that, Booz Allen Hamil­ton hired him at an annu­al salary of $122,000 to work as a con­trac­tor for the NSA in Hawaii. Snow­den had been on the job there for about four weeks when he trav­eled to Hong Kong last month and leaked the U.S. gov­ern­ment secrets that made him known around the world.

    Tracey Reeves, a spokes­woman for Johns Hop­kins, said that the uni­ver­si­ty could find no record that Snow­den had tak­en class­es there.

    She added that Snow­den might have tak­en voca­tion­al train­ing cours­es from a pri­vate, for-prof­it enti­ty called Advanced Career Tech­nolo­gies, which oper­at­ed under the name Com­put­er Career Insti­tute at Johns Hop­kins. Reeves said Johns Hop­kins end­ed its rela­tion­ship with the com­pa­ny in 2009, and that the com­pa­ny appears to have shut down in 2012.

    A spokesman for Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land’s Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege divi­sion said that records showed that Snow­den did attend, in per­son, a sum­mer ses­sion at a cam­pus that the col­lege oper­ates in Asia. He declined to spec­i­fy the loca­tion or pro­vide any infor­ma­tion about Snow­den’s course work.

    A spokes­woman for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Liv­er­pool said in an email that Snow­den had reg­is­tered for an online mas­ter’s pro­gram in com­put­er secu­ri­ty in 2011. But she added that “he is not active in his stud­ies and has not com­plet­ed the pro­gram.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 20, 2013, 8:24 pm
  2. @Pterrafractyl–

    Good find. This does­n’t sur­prise.

    I not­ed in my sec­ond post on this sub­ject that Snow­den did­n’t grad­u­ate from high school.

    A high school diplo­ma is manda­to­ry for being a nation­al secu­ri­ty con­trac­tor.

    I don’t know about a GED.

    In any event, this pos­i­tive­ly reeks of a spook oper­a­tion.

    Not that the dumb-ass media are like­ly to fig­ure it out.

    I would­n’t count on the blo­gos­phere either. Most of them are super­fi­cial and, like main­stream jour­nal­ists, func­tion like a flock of birds.

    When one lands, they all land and when one flies away, they all fly away.

    They nev­er seem to have fig­ured out Assange, whose pro­found asso­ci­a­tion with Holo­caust-denier Joran Jer­mas (aka “Israel Shamir”) was instru­men­tal in Wik­iLeaks end­ing up in Swe­den at fas­cist mon­ey-man Carl Lund­strom’s Pirate Bay servers.

    New­er readers/listeners should exam­nine FTR #‘s 732 and 745 for detailed dis­cus­sion of this.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 20, 2013, 9:38 pm
  3. The lat­est drip, drip, drip: GCHQ is doing even more sur­veil­lance than the NSA:

    GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions

    Exclu­sive: British spy agency col­lects and stores vast quan­ti­ties of glob­al email mes­sages, Face­book posts, inter­net his­to­ries and calls, and shares them with NSA, lat­est doc­u­ments from Edward Snow­den reveal

    Ewen MacAskill, Julian Borg­er, Nick Hop­kins, Nick Davies and James Ball
    guardian.co.uk, Fri­day 21 June 2013 12.23 EDT

    Britain’s spy agency GCHQ has secret­ly gained access to the net­work of cables which car­ry the world’s phone calls and inter­net traf­fic and has start­ed to process vast streams of sen­si­tive per­son­al infor­ma­tion which it is shar­ing with its Amer­i­can part­ner, the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA).

    The sheer scale of the agen­cy’s ambi­tion is reflect­ed in the titles of its two prin­ci­pal com­po­nents: Mas­ter­ing the Inter­net and Glob­al Tele­coms Exploita­tion, aimed at scoop­ing up as much online and tele­phone traf­fic as pos­si­ble. This is all being car­ried out with­out any form of pub­lic acknowl­edge­ment or debate.

    One key inno­va­tion has been GCHQ’s abil­i­ty to tap into and store huge vol­umes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sift­ed and analysed. That oper­a­tion, code­named Tem­po­ra, has been run­ning for some 18 months.

    GCHQ and the NSA are con­se­quent­ly able to access and process vast quan­ti­ties of com­mu­ni­ca­tions between entire­ly inno­cent peo­ple, as well as tar­get­ed sus­pects.

