Statewatch Observatory
EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance (June 2013 - ongoing)  
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European Parliament: LIBE Committee Inquiry on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens
Last hearing: (pdf):
Programme for inquiry meeting 18 December 2013
Final: Report on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (pdf): Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP

See: EPIC - NSA Telephone Records Surveillance (Electronic Privacy Information Centre, USA, link), ACLU: Surveillance & Privacy (link), International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, Stopwatching us (USA, link), Privacy not Prism (link), UK: DON’T SPY ON US launch (link)

Sources: Guardian: NSA Files (link) and NSA documents - Guardian (link), BBC News: US spy leaks: How intelligence is gathered (link) Wikipedi: Special Collection Service (Link), Al Jazeera (Timeline, link), Fibre optic: Submarine Cable Map (link); Ross Anderson Book (link)

UK: GCHQ names Foreign Office official Robert Hannigan as new chief - Current director general of defence and intelligence to replace Sir Iain Lobban at Cheltenham-based agency in autumn (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: HEARTBLEED: NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years (Bloomberg, link) and Heartbleed hacks hit Mumsnet and Canada's tax agency (BBC News, link) also: Parenting website Mumsnet hit by Heartbleed hacking bug - Mumsnet says data of all 1.5m members may be compromised as co-founder admits message was posted using her own password (Guardian, link) And Heartbleed und die NSA: Ohne Hose im Netz (Spiegel Online, link)

USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations - Pair awarded highest accolade in US journalism, winning Pulitzer prize for public service for stories on NSA surveillance (Guardian. link)

USA: Congressional Research Service:

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview (pdf)
Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments (pdf)

GERMANY-USA: NSA: Angela Merkel denied access to her NSA file - Frustration with US government rises over failure to clear up questions about surveillance of German chancellor's phone (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA: Has the NSA Been Using the Heartbleed Bug as an Internet Peephole? (WIRED, link)

COE: USA-NSA-DATA SURVEILLANCE: Parliamentary Assembly: Podcast: Edward Snowden’s testimony to Parliamentary Assembly hearing on mass state surveillance (link) and Video (link)

And see: Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers - Whistleblower tells Council of Europe NSA deliberately snooped on groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Historical document with some lessons for the present: The Complete, Unofficial TEMPEST Information Page (last updated in 2004, pdf):

"Across the darkened street, a windowless van is parked. Inside, an antenna is pointed out through a fiberglass panel. It's aimed at an office window on the third floor. As the CEO works on a word processing document, outlining his strategy for a hostile take-over of a competitor, he never knows what appears on his monitor is
being captured, displayed, and recorded in the van below."
(The graphic on the right is the logo for the US Army Blacktail Canyon TEMPEST Test Facility.)

USA-NSA-CUBA-UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The “Cuban Twitter” Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket (The Intercept, link):

"This week, the Associated Press exposed a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development to create “a Twitter-like Cuban communications network” run through “secret shell companies” in order to create the false appearance of being a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the service’s Cuban users was the fact that “American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes”–specifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment dissent in Cuba and subvert its government."

Documents: Sigdev Conference (pdf) and GCHQ: Full-Spectrum Cyber Effects (19 pages, pdf) also earlier: GCHQ: Psychology: A New Kind of SIGDEV (48 pages, pdf)

GERMANY: USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: Germany opens hearings on U.S. spying (Washington Post, link):

"Revelations of large-scale U.S. spying on Germans, up to and including Chancellor Angela Merkel, prompted an initial wave of outrage here last year. But now, the lengthy committee investigations could keep the spotlight on leaks by the former National Security Agency contractor for a year or two to come.

The hearings also have the potential to provoke further anti­pathy. Indeed, a number of lawmakers here are demanding safe passage to Berlin for Snowden — who is living in self-imposed exile in Moscow — to testify before the eight-member committee. Any such move would likely outrage the United States, which is seeking to take Snowden into custody."

DATA SURVEILLANCE : Launch of CAUSE: Coalition Against the Unlawful Surveillance Exports (link): "Civil society groups (FIDH, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, Reporters without Borders, Digitale Gesellschaft, Open Technology Institute) join together to launch CAUSE. The main goal of the coalition will be to ensure that transfers of commercial surveillance technology do not contribute to human rights abuses or internal repression."

EU-USA: German parliament confirms NSA inquiry, to start in April (DW, link): "Germany's four major parties have unanimously approved a parliamentary inquiry into surveillance by the NSA. A German newspaper reported that whistleblower Edward Snowden, currently in Russia, may testify via Skype."

