Tag Archives: Spying

1 May 2015

Germany reportedly let the United States spy on France and the European Commission from its territory

The German intelligence agency reportedly let the United States spy on French and European Commission officials from the Bad Aibling spying station in Bavaria. (more…)

Source: EU Observer | Germany spied on France and EU commission: Report
Source: Spiegel | Überwachung: Neue Spionageaffäre erschüttert BND
Source: Sueddeutsche Zeitung | BND half NSA beim Ausspähen von Frankreich und EU-Kommission

4 February 2014

Merkel helped US and British spy on German citizens, says hacker organisation

A hacker organisation in Germany, The Chaos Computer Club, accuses Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government of helping US and British intelligence agencies to spy on German citizens. Furthermore, the organisation has filed a criminal complaint against Merkel with the Federal Prosecutor General, however, it is not guaranteed that an investigation will ensue. The complaint alleges that Merkel’s government violated the personal privacy of German citizens through ‘illegal and prohibited covert intelligence activities, along with aiding and abetting such activities’ by allowing and assisting US and British agencies.

Edward J. Snowden, former contractor for the NSA, told reporter Hubert Seipel in an interview that Germany’s intelligence service and the NSA have an ‘intimate’ relationship. Additionally, Snowden stated that ‘[t]hey not only share information, the reporting of results from intelligence, but they actually share the tools and the infrastructure.’ While Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s spokesman, said that to file such a criminal complaint is the right of every German citizen, he declined to comment further on the situation.

Source: The New York Times | Hacker Group Accuses Merkel Government of Helping to Spy

23 December 2013

“Everyone does it”: NSA Spying and International Law

Seemingly lost in the daily revelations uncovering massive levels of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance – wiretapping and metadata collection alike – is the issue of who is responsible for these violations of the human right to privacy. The quick and ready answer is the United States and certainly no other country is anywhere near as well placed (or, apparently, as intent) on gathering information on what literally billions of people in the world are doing each day – whether it be who they talk to and email, where (physically) these individuals might happen to be at any given time and who is with them, and finally, what people say, believe and perhaps even think.

Yet, although the U.S. should shoulder the lion’s share of (moral) blame and (legal) responsibility, matters are not nearly as simple as this. For one thing, one of the common refrains, at least by defenders of such surveillance programs, is that “everyone” does it, which seems to suggest that the United States is no different from any other country.

Under this scenario, the United States spies on Germany – but Germany also spies on the United States. In that way, if all are responsible no single country could, or should, bear special responsibility.  (more…)

14 November 2013

The Netherlands taken to court over links with the NSA

An alliance of organisations and citizens, among others the Dutch Association of Defense Counsels, the Dutch Association of Journalists, the Internet Society Netherlands Chapter and Privacy First Foundation initiated legal proceedings against the Dutch state, demanding Dutch intelligent services to stop using United States National Security Agency (NSA) data.

The alliance said it is asking the Hague District Court on 27 November to ban the government from using intelligence data gathered by the NSA, using surveillance techniques that breach Dutch privacy laws. The case has been spurred by revelations that Dutch intelligence agencies have exchanged information with overseas agencies, including the NSA. Minister Plasterk confirmed that the NSA had collected information about 1.8 million Dutch phone calls in one month last year and acknowledged that the Dutch Intelligence Agency had supplied information to the NSA and vice versa.

Source: Miami Herald | Dutch government taken to court over NSA links
Source: Xinhua | Dutch Minister Plasterk sued over NSA spying

31 October 2013

Head of NSA: Allies provided phone records of millions of Europeans to the NSA

Head of the National Security Agency (NSA), General Keith B. Alexander stated, during the House Intelligence Committee meeting on NSA spying, that the phone records of European citizens were collected by allied spy services, rather than the NSA, and then subsequently turned over to the NSA. The Wall Street Journal reported that US officials stated that intelligence services in France and Spain collected phone records of their own citizens, which were then turned over to the NSA. Such information is collected by the US and NATO allies in the name of defending their countries and identifying national security threats.

The US has been recently criticised for its spying on European citizens and leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, James R. Clapper Jr., director of national intelligence, at the same House Intelligence Committee meeting, stated that it is a ‘fundamental given’ that other countries, including allies, spy on the US as well. While spying on foreign leaders, according to Clapper, is a ‘basic pillar of American intelligence operations,’ other US officials suggest it is time to review that policy. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, declared that the US should not be collecting the phone calls and emails of friendly leaders. Furthermore, President Obama is prepared to order the NSA to stop spying on its allied leaders.

Source: The New York Times | N.S.A. Head Says European Data Was Collected by Allies
Source: Wall Street Journal | U.S. Says France, Spain Helped NSA Spying
Source: The Washington Post | NSA chief says NATO allies shared phone records with the U.S. spy agency