    This includes record­ings of phone calls, the con­tent of email mes­sages, entries on Face­book and the his­to­ry of any inter­net user’s access to web­sites – all of which is deemed legal, even though the war­rant sys­tem was sup­posed to lim­it inter­cep­tion to a spec­i­fied range of tar­gets.

    The exis­tence of the pro­gramme has been dis­closed in doc­u­ments shown to the Guardian by the NSA whistle­blow­er Edward Snow­den as part of his attempt to expose what he has called “the largest pro­gramme of sus­pi­cion­less sur­veil­lance in human his­to­ry”.

    “It’s not just a US prob­lem. The UK has a huge dog in this fight,” Snow­den told the Guardian. “They [GCHQ] are worse than the US.”

    How­ev­er, on Fri­day a source with knowl­edge of intel­li­gence argued that the data was col­lect­ed legal­ly under a sys­tem of safe­guards, and had pro­vid­ed mate­r­i­al that had led to sig­nif­i­cant break­throughs in detect­ing and pre­vent­ing seri­ous crime.

    Britain’s tech­ni­cal capac­i­ty to tap into the cables that car­ry the world’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions – referred to in the doc­u­ments as spe­cial source exploita­tion – has made GCHQ an intel­li­gence super­pow­er.

    By 2010, two years after the project was first tri­alled, it was able to boast it had the “biggest inter­net access” of any mem­ber of the Five Eyes elec­tron­ic eaves­drop­ping alliance, com­pris­ing the US, UK, Cana­da, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

    UK offi­cials could also claim GCHQ “pro­duces larg­er amounts of meta­da­ta than NSA”. (Meta­da­ta describes basic infor­ma­tion on who has been con­tact­ing whom, with­out detail­ing the con­tent.)

    By May last year 300 ana­lysts from GCHQ, and 250 from the NSA, had been assigned to sift through the flood of data.

    The Amer­i­cans were giv­en guide­lines for its use, but were told in legal brief­in­gs by GCHQ lawyers: “We have a light over­sight regime com­pared with the US”.

    When it came to judg­ing the neces­si­ty and pro­por­tion­al­i­ty of what they were allowed to look for, would-be Amer­i­can users were told it was “your call”.

    The Guardian under­stands that a total of 850,000 NSA employ­ees and US pri­vate con­trac­tors with top secret clear­ance had access to GCHQ data­bas­es.

    The doc­u­ments reveal that by last year GCHQ was han­dling 600m “tele­phone events” each day, had tapped more than 200 fibre-optic cables and was able to process data from at least 46 of them at a time.

    Each of the cables car­ries data at a rate of 10 giga­bits per sec­ond, so the tapped cables had the capac­i­ty, in the­o­ry, to deliv­er more than 21 petabytes a day – equiv­a­lent to send­ing all the infor­ma­tion in all the books in the British Library 192 times every 24 hours.

    And the scale of the pro­gramme is con­stant­ly increas­ing as more cables are tapped and GCHQ data stor­age facil­i­ties in the UK and abroad are expand­ed with the aim of pro­cess­ing ter­abits (thou­sands of giga­bits) of data at a time.

    For the 2 bil­lion users of the world wide web, Tem­po­ra rep­re­sents a win­dow on to their every­day lives, suck­ing up every form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the fibre-optic cables that ring the world.

    The NSA has mean­while opened a sec­ond win­dow, in the form of the Prism oper­a­tion, revealed ear­li­er this month by the Guardian, from which it secured access to the inter­nal sys­tems of glob­al com­pa­nies that ser­vice the inter­net.

    The GCHQ mass tap­ping oper­a­tion has been built up over five years by attach­ing inter­cept probes to transat­lantic fibre-optic cables where they land on British shores car­ry­ing data to west­ern Europe from tele­phone exchanges and inter­net servers in north Amer­i­ca.

    This was done under secret agree­ments with com­mer­cial com­pa­nies, described in one doc­u­ment as “inter­cept part­ners”.

    The papers seen by the Guardian sug­gest some com­pa­nies have been paid for the cost of their co-oper­a­tion and GCHQ went to great lengths to keep their names secret. They were assigned “sen­si­tive rela­tion­ship teams” and staff were urged in one inter­nal guid­ance paper to dis­guise the ori­gin of “spe­cial source” mate­r­i­al in their reports for fear that the role of the com­pa­nies as inter­cept part­ners would cause “high-lev­el polit­i­cal fall­out”.

