Sunday, June 30, 2013

Datagate goes international

I was catching up on the Italian news this morning and saw that Datagate is what the Italian press is calling the explosive new revelations that the NSA has secret agreements with European countries to spy on European citizens as well. The news is not quite so readily available in English, although Prachi Gupta's article at Salon is still accessible:
The NSA has been working with at least seven European other countries to collect personal communications data, according to Wayne Madsen, a former NSA contractor who has come forward because he does not think the public should not be “kept in the dark.” According to Madsen, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy all have formed secret agreements with the US to submit sensitive data.

The Guardian reports:

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”.

The news could be potentially damaging to countries, particularly Germany, whose chancellor Angela Merkel has vocally condemned the NSA program that recently came to light by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
This sounds like Echelon on steroids, dwarfing anything Orwell imagined in Big Brother. Moreover, as La Repubblica reports, the Observer article has already been removed from the web "pending an investigation: 

"Datagate, anche l'Italia collabora" 
Poi il Guardian rimuove la pagina web
Il Telegraph: quella fonte è inaffidabile
Foto Ma l'articolo è comunque finito in edicola

"Datagate, Italy also collaborates"
Afterwards the Guardian removes the web page
The Telegraph[sic]: that source is not found
Photo But the article is nevertheless still on the newspaper stand

Note that La Repubblica mistakenly refers to The Telegraph when the link actually refers to The Guardian.  These revelations should give a massive boost to the growing anti-Merkel forces in Germany, as it reveals her to be a shameless and bald-faced liar.

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Blogger bethyada June 30, 2013 6:31 AM  

New bill in NZ.

The bill allows for greater spying by the agency on New Zealanders in its beefed-up role in cyber security of both government and private sectors.

Though some guarded opposition by the NZ Law Society

The society recognised the critical role intelligence gathering played in ensuring the security of New Zealand but "extensive and pervasive amendments to the state's power of surveillance should not be passed by Parliament lightly nor without the fullest extent of debate possible. The Law Society does not consider that sufficient justification has been provided for the proposed reforms".

Australia fortunately more circumspect

A controversial "data retention" scheme that would have required Australians' internet and telephone activities to be stored for up to two years for law enforcement purposes has been shelved by the federal government after an inquiry that did not recommend the scheme go ahead.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 30, 2013 6:34 AM  

"the growing anti-Merkel forces in Germany, as it reveals [Merkel] to be a shameless and bald-faced liar."

So in other words... a consummate professional, simply practicing her métier, yes?

Anonymous Salt June 30, 2013 7:58 AM  

Removed pending an investigation? By whom exactly? Seems to me the investigation has been done, by the Guardian.

Anonymous Porky, droppings of wisdom June 30, 2013 8:15 AM  

Tear it down. Start over. Salt the earth so it can never grow again.

Blogger Hamilton June 30, 2013 9:51 AM  

Everyone I work with that calls themselves a "conservative" thinks Snowden is a dangerous threat to national security. They hate the guy, think he is a traitor. When I engage them in conversation about the matter it becomes clear that they simply don't care about their rights or privacy. They tell me I need to get off the blogs and stop the conspiracy talk. LOL.

Hell, last time I heard Rush on the radio, even that D-bag thinks Snowden is a hero.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 9:57 AM  

The NSA should be asked to provide their info on that pedophile Michael Jackson.

Isn't it interesting how many deviants there are in show biz.

Anonymous Emmanuel Goldstein June 30, 2013 10:12 AM  

Everyone I work with that calls themselves a "conservative" thinks Snowden is a dangerous threat to national security. They hate the guy, think he is a traitor.

When you know the government is listening, that is a rational response. What is needed is even moar covert spying, so that potential Snowdens can be identified before they turn.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 30, 2013 10:42 AM  

Thailand does not like foreigners freeloading on their health care.

Blogger Seal Of Lion June 30, 2013 10:56 AM  

They referenced Wayne Madsen? Take the craziest conspiracy theory you can imagine and he'll top it and add Jews to it.

He's written that the USS Cole was not hit by a suicide boat. It was hit by a Popeye Turbo cruise missile fired by an Israeli Dolphin class submarine. Along with the standard Mossad planned or at least knew about 9/11 through their 'art students' spy/drug network run with the Colombians.

In short, he's a loon.

