Wed Feb 5th, 2014 at 03:12:57 PM EST
Dutch government, not NSA involved in snooping De Volkskrant | Feb. 5, 2014
Minister of the Interior hasn't got a notion which intelligence agency is collecting 1.8 million metadata of Dutch citizens' phone calls each month. In October on TV news broadcast [video], he got a wire from NSA directly, confirming they had collected this data. Today, Plasterk had to backtrack and made a statement, the Dutch military intelligence MIVD and AIVD were responsible through their unit called National Sigint Organisation (NSO). Defense Minister Hennis seems to concur, stating it was not against Dutch law for this data gathering and sharing it with the US super intelligence agency NSA. Dutch telephone subscribers are not part of this exchange. Similar to role of GCHQ and NSA.
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Satellite disks of NSO in Burum, Drenthe
This whole affair stinks and there appears to be a cover-up to avoid possible lawsuits and unsettling relations with the White House. The satellite spy station in Burum seems to be part of Echelon network.
[Update] WikiLeaks founder Rop Gongrijp joins Dutch lawsuit against NSA espionage …
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Dutch government faces lawsuit for collaboration with NSA
(Raw Story) Nov. 6, 2013 - A group of lawyers, journalists and privacy advocates in the Netherlands is taking the government to court to prevent Dutch intelligence using phone data illegally acquired by the US National Security Agency.
Five individuals, among them a prominent investigative journalist and a well-known hacker, and four organisations filed the case before The Hague district court, according to their lawyer Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm.
The case comes after recent revelations that the NSA monitored 1.8 million phonecalls in a month in the Netherlands and then passed some of the data to Dutch intelligence services.
The NSA has been at the centre of a global furore set off by a series of bombshell leaks from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who lifted the lid on the US government’s far-reaching digital dragnet.
Dutch Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk, whose ministry is the defendant in the case, last week confirmed the NSA’s phone intercepts, telling national television that “whether it’s about politicians or ordinary citizens it’s not acceptable”.
He said the Dutch secret service (AIVD) did exchange information with the NSA but was not necessarily aware where the information came from.
Those bringing the lawsuit include investigative journalist Brenno de Winter and hacker Rop Gonggrijp— who is under investigation by US authorities for his involvement with Wikileaks — and they say they want the NSA to stop eavesdropping and handing over information to Dutch intelligence.
The plaintiffs want judges to “declare that the Dutch state was acting illegally by receiving information from foreign intelligence services, which had been collected through spy programmes like (the NSA’s) PRISM, contrary to Dutch law.”
The Dutch government should tell the plaintiffs “in writing” within three months what type of information was gathered about them and what the information was used for.
NSA claims Europeans did the spying and passed the info to US
WASHINGTON -- The political uproar over alleged US eavesdropping on close European allies has produced an unusual defense from the National Security Agency: it was the Europeans themselves who did the spying and then handed data to the Americans.
It is rare for intelligence officials to speak in any public detail about liaison arrangements with foreign spy agencies because such relationships are so sensitive. Even more unusual is for the United States to point fingers at partners.
But that is what NSA Director General Keith Alexander did at a public congressional hearing when, attempting to counter international complaints about the agency's alleged excesses, he said its sources for foreign telecommunications information included "data provided to NSA by foreign partners."
"Given the hypocrisy being exhibited by the Europeans in saying they are 'shocked, shocked' that these sorts of things go on -- allies spying on allies -- I don't think we should feel much compunction about having them feel a little bit of domestic political heat if that is necessary to set the story straight in one of our own congressional hearings," said Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA analyst.
Metadata refers to information about a phone call or email -- the length of a call and the number dialed, for example -- that does not include the communication's actual content.
The NSA continues battling the perception its programs are large and intrusive. The Post reported on Wednesday that the agency has tapped directly into communications links used by Google and Yahoo to move huge amounts of email and other user information among overseas data centers.
Reports that the United States was eavesdropping on the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and spying on the leaders and citizens of some of its closest European allies -- Germany, France, and Spain -- drew harsh criticism across Europe.
European media have pointed to an NSA slide published by France's Le Monde newspaper as showing that the United States was collecting bulk telephone data on millions of European citizens. But US officials say that slide was misinterpreted.
NSA slide [enlarged] « click
A US national security official said that the slide actually referred to a program under which French authorities supplied to US intelligence agencies large amounts of raw telephone call data. [Love the break in data between Christmas and New Year, typical the French on holiday - LOL - Oui] That data related to communications transmitted outside France but that passed through telecoms systems or switches to which France had direct, or at least readier, access than NSA itself.
The official indicated that this same scenario applied to allegations regarding the NSA collection of large amounts of metadata in Spain.
Another US official familiar with NSA programs said that the metadata collection was inaccurately characterized in French and Spanish media reports.
It was collected by those governments themselves and turned over to the United States, and the collection was conducted on targets outside of their countries in war zones or countries that are major targets for Western counter-terrorism operations, the official said.
NSA Director accused of lying to Congress at Black Hat USA 2013 keynote
Alexander's DEF CON keynote, presented in a black t-shrt and jeans, had the NSA Director saying that DEF CON was the "world's best cybersecurity community" and asked hackers for their help.
The NSA Director was asked during DEF CON's Q and A if the NSA keeps files on all US citizens.
CNET reported that General Alexander had stated,
"No we don't. Absolutely not," he said. "Our job is foreign intelligence. We get oversight by Congress...everything we do is auditable by them, by the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)...and by the (Obama) Administration."
He acknowledged that occasionally there are slip ups. "We may, incidentally in targeting a bad guy, hit on a good guy. We have requirements from (the FISA) court and the attorney general to minimize that."