    The source with knowl­edge of intel­li­gence said on Fri­day the com­pa­nies were oblig­ed to co-oper­ate in this oper­a­tion. They are for­bid­den from reveal­ing the exis­tence of war­rants com­pelling them to allow GCHQ access to the cables.

    “There’s an over­ar­ch­ing con­di­tion of the licens­ing of the com­pa­nies that they have to co-oper­ate in this. Should they decline, we can com­pel them to do so. They have no choice.”

    The source said that although GCHQ was col­lect­ing a “vast haystack of data” what they were look­ing for was “nee­dles”.

    “Essen­tial­ly, we have a process that allows us to select a small num­ber of nee­dles in a haystack. We are not look­ing at every piece of straw. There are cer­tain trig­gers that allow you to dis­card or not exam­ine a lot of data so you are just look­ing at nee­dles. If you had the impres­sion we are read­ing mil­lions of emails, we are not. There is no inten­tion in this whole pro­gramme to use it for look­ing at UK domes­tic traf­fic – British peo­ple talk­ing to each oth­er,” the source said.

    He explained that when such “nee­dles” were found a log was made and the inter­cep­tion com­mis­sion­er could see that log.

    “The cri­te­ria are secu­ri­ty, ter­ror, organ­ised crime. And eco­nom­ic well-being. There’s an audit­ing process to go back through the logs and see if it was jus­ti­fied or not. The vast major­i­ty of the data is dis­card­ed with­out being looked at … we sim­ply don’t have the resources.”

    How­ev­er, the legit­i­ma­cy of the oper­a­tion is in doubt. Accord­ing to GCHQ’s legal advice, it was giv­en the go-ahead by apply­ing old law to new tech­nol­o­gy. The 2000 Reg­u­la­tion of Inves­ti­ga­to­ry Pow­ers Act (Ripa) requires the tap­ping of defined tar­gets to be autho­rised by a war­rant signed by the home sec­re­tary or for­eign sec­re­tary.

    How­ev­er, an obscure clause allows the for­eign sec­re­tary to sign a cer­tifi­cate for the inter­cep­tion of broad cat­e­gories of mate­r­i­al, as long as one end of the mon­i­tored com­mu­ni­ca­tions is abroad. But the nature of mod­ern fibre-optic com­mu­ni­ca­tions means that a pro­por­tion of inter­nal UK traf­fic is relayed abroad and then returns through the cables.

    Par­lia­ment passed the Ripa law to allow GCHQ to trawl for infor­ma­tion, but it did so 13 years ago with no inkling of the scale on which GCHQ would attempt to exploit the cer­tifi­cates, enabling it to gath­er and process data regard­less of whether it belongs to iden­ti­fied tar­gets.

    The cat­e­gories of mate­r­i­al have includ­ed fraud, drug traf­fick­ing and ter­ror­ism, but the cri­te­ria at any one time are secret and are not sub­ject to any pub­lic debate. GCHQ’s com­pli­ance with the cer­tifi­cates is audit­ed by the agency itself, but the results of those audits are also secret.

    An indi­ca­tion of how broad the drag­net can be was laid bare in advice from GCHQ’s lawyers, who said it would be impos­si­ble to list the total num­ber of peo­ple tar­get­ed because “this would be an infi­nite list which we could­n’t man­age”.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 21, 2013, 12:17 pm
  4. This isn’t real­ly sur­pris­ing but more of a “signs of the times” fun fact:
    USIS, the for­mer gov­ern­ment agency that han­dles secu­ri­ty clear­ances and was pri­va­tized in 1996 and sold to the Car­lyle Group in 2007, has its own polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 21, 2013, 2:27 pm
  5. A cor­rec­tion on my part: USIS was­n’t sold to Car­lyle in 2007. It was sold by Car­lyle in 2007 to a dif­fer­ent pri­vate equi­ty firm. Me can’t read!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 26, 2013, 1:21 pm
  6. Ars Tech­ni­ca has a big new piece on Snow­den’s online posts on their chat rooms over the years includ­ing his time in Switzer­land. While it does­n’t look like Snow­den’s pol­i­tics have changed much in recent years (he’s pro­mot­ing the gold stan­dard in one thread) his atti­tude towards leak­ers sure has:

    Ars Tech­ni­ca
    In 2009, Ed Snow­den said leak­ers “should be shot.” Then he became one
    In Inter­net chat, Snow­den opined on trav­el, short-selling—and nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    by Joe Mullin — June 26 2013, 8:00am CST

    d Snow­den was 23 years old when he moved to Gene­va in 2007. Soon after arriv­ing, he was look­ing for a taste of home.

