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Denmark's traitorous spies

by IdiotSavant Sun May 30th, 2021 at 11:24:01 PM EST

Denmark has been spying on Germany for the NSA:

Denmark's secret service helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a European media investigation published on Sunday revealed.

The disclosure that the US had been spying on its allies first started coming to light in 2013, but it is only now that journalists have gained access to reports detailing the support given to the NSA by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE).

The report showed that Germany's close ally and neighbor cooperated with US spying operations that targeted the chancellor and president.

The then chancellor candidate for the German center-left socialist party (SPD), Peer Steinbrück, was also a target, the new report disclosed.

As the article notes, we'd known they were cooperating with the Americans to spy within the EU since 2013. What's new is the targets, which are explosive. And its not just Germany that was targetted: the article says they also spied on politicians in  Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and France.

The good news is that the Danish government sacked the entire leadership of the FE last year over this. But the fact it even happened is highly disturbing, and really makes you wonder who the EU's spy agencies are really loyal to: their own European governments, or their American "allies".

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger


German prosecutors close case on NSA spying scandal | DW - Oct. 5, 2017 |

    Germany's BND spy agency relies heavily on resources and tools supplied by its American aliles. The NSA reportedly provided German agents with spying software in exchange for data sharing. Also, the BND and it domestic intelligence couterpart BfV were accused of assisting the NSA in its global surveillance programs.

As I have blogged over a number of years, Intelligence services are supranational w/o supervision by parliament in EU democracy. The Netherlands with Amsterdam is a key Internet link ... the Dutch are an ambitious partner in Nine Eyes and have been quite successful in spying inside Russia. The new Cold War is a choice by the West starting in 2004-08 and greatly invigorated under the Obama/Biden/HRC administration. Making Russia a pariah state was a motto by the Atlantic Council.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 31st, 2021 at 06:57:56 AM EST
With the monolith US you are either in or out. Nothing has changed since George Bush and Dick Cheney demanded "you are either with us or with the terrorists".

All rules, regulations and privacy laws were set aside to grant spy agencies freedom in collecting all communications. The encryption offered some headaches, but not for long. Especially high-tech from Israel was a welcome addition to the NSA family. Russia and China are on the defense and playing catch-up to the West.

The Dutch had infiltrated a Russian spy network from Fall 2014 onward - see Cozy Bear. Place all allegations and accusations pointing to Russia in that perspective.

Dutch Hackers Infiltrated Kremlin's Cozy Bear in 2014

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 31st, 2021 at 07:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You refer to that convenient happenstance when the Dutch were able to validate CrowdStike's allegation that it was the Cozy Bear who dunnit? Even when we know now that CrowdStrike did not have any evidence of a data breach, and even less evidence that it was the Russians. They admitted they just made up the name Cozy Bear for APT 29, which is actually a set of tools to gain an undetected, long term presence in a computer system. So the Dutch validated something that was totally made up.

That would be the same Dutch who arrested some Russians at the OPCW parking lot claiming they were trying to hack the OPCW computers? Until, of course, they were told that Russia is one of the founding members of OPCW and as such already has access to everything in the system. That news died fast...

The Dutch being so honest brokers, I guess we should indeed place all allegations and accusations pointing to Russia in that perspective.

With the recent news about Danish intelligent service, I would take anything any NATO intelligence says about Russia with a big pinch of salt.

by pelgus on Mon May 31st, 2021 at 12:29:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OPCW made political by US and UK

OPCW chemical watchdog gains power to assign blame

Ahead of the Iraq War, the US removed Bustani from OPCW Executive Council

Chemical Weapons Convention Chief Removed at U.S. Initiative | May 2002 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 31st, 2021 at 01:27:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
British GCHQ used to circumvent US law and Patriot Act to spy on Americans abroad

Unrestrained Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad

Our central hypothesis is that there are several loopholes in current U.S. surveillance law that allow for largely unrestrained surveillance on Americans by collecting their network traffic abroad while not intentionally targeting a U.S. person. Because the U.S. legal framework regulating intelligence operations has not been updated in accordance with new technical realities, the loopholes we identify may leave the internet traffic of Americans as exposed to network surveillance, and as unprotected by under current U.S. law, as the internet traffic of foreigners.

Earlier writing ...

