Jul 09 2013

Lying by European leaders exposed

The latest revelations by Edward Snowden reveal that German chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of western European nations who expressed such concern at revelations of the NSA spying on their citizens were lying, playing roles to suggest that they are working for the benefit of their own people when in fact they are conniving with the US.

America’s National Security Agency works closely with Germany and other Western states on a “no questions asked”-basis, former NSA employee Edward Snowden said in comments that undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel’s indignant talk of “Cold War” tactics.

“They are in bed with the Germans, just like with most other Western states,” German magazine Der Spiegel quotes him as saying in an interview published on Sunday that was said to be carried out before he fled to Hong Kong in May and divulged details of extensive secret US surveillance.

“Other agencies don’t ask us where we got the information from and we don’t ask them. That way they can protect their top politicians from the backlash in case it emerges how massively people’s privacy is abused worldwide,” he said.

His comments about cooperation with governments overseas, which he said were led by the NSA’s foreign affairs directorate, appear to contradict the German government’s show of surprise at the scale of the US electronic snooping.

No wonder the leaders of all these nations are so eager to hand Snowden over to the US. He is showing them all up.


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  1. 1
    Reginald Selkirk

    That’s nothing compared to the cheating going on in Africa:
    Nigeria’s Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine win 79-0 and 67-0 respectively

  2. 2

    No wonder the leaders of all these nations are so eager to hand Snowden over to the US. He is showing them all up.

    Yeah, I was never convinced that the European governments’ cold shoulder was completely due to pressure from the US government.

    I figured that it was because they all spy on their own citizens, and they didn’t want to set an uncomfortable precedent.

    And while I’m aware that these governments will often share information and resources with each other, even I am shocked at how close the partnerships seem to be.

  3. 3
    Corvus illustris

    Sharing among EU members seems less shocking that sharing with the US: the common economic interest in the EU and/or Eurobloc would make a certain amount of sharing among themseves natural. By the same argument, there is natural economic competition between the EU and US which–I would have thought–would have made Europe reluctant to share with the US.

    At the personal and political level, of course, it’s different. It’s an easy inference from Merkel’s bio that she got along perfectly well with the DDR’s delightful Stasi: our Neuer Stasi Apparat just has better hearing than did the old one.

  4. 4
    Acolyte of Sagan

    The are only three things that surprise me about this; the first is that anybody is surprised that governments are so nosy, the second is that anybody is surprised that they tell lies, and the third is that anybody is surprised to find out that governments pay lip-service to the laws that the rest of us have to follow.

  5. 5

    Why the surprise? Last week English, French and German governments had to admit that they had run programs similar to PRISM themselves. The Dutch government has denied, but somehow I don’t see any reason to believe it.

  6. 6
    Corvus illustris

    Aren’t there economies-of-scale problems here? These things are expensive, and cache-ing the data isn’t cheap either. The US only needs one NSA (and there’s the usual special deal with the UK), but Europe would need several, even with regionalization (a Scandanavian PRISM, a Benelux PRISM, etc.?) unless Europe is better unified politically than it looks from the outside. There are the logistical difficulties of getting into fiber-optics cables (and technical difficulties described in Bamford’s Shadow Factory) when not all the cables pass through your country. The denial from the Netherlands government seems more plausible to me than a denial from the Germans or French would have been.

  7. 7

    I figured that it was because they all spy on their own citizens, and they didn’t want to set an uncomfortable precedent.

    No, no, no, that’s not how it works at all! Only a tyrant would spy on their own citizens!

    No, what really happens is that they all spy on each other’s citizens, and share the results. It’s completely different.

  8. 8
    Marcus Ranum

    It seems as though, around the world, politicians woke up one day and realized that the people are the enemy and decided to do whatever it took to entrench themselves in power. It’s as if they want to be the new monarchs, but have just come up with a bunch of bullshit that conceals the naked fist of authority in a fur-covered glove of pseudodemocracy. In the end, though, these bloodless bastards are just as bad as third world dictators, they’re just less honest.

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    There are the logistical difficulties of getting into fiber-optics cables

    Those are negligible. Fiber-optic splitters have been available since the 80s. Getting into a data-center? Not necessary when you own the real-estate under the streets: what’s one fiber cable more or less under a certain building? In the US, the stuff is colocated in our http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A instances but in Europe, since most cableage has moved underground, you’d only need to have your tapping facility within a couple blocks of the target and you wouldn’t even need to tell the them. After watching the US’ tapping get outed by Klein, I’d bet the EU spooks went underground. Literally.

  10. 10
    Marcus Ranum

    Narus is publicly traded. One of us should buy a few shares and get their annual report. I’d be just fascinated to see if they quote any sales figures by region.

  11. 11
    Marcus Ranum

    I just called my broker. Now I’m part of the intelligence-industrial complex.

  12. 12
    Corvus illustris

    Stand corrected. Thank you for the update and the (gulp!) information in the handy link.

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