    It was­n’t that he was unhap­py. Snow­den’s life was becom­ing the adven­ture he’d been look­ing for. Mov­ing to Switzer­land had­n’t been his first choice—his dream picks were in Asia and Australia—but it cer­tain­ly was­n’t bad. Hired by the CIA and grant­ed a diplo­mat­ic cov­er, he was a reg­u­lar old IT guy whose life was ele­vat­ed by a hint of inter­na­tion­al intrigue.

    Snow­den would soon move into a four-bed­room apart­ment cov­ered by the agency. He’d blow off park­ing tick­ets, cit­ing diplo­mat­ic immu­ni­ty. He’d trav­el the con­ti­nent. He befriend­ed an Eston­ian rock star (“the fun­ni­est part is he’s a SUPER NERD”), raced motor­cy­cles in Italy, took in the Mus­lim call to prayer from his Sara­je­vo hotel room, and formed opin­ions about the food and the women in Bosnia, in Roma­nia, in Spain.

    But as his first spring dawned in Switzer­land, it must have felt cold, for­eign, and expen­sive. Two days after his arrival in Switzer­land, Snow­den logged onto #arsi­fi­cial, a chan­nel on Ars Tech­ni­ca’s pub­lic Inter­net Relay Chat (IRC) serv­er. He’d been fre­quent­ing this space for a few months, chat­ting with whomev­er hap­pened to be hang­ing out.

    ...

    Snow­den logged on to the pub­lic IRC chat room with the same user­name he used across the Web: TheTrue­HOOHA. The chat room was a place he would return to on dozens of occa­sions over his years in Switzer­land, and his writ­ings fill in details about the man who may go down as the most famous leak­er in US his­to­ry. Over the years that he hung out in #arsi­fi­cial, Snow­den went from being a fair­ly insu­lat­ed Amer­i­can to being a man of the world. He would wax philo­soph­i­cal about mon­ey, pol­i­tics, and in one notable exchange, about his uncom­pro­mis­ing views about gov­ern­ment leak­ers.

    Four years lat­er, Snow­den took a job with a gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor for the spe­cif­ic pur­pose of gath­er­ing secret infor­ma­tion on domes­tic spy­ing being done by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA). In May, he hopped a plane to Hong Kong before the NSA knew where he was going. Once there, Snow­den began a process of leak­ing top-secret doc­u­ments to jour­nal­ists. Snow­den’s first leak con­firmed what activists had sus­pect­ed but could­n’t prove: there was a drag­net gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance pro­gram col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion on every Amer­i­can’s phone calls.

    ...

    And he could be abra­sive. Snow­den did­n’t short stocks just to make money—he did it because it was the right thing to do. He saw him­self as a pal­adin of the mar­kets, bring­ing “liq­uid­i­ty” to all. As for those who did­n’t agree with him about the right­ness of the gold stan­dard or the need to elim­i­nate Social Secu­ri­ty, they weren’t just mistaken—they were “retards.”

    Four years ago, Snow­den pre­sent­ed an image of always being sure of him­self, some­times to the point of seem­ing arro­gant. He often thought he was the smartest guy in the room, and he let oth­ers know it.

    ...

    A Ron Paul man and a short-sell­er

    If Snow­den was get­ting com­fort­able in Gene­va, he was ful­ly at home in #arsi­fi­cial. In a depar­ture from his near­ly 800 posts in oth­er Ars forums, here he spoke blunt­ly on mat­ters of state. In the months fol­low­ing the 2008 elec­tion, he dis­cussed his embrace of a return to the gold stan­dard and his admi­ra­tion of its high­est-pro­file cham­pi­on.

    In his more hyper­bol­ic moments, Snow­den spoke about the fall of the dol­lar in near-apoc­a­lyp­tic terms. “It seems like the USD and GBP are both like­ly to go the way of the zim­bab­we dol­lar,” he sug­gest­ed in March 2009. “Espe­cial­ly with that cock­bag bernanke decid­ing to mag­i­cal­ly print 1.2T more dol­lars.”

    ...