GERMANY: UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: 'A' for Angela Merkel: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies (Der Spiegel, link):

"Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?" See: nsa-gchq document (pdf)

And also: Der Spiegel: NSA Put Merkel on List of 122 Targeted Leaders (Intercept, link)

UN: Human Rights Committee (Advanced uncorrected version): NSA surveillance (pdf)

"The Committee is concerned that the current system of oversight of the activities of the NSA fails to effectively protect the rights of those affected. While welcoming the recent Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-28) that will now extend some safeguards to non-US persons “to the maximum extent feasible consistent with the national security”, the Committee remains concerned that such persons enjoy only limited protection against excessive surveillance."

See: Dispatch from Geneva: EFF Responds to Concluding Observations from UN Human Rights Committee on NSA Pervasive Surveillance (link):

"the Committee criticized Obama’s policy directive (PPD-28) because it offers only limited protection against excessive surveillance for non-US persons. The Committee correctly pointed out that those affected have no access to adequate remedies in case of abuse."

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama: US must 'win back the trust of ordinary citizens' over data collection - President confirms plans to end NSA bulk telephone collection as House committee says it is close to reform bill deal (Guardian, link): The US proposals concern US citizens where data collection is based on: "reasonable articulable suspicion" - it is silent on the rights of everyone else in the world, including the EU. The claim is that EU citizens will have the same protection as US citizens - but is this the same as EU citizens will have under EU law?

and: Obama is cancelling the NSA dragnet. So why did all three branches sign off? Well, at least the phone part of the dragnet. Here's hoping it's the end of laws of the spies, by the spies and for the spies (Guardian, link) by Jameel Jaffer. And see: The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? Congress' serial fabricator has the audacity to call his new law the 'End Bulk Collection Act'. Obama's proposal isn't much better (link)

USA-NSA-CHINA: Shotgiant: Snowden Docs Show Real Worry With Huawei Tech Is NSA Backdoors Not China Spying (link)

FRANCE-CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: French spy software targeted Canada: report (The Globe and Mail, link): "The document leaked to Le Monde is a slide presentation with the logo of Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC), the secretive Ottawa-based agency that tracks foreign computer, radio and telephone communications. It is classified top secret." See also: Quand les Canadiens partent en chasse de "Babar"." (Le Monde, link)

See: Stormglobe document (pdf)

Updated: USA-NSA: NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls (Washington Post, link)

"The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden."

See documents: Mystic (2 pages, pdf) and Scalwag/Retro (pdf)

This follows the revelation last year (October 2013) about the NSA mass collection of e-mail addresses: See: NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally (Washington Post, link)

UK-GCHQ: British intelligence watchdog is like Yes Prime Minister, says MP - Spy services' monitor has staff of just two and was bewildered by Snowden affair (Guardian, link)(pdf)

UK-GCHQ: If GCHQ wants to improve national security it must fix our technology - Our security is better served by protecting us against online threats than it is by giving cops and spies an easier time attacking ‘bad guys’ (Guardian, link) and Public apathy over GCHQ snooping is a recipe for disaster - The lack of public alarm at government internet surveillance is frightening, but perhaps it's because the problem is difficult to convey in everyday terms (The Observer, link)

USA-NSA: Compare the NSA’s Facebook Malware Denial to its Own Secret Documents (The Intercept, link)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware (The Intercept. link):

"Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.

The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks."

"Top-secret documents show that the British base – referred to by the NSA as “MHS” for Menwith Hill Station – is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant “exploitation” attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail."

"MENWITH HILL: GCHQ, the British agency, has taken on a particularly important role in helping to develop the malware tactics. The Menwith Hill satellite eavesdropping base that is part of the TURMOIL network, located in a rural part of Northern England, is operated by the NSA in close cooperation with GCHQ. Top-secret documents show that the British base – referred to by the NSA as “MHS” for Menwith Hill Station – is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant “exploitation” attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail."

See: The NSA and GCHQ’s QUANTUMTHEORY Hacking Tactics (link), TURBINE and TURMOIL: (pdf) another Menwith Hill ("MHS") connection.

