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[liberationtech] Secret European deals to hand over private data to America

Paul Bernal (LAW) Paul.Bernal at
Sat Jun 29 13:48:20 PDT 2013

None of this should be surprising, should it? It's a reasonable assumption that all intelligence agencies share their data on a pretty regular basis - certainly with 'friendly' nations, and almost certainly with others, on a quid pro quo basis. It's always been that way.

On 29 Jun 2013, at 21:42, "Jurre andmore" <drwhax at> wrote:

> There was a hearing last week in Dutch parliament about PRISM. There
> was another interesting point being discussed a rumor that the TAT-14
> cable in Katwijk was being eavesdropped. Not only is it eavesdropped,
> but data is shared with the US!
> Article below:
> Revealed: secret European deals to hand over private data to America
> Germany 'among countries offering intelligence' according to new
> claims by former US defence analyst
> At least six European Union countries in addition to Britain have been
> colluding with the US over the mass harvesting of personal
> communications data, according to a former contractor to America's
> National Security Agency, who said the public should not be "kept in
> the dark".
> Wayne Madsen, a former US navy lieutenant who first worked for theNSA
> in 1985 and over the next 12 years held several sensitive positions
> within the agency, names Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany,
> Spain and Italy as having secret deals with the US.
> Madsen said the countries had "formal second and third party status"
> under signal intelligence (Sigint) agreements that compels them to
> hand over data, including mobile phone and internet information to the
> NSA if requested.
> Under international intelligence agreements, confirmed by declassified
> documents, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust
> level. The US is first party while the UK, Canada, Australia and New
> Zealand enjoy second party relationships. Germany and France have
> third party relationships.
> In an interview published last night on the blog,
> Madsen, who has been attacked for holding controversial views on
> espionage issues, said he had decided to speak out after becoming
> concerned about the "half story" told by EU politicians regarding the
> extent of the NSA's activities in Europe.
> He said that under the agreements, which were drawn up after the
> second world war, the "NSA gets the lion's share" of the Sigint
> "take". In return, the third parties to the NSA agreements received
> "highly sanitised intelligence".
> Madsen said he was alarmed at the "sanctimonious outcry" of political
> leaders who were "feigning shock" about the spying operations while
> staying silent about their own arrangements with the US, and was
> particularly concerned that senior German politicians had accused the
> UK of spying when their country had a similar third party deal with
> the NSA.
> Although the level of co-operation provided by other European
> countries to the NSA is not on the same scale as that provided by the
> UK, the allegations are potentially embarrassing.
> "I can't understand how Angela Merkel can keep a straight face,
> demanding assurances from Obama and the UK while Germany has entered
> into those exact relationships," Madsen said.
> The Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford, a senior member of the
> European parliament's civil liberties, justice and home affairs
> committee, said Madsen's allegations confirmed that the entire system
> for monitoring data interception was a mess, because the EU was unable
> to intervene in intelligence matters that remained the exclusive
> concern of national governments.
> "The intelligence agencies are exploiting these contradictions and no
> one is really holding them to account," Ludford said. "It's terribly
> undermining to liberal democracy."
> Madsen's disclosures have prompted calls for European governments to
> come clean on their arrangements with the NSA. "There needs to be
> transparency as to whether or not it is legal for the US or any other
> security service to interrogate private material," said John Cooper
> QC, a leading international human rights lawyer. "The problem here is
> that none of these arrangements has been debated in any democratic
> arena. I agree with William Hague that sometimes things have to be
> done in secret, but you don't break the law in secret."
> Madsen said all seven European countries and the US have access to the
> Tat 14 fibre-optic cable network running between Denmark and Germany,
> the Netherlands, France, the UK and the US, allowing them to intercept
> vast amounts of data, including phone calls, emails and records of
> users' access to websites.
> He said the public needed to be made aware of the full scale of the
> communication-sharing arrangements between European countries and the
> US, which pre-date the internet and became of strategic importance
> during the cold war.
> The covert relationship between the countries was first outlined in a
> 2001 report by the European parliament, but their explicit connection
> with the NSA was not publicised until Madsen decided to speak out last
> night.
> The European parliament's report followed revelations that the NSA was
> conducting a global intelligence-gathering operation, known as
> Echelon, which appears to have established the framework for European
> member states to collaborate with the US.
> "A lot of this information isn't secret, nor is it new," Madsen said.
> "It's just that governments have chosen to keep the public in the dark
> about it. The days when they could get away with a conspiracy of
> silence are over."
> This month another former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, revealed to
> the Guardian previously undisclosed US programmes to monitor telephone
> and internet traffic. The NSA is alleged to have shared some of its
> data, gathered using a specialist tool called Prism, with Britain's
> GCHQ, although the British government denies any suggestion that it
> was obtained illegally. In return, GCHQ has allegedly provided huge
> amounts of data to the NSA.
> "The European parliament must intervene," said Simon Davies, who runs
> the Privacy Surgeon blog. "MEPs should put the interests of citizens
> above party politics and create meaningful reforms."
> --
> With kind regards,
> Jurre van Bergen
> --
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