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

Jurre andmore drwhax at
Sat Jun 29 16:06:27 PDT 2013

Oddness all over the place, it seems the story has been pulled by the
Guardian. Anyone who knows more?

2013/6/29 Paul Bernal (LAW) <Paul.Bernal at>:
> 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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With kind regards,

Jurre van Bergen

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