And see: Foreign Officials In the Dark About Their Own Spy Agencies’ Cooperation with NSA (The Intercept, link): "One of the more bizarre aspects of the last nine months of Snowden revelations is how top political officials in other nations have repeatedly demonstrated, or even explicitly claimed, wholesale ignorance about their nations’ cooperation with the National Security Agency, as well as their own spying activities. This has led to widespread speculation about the authenticity of these reactions: Were these top officials truly unaware, or were they pretending to be, in order to distance themselves from surveillance operations that became highly controversial once disclosed?" See: Third Party Relationships (pdf)

UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Phone call metadata does betray sensitive details about your life – study Identities of cannabis grower, woman seeking an abortion and MS sufferer inferred in study that confirms danger of widespread access to metadata (Guardian, link):

"Warnings that phone call “metadata” can betray detailed information about your life has been confirmed by research at Stanford University. Researchers there successfully identified a cannabis cultivator, multiple sclerosis sufferer and a visitor to an abortion clinic using nothing more than the timing and destination of their phone calls. Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler, the researchers behind the finding, used data gleaned from 546 volunteers to assess the extent to which information about who they had called and when revealed personally sensitive information.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs want to scrap US data agreements (euobserver, link): "MEPs want the EU to scrap data protection agreements with the US as they increase pressure on member states to start negotiations on reforming data protection rules in the EU."

European Parliament: US NSA: stop mass surveillance now or face consequences, MEPs say (pdf) : The resolution, in which MEPs set out their findings and recommendations to boost EU citizens' privacy, was backed by 544 votes to 78, with 60 abstentions:

"Parliament's consent to the EU-US trade deal "could be endangered" if blanket mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) does not stop, MEPs said on Wednesday, in a resolution wrapping up their six-month inquiry into US mass surveillance schemes. The text also calls on the EU to suspend its bank data deal with the US and the “Safe Harbour agreement” on data privacy. The fight against terrorism can never justify secret and illegal mass surveillance, it adds"

"The Snowden revelations gave us a chance to react. I hope we will turn those reactions into something positive and lasting into the next mandate of this Parliament, a data protection bill of rights that we can all be proud of", said Civil Liberties inquiry rapporteur Claude Moraes (S&D,"

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies’ Reach (New York Times, link):

"Previously, with narrow exceptions, an intelligence agency was permitted to disseminate information gathered from court-approved wiretaps only after deleting irrelevant private details and masking the names of innocent Americans who came into contact with a terrorism suspect. The Raw Take order significantly changed that system, documents show, allowing counterterrorism analysts at the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. to share unfiltered personal information."

Background documents: Stellarwind (pdf) • NSA-FISA: Classifications Guide (pdf) • NSA/CSS: Classification Guide (pdf)

Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW: 'I would do it again' (Guardian, link)

• Whistleblower patches in to Texas conference from Russia
• Snowden insists leaks have strengthened national security

EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden's testimony to the European Parliament inquiry and Q & A session transcript (pdf)

"I believe that suspicionless surveillance not only fails to make us safe, but it actually makes us less safe. By squandering precious, limited resources on "collecting it all," we end up with more analysts trying to make sense of harmless political dissent and fewer investigators running down real leads. I believe investing in mass surveillance at the expense of traditional, proven methods can cost lives, and history has shown my concerns are justified."

"“One of the foremost activities of the NSA's FAD, or Foreign Affairs Division, is to pressure or incentivize EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance. Lawyers from the NSA, as well as the UK's GCHQ, work very hard to search for loopholes in laws and constitutional protections that they can use to justify indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance operations that were at best unwittingly authorized by lawmakers. These efforts to interpret new powers out of vague laws is an intentional strategy to avoid public opposition and lawmakers’ insistence that legal limits be respected, effects the GCHQ internally described in its own documents as "damaging public debate”

Snowden: NSA pressures EU members to change laws (New Europe, link) and Edward Snowden wants asylum in EU (euobserver, link)

The EP plenary session will discuss (Tuesday) and consider amendments (vote Wednesday): Report on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (pdf): Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP

USA: The Inverse of Oversight: CIA Spies On Congress (The Intercept, link): "In the wake of an explosive new allegation that the CIA spied on Senate intelligence committee staffers". See: Senator's Press release (link) and Probe: Did the CIA spy on the U.S. Senate? (link):

"The CIA Inspector General’s Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation program, McClatchy has learned. The criminal referral may be related to what several knowledgeable people said was CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides to prepare the study."