    The high unem­ploy­ment rate that was on the way for the US did­n’t phase Snow­den; those wring­ing their hands and seek­ing con­ven­tion­al Key­ne­sian solu­tions seemed soft­head­ed to him. Oba­ma was “plan­ning to deval­ue the cur­ren­cy absolute­ly as fast as the­o­ret­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble,” he wrote. Ris­ing unem­ploy­ment was a mere “cor­rec­tion,” a “nec­es­sary part of cap­i­tal­ism.”

    ...

    Dur­ing the elec­tion, Snow­den sug­gest­ed he could sup­port Oba­ma if he were some­how to join forces with his oppo­nent, John McCain. Snow­den saw McCain as an “excel­lent leader” and “a guy with real val­ues,” unlike Bush. But he was­n’t dread­ing an Oba­ma pres­i­den­cy. “We need an ide­al­ist first and fore­most,” he wrote. “Hillary Clin­ton, I think, would be a pox on the coun­try.”

    Once Oba­ma took office, Snow­den groaned about his poli­cies with increas­ing fre­quen­cy. Fears that Oba­ma might revive an assault weapons ban did­n’t sit well with him as a defend­er of the Sec­ond Amend­ment. Anoth­er stick­ing point was social secu­ri­ty. Snow­den was an indi­vid­u­al­ist, even when it was unpop­u­lar; he saw lit­tle need for a safe­ty net.

    ...

    Leak­ers should be “shot in the balls”

    Snow­den may have leaned lib­er­tar­i­an on some issues, but he also exhib­it­ed strong sup­port for Amer­i­ca’s secu­ri­ty state appa­ra­tus. He did­n’t just work for it as a qui­et dis­si­dent. Four years before he would leak the coun­try’s secrets, Snow­den was cheer­ing its actions and insist­ing that it need­ed healthy fund­ing. To any­one who ques­tioned US actions in his favored online hang­out, he could be deri­sive.

    ...

    Ouch.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 26, 2013, 1:25 pm
  7. Lau­ra Poitras, one of the jour­nal­ists work­ing with Snow­den, has a new set of “rev­e­la­tions” report­ed in Der Spiegel about NSA tar­get­ing of EU insti­tu­tions:

    Der Spiegel
    Attacks from Amer­i­ca: NSA Spied on Euro­pean Union Offices

    By Lau­ra Poitras, Mar­cel Rosen­bach, Fidelius Schmid and Hol­ger Stark, June 29, 2013 – 11:21 PM

    Amer­i­ca’s NSA intel­li­gence ser­vice alleged­ly tar­get­ed the Euro­pean Union with its spy­ing activ­i­ties. Accord­ing to SPIEGEL infor­ma­tion, the US placed bugs in the EU rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Wash­ing­ton and infil­trat­ed its com­put­er net­work. Cyber attacks were also per­pe­trat­ed against Brus­sels in New York and Wash­ing­ton.

    Infor­ma­tion obtained by SPIEGEL shows that Amer­i­ca’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency (NSA) not only con­duct­ed online sur­veil­lance of Euro­pean cit­i­zens, but also appears to have specif­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed build­ings hous­ing Euro­pean Union insti­tu­tions. The infor­ma­tion appears in secret doc­u­ments obtained by whistle­blow­er Edward Snow­den that SPIEGEL has in part seen. A “top secret” 2010 doc­u­ment describes how the secret ser­vice attacked the EU’s diplo­mat­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

    The doc­u­ment sug­gests that in addi­tion to installing bugs in the build­ing in down­town Wash­ing­ton, DC, the EU rep­re­sen­ta­tion’s com­put­er net­work was also infil­trat­ed. In this way, the Amer­i­cans were able to access dis­cus­sions in EU rooms as well as emails and inter­nal doc­u­ments on com­put­ers.

    The attacks on EU insti­tu­tions show yet anoth­er lev­el in the broad scope of the NSA’s spy­ing activ­i­ties. For weeks now, new details about Prism and oth­er sur­veil­lance pro­grams have been emerg­ing that had been com­piled by whistle­blow­er Snow­den. Details have also emerged that the British intel­li­gence ser­vice GCHQ oper­ates a sim­i­lar pro­gram under the name Tem­po­ra with which glob­al tele­phone and Inter­net con­nec­tions are mon­i­tored.