Anonymous Susan June 30, 2013 11:03 AM  

When this NSA scandal first started, I remember the shockwaves that came out from Europe when they found out the NSA had been spying on THEM. Not their regular citizens, but THEM, as in the governments of these European nations. Britain even set high ranking officials over to 'have a discussion' with our officials about it.

Spying on foreign governments was only briefly mentioned for a day or so, then went away. I imagine that the heads of these nations are going to be in deep trouble politically for a while.

With the data he now undoubtedly has, Soros is going to be short sheeting the currency beds of Europe for a good long time.

Anonymous LES June 30, 2013 11:08 AM  

Does any of this link to Amdocs in Israel that Carl Cameron reported about on Fox news
in December 2001? At that time he said that Amdocs had a record of all phone calls.

Anonymous Mr. Pea June 30, 2013 11:20 AM  

Interesting that? Art students. Movers...

Leaping for joy as the towers were hit...

No conspiracy there.

And Jews.

Anonymous A Visitor June 30, 2013 11:42 AM  

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the international arena. Will their citizens be outraged or just go back to sleep?

Blogger VD June 30, 2013 12:17 PM  

In short, he's a loon.

Perhaps, but the salient point that he is a loon whose highly specific claims about the NSA have repeatedly been proven true.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 30, 2013 12:31 PM  

But these surveillance programs are important elements of the war on terror. That's how they were able to stop those two brothers who wanted to bomb the Boston Marathon. Just think what might have happened if our hardworking syphil servants didn't have that data and those bombs actually went off...

Anonymous The One June 30, 2013 12:54 PM  

They remove a web article, but the printed article remains waiting to be scanned and uploaded. These people are completely incompetent.

Anonymous David June 30, 2013 1:04 PM  

Why do European governments even trust the USA government in the slightest? If I were approached about a mass spy program on my citizens I would ask why I should do this knowing their incompetence will only make sure it blows up in my face later.

Anonymous Gen. Kong June 30, 2013 1:59 PM  

David asks:
Why do European governments even trust the USA government in the slightest?

Because European governments are no more European than the American government is American. To the ruling oligrachy, Europe and America are merely real estate addresses. As VD mentioned a few days back, Italy's migration minister is Congolese. The world government of of the squids, by the squids and for the squids. Those who continue to hold on to the notion that political parties and voting can effect any change in this governance structure are deluded at best.

Blogger James Dixon June 30, 2013 3:50 PM  

> The whole point of the spy apparatus is to spy on foreign governments.

Agreed, So why are they spying on US citizens again?

> Also if you think that this dwarfs anything that Orwell wrote about... you didn't read 1984 at all.

Oh, I've read it. I'm not so sure about you.

Blogger James Dixon June 30, 2013 3:53 PM  

> These revelations should give a massive boost to the growing anti-Merkel forces in Germany, as it reveals her to be a shameless and bald-faced liar.

And thereby the anti-EU forces in Germany. Or at least we can hope.

Anonymous VD June 30, 2013 4:19 PM  

Commenters who refuse to answer direct questions don't get to continue commenting here, Obvious. That has been clearly posted in the Rules of the Blog for years.

All you have to do is answer the question: Are you an SFWA member? Then you can comment again. Until then, your comments will be spammed on sight.

Anonymous Anonagain June 30, 2013 6:13 PM  

VP has become a venue for freak shows featuring sniveling leftists and their delusions of grandeur and self-righteousness. Certainly worth the admittance fee.

Anonymous Anonagain June 30, 2013 6:18 PM  

The leftist mind is a warped mass of crap that couldn't reason its way out of a paper bag, yet imagines itself superior. The only cure for this malady is a single dose of a Pb supplement.

Blogger The CronoLink June 30, 2013 7:39 PM  

Man, too many morons who can't seem to have some common sense, let alone read plain writing, come here.

Anonymous Mr. Pea July 01, 2013 1:09 AM  

The leftist mind is a warped mass of crap...

The same could be said of the rightist mind. They are just as guilty of why we are, were we are, and where we will be.

Anonymous Anonagain July 01, 2013 11:36 AM  

The same could be said of the rightist mind. They are just as guilty of why we are, were we are, and where we will be.

Quite. And both leftists and rightists are no different than rocks because we are, we were, and will always be made up of atoms.

Everyone, including the rocks, is ever so much more enlightened for these astute insights.

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