22 January 2015
Edward Snowden: Dutch security agencies ‘work for the US’
According to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Dutch security agencies AIVD and MIVD do whatever the United States security agency NSA tells them to do. Snowden, who worked for both the NSA and CIA, said that the Dutch agencies are regarded as ‘subordinate’. ‘The Dutch work for the Americans. They do what they are told,’ he said, and ‘[t]hey are not valued in terms of their capacities but for the access they offer. The NSA uses this.’
The Dutch parliament is currently working on new legislation to give more powers to the security agencies, and politicians need to be alert to the consequences, Snowden said. He claims the NSA has pressured the Netherlands to pass the new laws via a special division set up to expand legal mass surveillance opportunities. The NSA denies such a service exists. MPs will discuss the new plans, which give the security agencies access to internet cables, in the coming weeks. ‘This is a way of getting access to all the communications used by the modern Dutch citizen, from smartphone to website visits to emails,’ according to Snowden, who did not trust the privacy guarantees offered by homes affairs minister Ronald Plasterk and defence minister Jeanine Hennis. ‘We know the Dutch security services do not always keep strictly to the law such as when it comes to listening in on lawyers,’ he said.