    The doc­u­ments SPIEGEL has seen indi­cate that the EU rep­re­sen­ta­tion to the Unit­ed Nations was attacked in a man­ner sim­i­lar to the way sur­veil­lance was con­duct­ed against its offices in Wash­ing­ton. An NSU doc­u­ment dat­ed Sep­tem­ber 2010 explic­it­ly names the Euro­peans as a “loca­tion tar­get”

    The doc­u­ments also indi­cate the US intel­li­gence ser­vice was respon­si­ble for an elec­tron­ic eaves­drop­ping oper­a­tion in Brus­sels. A lit­tle over five years ago, EU secu­ri­ty experts noticed sev­er­al tele­phone calls that were appar­ent­ly tar­get­ing the remote main­te­nance sys­tem in the Jus­tus Lip­sius Build­ing where the EU Coun­cil of Min­is­ters and the Euro­pean Coun­cil is locat­ed. The calls were made to num­bers that were very close to the one used for the remote admin­is­tra­tion of the build­ing’s tele­phone sys­tem.

    ...

    This lat­est dis­clo­sure has, of course, con­tin­ued to ruf­fled weath­ers:

    BBC
    EU con­cern over Der Spiegel claim of US spy­ing

    The head of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment has demand­ed “full clar­i­fi­ca­tion” from the US over a report that key EU premis­es in Amer­i­ca have been bugged.

    Mar­tin Schulz said that if this was true, it would have a “severe impact” on ties between the EU and the US.

    The report, car­ried by Ger­many’s Der Spiegel mag­a­zine, cites a secret 2010 doc­u­ment alleg­ing that the US spied on EU offices in New York and Wash­ing­ton.

    ...

    In a state­ment on Sat­ur­day, Mr Shultz said: “On behalf of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, I demand full clar­i­fi­ca­tion and require fur­ther infor­ma­tion speed­i­ly from the US author­i­ties with regard to these alle­ga­tions.”

    Der Spiegel also quotes Lux­em­bourg For­eign Min­is­ter Jean Assel­born as say­ing: “If these reports are true, it’s dis­gust­ing. The Unit­ed States would be bet­ter off mon­i­tor­ing its secret ser­vices rather than its allies.”

    The US gov­ern­ment has so far made no pub­lic com­ments on the Spiegel’s report.

    ...

    So was this new con­tent from one of the orig­i­nal 41 Pow­er-Point slides that we haven’t seen yet or is it from the thou­sands of oth­er doc­u­ments that Wik­ileaks, Chi­na, Rus­sia, and who knows who else might have by now.

    Drip...drip...drip...flood?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 29, 2013, 8:29 pm
  8. And in the lat­est Snow­den-flake, we learn that the US clas­si­fy Ger­many as a “third class” part­ner which puts it in a sim­i­lar cat­e­go­ry to that of Chi­na, Iraq, and Sau­di Ara­bia. No oth­er EU coun­try has that clas­si­fi­ca­tion:

    U.S. taps half-bil­lion Ger­man phone, inter­net links in month: report

    BERLIN | Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:40am EDT

    (Reuters) — The Unit­ed States taps half a bil­lion phone calls, emails and text mes­sages in Ger­many in a typ­i­cal month and has classed its biggest Euro­pean ally as a tar­get sim­i­lar to Chi­na, accord­ing to secret U.S. doc­u­ments quot­ed by a Ger­man news­magazine.

    The rev­e­la­tions of alleged U.S. sur­veil­lance pro­grams based on doc­u­ments tak­en by fugi­tive for­mer Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency con­trac­tor Edward Snow­den have raised a polit­i­cal furor in the Unit­ed States and abroad over the bal­ance between pri­va­cy rights and nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    Expos­ing the lat­est details in a string of reput­ed spy­ing pro­grams, Der Spiegel quot­ed from an inter­nal NSA doc­u­ment which it said its reporters had seen.

    The doc­u­ment Spiegel cit­ed showed that the Unit­ed States cat­e­go­rized Ger­many as a “third-class” part­ner and that sur­veil­lance there was stronger than in any oth­er EU coun­try, sim­i­lar in extent to Chi­na, Iraq or Sau­di-Ara­bia.

    “We can attack the sig­nals of most for­eign third-class part­ners, and we do it too,” Der Spiegel quot­ed a pas­sage in the NSA doc­u­ment as say­ing.