Dutch Seek Their Own 'Patriot Act' | Nov. 2013 |

Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights | Council of Europe - Jan. 2015 |

The Assembly also invites the competent bodies of the European Union to make use of all the instruments at their disposal to promote the privacy of all Europeans in their relations with their counterparts in the United States, in particular in negotiating or implementing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Safe Harbour decision, the Terrorist Financing Tracking Program (TFTP) and the Passenger Name Records (PNR) agreement.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 31st, 2021 at 08:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it really, really likely that the NSA was cooperating with European intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on Merkel's phone when that was revealed in 2013.

So the real news here is that Denmark was used to spy on communications of other European politicians and (apparently) not Danish politicians. The technically easiest solution would have been that the intelligence agency of each country spies on their politicians and hands over the intel to NSA. But I guess that would be a step to far, so instead they spy on the neighbouring politicians.

I think it is fair - based on this report and what is known of collaborations between NSA and different European intelligence agencies - to suspect that most or all European countries spies on neighbouring politicians in collaboration with the NSA. And yes, that shows a loyalty to the NSA above that of the loyalty to their own country. Therefore I expect the news in most countries to be quietly moved of the front pages for lack of political uproar, and then promptly forgotten.

by fjallstrom on Mon May 31st, 2021 at 07:40:27 AM EST
Further, if European governments really wanted to do something about this kind of behaviour they each can:

  1. Order an investigation into wheter their country has spied on neighbouring politicians and sent the data to NSA.

  2. End the collaboration between their intelligence agency and NSA.

I suspect they won't, but would be delighted if they do.
by fjallstrom on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 07:55:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With number 1 there's the minor issue of it being considered a treason in many countries legislation. That puts it right into the realm of, "don't ask the question, if don't want to hear the answer".

Unfortunately, for number 2 to have an actual effect, one should use the courts to make some examples according to the number 1. I may be completely wrong, but I assume many an EU intelligence officer being more loyal to USA than their own politicians. So some beatings may be required, until morale improves.

by pelgus on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 09:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because terrorism is seen as a common threat, I suspect "collaboration" between western intelligence agencies is the norm, not the exception. Also intelligence professionals tend to have more respect for their peers in allied agencies, rather than their "civilian" superiors who know nothing.

No doubt many an intelligence operatives' career has been boosted by a helping hand he got form an allied agency. I suspect US intelligence is riddled with agents also doing some part time work for Israel and this is on top of formal "5 eyes" or "9 eyes" or "14 eyes" intelligence sharing.

The only surprising thing about the Denmark revelations is that they got caught.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 12:34:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That puts the cart before the horse, surely? The European intelligence agencies were built around NATO and the US, long before terrorism became the buzzword you wrote on your funding applications. Remember when Germany's parliament was asking questions about why their military intelligence was providing targeting info to the Americans in the Iraq invasion when the official position was non-intervention. The answer was "terrible tragedy with our archive robot arm, nothing we can do about that now". And that was basically it.
by generic on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 11:02:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry to point this out, but another thing European governments could do would be to construct a federation so that they could have a single, Europe-wide intelligence service comparable to the NSA. As long as it is two dozen individual small countries, each with individual intelligence organizations, compared to a few big countries--the US, China, and Russia--the story will continue.
by asdf on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 11:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that in and of itself would help.

If they were united today with the same people as today, they would still be filled with people who apparently see service to the US as the highest priority. And it would grant the leadership a position above state laws - such as treason - that today could in theory be used to end the subservient relationship to the NSA.

China and Russia are probably better at spying at EU countries then EU countries are at spying at them, but unlike the NSA they are not handed access on a platter. Unless they get NSAs data of course.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 07:39:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably got the Norwegians to spy on the Danes.
by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 at 10:46:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
VP Biden Is Passé ... Meet the new POTUS Joe Biden

Translation: "In 2013, the Danish government secretly welcomed an FBI plane -- intended to kidnap me. At the time, it seemed strange that they would help hide another country's crimes. It was not the Denmark I imagined."

Merkel und Macron fordern Aufklärung von Dänemark und den USA

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 31st, 2021 at 09:57:56 PM EST
Just helping out due to fatwa and Islamic death threats ...

Surveillance thwarted attack on Danish newspaper: White House | Reuters - June 14, 2013 |

The U.S. government's surveillance of phone and Internet communications led to the 2009 arrest of a Chicago man who was planning to bomb a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, the White House said.

Obama and several congressional leaders have argued that lawmakers were kept informed, and that such surveillance was authorized by Congress as part of dramatic security changes that followed the hijacked airline attacks of September 11, 2001.

Copenhagen shootings: Why Denmark was steeled for terror attack | BBC News - Feb. 15, 2015 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jun 1st, 2021 at 08:12:47 AM EST

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