    It said the doc­u­ment showed that the NSA mon­i­tored phone calls, text mes­sages, emails and inter­net chat con­tri­bu­tions and has saved the meta­da­ta — that is, the con­nec­tions, not the con­tent — at its head­quar­ters.

    On an aver­age day, the NSA mon­i­tored about 20 mil­lion Ger­man phone con­nec­tions and 10 mil­lion inter­net data sets, ris­ing to 60 mil­lion phone con­nec­tions on busy days, the report said.

    While it had been known from dis­clo­sures by Snow­den that the Unit­ed States tapped data in Ger­many, the extent was pre­vi­ous­ly unclear.

    News of the U.S. cyber-espi­onage pro­gram Prism and the British equiv­a­lent Tem­po­ra have out­raged Ger­mans, who are high­ly sen­si­tive to gov­ern­ment mon­i­tor­ing hav­ing lived through the Stasi secret police in the for­mer com­mu­nist East Ger­many and with lin­ger­ing mem­o­ries of the Gestapo of Hitler’s Nazi regime.

    A Spiegel report on Sat­ur­day that the NSA had spied on Euro­pean Union offices caused out­rage among EU pol­i­cy­mak­ers, with some even call­ing for a sus­pen­sion to talks for a free trade agree­ment between Wash­ing­ton and the EU.

    In France, Der Spiegel report­ed, the Unit­ed States taps about 2 mil­lion con­nec­tion data a day. Only Cana­da, Aus­tralia, Britain and New Zealand were explic­it­ly exempt­ed from spy attacks.

    ...

    And now Ger­many is prepar­ing to bring­ing charges against “per­sons unknown”:

    The Inde­pen­dent
    Ger­many ready to charge UK and US intel­li­gence over alleged bug­ging oper­a­tions

    Out­rage grows in Europe over alle­ga­tions of exten­sive hack­ing and bug­ging oper­a­tions
    Tony Pater­son, Sun­day 30 June 2013

    Germany’s Fed­er­al Prosecutor’s office said it was prepar­ing to bring charges against British and US intel­li­gence today amid fresh alle­ga­tions that the ser­vices spied far more exten­sive­ly than thought on Ger­man phone and inter­net traf­fic and bugged Euro­pean Union offices in Amer­i­ca.

    A report alleg­ing a major and con­tin­u­ous US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency spy­ing oper­a­tion in Ger­many was pub­lished by Der Spiegel mag­a­zine today, prompt­ing out­rage from Berlin MPs still reel­ing from reports about exten­sive British sur­veil­lance in their coun­try. The Ger­man Jus­tice Min­is­ter, Sabine Leutheuss­er-Schnar­ren­burg­er, demand­ed an imme­di­ate expla­na­tion and said the behav­iour of the intel­li­gence ser­vices was “rem­i­nis­cent of the actions against ene­mies dur­ing the Cold War”. “It defies belief that our friends in the US see the Euro­peans as their ene­mies,” she said.

    The leak, which Der Spiegel said came from fugi­tive ex-CIA ana­lyst Edward Snow­den, claimed that the NSA tapped into half a bil­lion Ger­man phone calls, emails and SMS mes­sages each month. Reports last week revealed exten­sive tap­ping of Ger­man phone and inter­net traf­fic by British intel­li­gence under its so-called Tem­po­ra pro­gramme. The infor­ma­tion was said to be shared with the NSA.

    A spokesman for the Fed­er­al Pros­e­cu­tor said the office was prepar­ing to bring charges against “per­sons unknown” in rela­tion to the reports.

    There was also wide­spread and mount­ing anger at offi­cial Euro­pean Union lev­el yes­ter­day fol­low­ing dis­clo­sures that the NSA had spied on EU com­put­er net­works at its offices in New York and Wash­ing­ton and that it had also bugged the premis­es. Mar­tin Schulz, head of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, demand­ed “full clar­i­fi­ca­tion” from the US and said that if the dis­clo­sures proved true they would have a severe impact on US-EU ties.
    ...

    Con­sid­er­ing there’s an elec­tion in Ger­many right now, the Snow­den extra­di­tion-saga could get real­ly inter­est­ing.

    And depend­ing on how the charges against the US and UK pro­ceed, law­suits against gov­ern­ments that facil­i­tate oppres­sive spy­ing on inno­cent civil­ians might also get real­ly inter­est­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 30, 2013, 7:41 pm

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