UK-GCHQ: Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ (Guardian, link)

• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
• 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
• Yahoo: 'A whole new level of violation of our users' privacy'
• Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images

Full document (pdf)

and: GCHQ's cover for Optic Nerve provided by legislation introduced in 2000 - Section 8 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act permits GCHQ to perform indiscriminate trawls of external data (Guardian, link) and se also: Statewatch coverage: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection

UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations (The Intercept, link): "One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction".and

"These GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?"

See document: GCHQ: The ART of DECEPTION: Training for a new generation of online covert operations (3MB, pdf)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MIRANDA DETENTION: Here’s David Miranda’s application to the Court of Appeal – drafted by Matthew Ryder QC and Edward Craven of Matrix Chambers – for permission to appeal against today’s Administrative Court judgment. The court today dismissed his judicial review challenge to his questioning and detention last August under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

UK Court: David Miranda Detention Legal Under Terrorism Law (The Intercept, link):

"A British lower court has ruled that London police acted lawfully in employing an anti-terror statute to detain and interrogate David Miranda for nearly nine hours at Heathrow Airport last summer, even while recognizing that the detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom.”

IMiranda said his suit will continue. “I will appeal this ruling, and keep appealing until the end, not because I care about what the British government calls me, but because the values of press freedom that are at stake are too important to do anything but fight until the end,” he said in a statement to The Intercept."

Full-text of court decision (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA PROTECTION: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS: Enforcing EU data protection law essential for rebuilding trust between EU-US (Press release, pdf) and Opinion (pdf):

"Peter Hustinx, EDPS, said: "The rights of EU citizens to the protection of their privacy and personal information are enshrined in EU law. The mass surveillance of EU citizens by US and other intelligence agencies disregards these rights. As well as supporting a privacy act in the USA, Europe must insist on the strict enforcement of existing EU legislation, promote international privacy standards and swiftly adopt the reform of the EU data protection Regulation. A concerted effort to restore trust is required. " who also comments:

"It is... essential that progress is made quickly to thwart the attempts serving political and economic interests to restrict the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection."

EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Consolidated report after the vote in the LIBE Committee on 12 February 2014: Report on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (pdf): Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP. The full Parliament will vote on the resolution on 12 March in Strasbourg.

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: ‘Why Have You Gone to Russia Two Times in Three Months?’—Heathrow Customs Agent Interrogates Snowden Lawyer (The Dissenter, link)

GCHQ-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters (The Intercept, link)

"The system used by GCHQ to monitor the WikiLeaks website – codenamed ANTICRISIS GIRL – is described in a classified PowerPoint presentation prepared by the British agency and distributed at the 2012 “SIGDEV Conference.” At the annual gathering, each member of the “Five Eyes” alliance – the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – describes the prior year’s surveillance successes and challenges.

In a top-secret presentation at the conference, two GCHQ spies outlined how ANTICRISIS GIRL was used to enable “targeted website monitoring” of WikiLeaks (See slides 33 and 34). The agency logged data showing hundreds of users from around the world, including the United States, as they were visiting a WikiLeaks site –contradicting claims by American officials that a deal between the U.K. and the U.S. prevents each country from spying on the other’s citizens." : Document: A new kind of SIGDEV (pdf) includes references to "Squeaky Dolphin" and GCHQ's JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) and:

"A third document, from July 2011, contains a summary of an internal discussion in which officials from two NSA offices – including the agency’s general counsel and an arm of its Threat Operations Center – considered designating WikiLeaks as “a ‘malicious foreign actor’ for the purpose of targeting.” Such a designation would have allowed the group to be targeted with extensive electronic surveillance – without the need to exclude U.S. persons from the surveillance searches.": Document: SIGINT targeting scenarios (pdf)

USA-NSA: Germany, France to discuss plan to avoid US spying (Press TV, link):

"Germany and France have planned to discuss building up a European communication network to avoid data passing through the United States... Merkel has been pushing for greater email and data protection following reports about Washington’s mass surveillance program....She also added, "Above all, we'll talk about European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn't have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe."

See also: U.S. now bugging German ministers in place of Merkel - report (Reuers, 23-2-14, link)

USA: The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program (Intercept, link):

"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people."

UK: DON’T SPY ON US launch (link)

"The UK's intelligence services can process 21 petabytes of data per day - that's 39 billion pieces of information that could be the private data of any citizen. This mass surveillance violates your privacy and chills free speech across the globe. The current law offers little protection. We are calling for reform of the legal framework so the intelligence agencies stop spying on us."

UPDATED: EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: NSA inquiry: what experts revealed to MEPs (Press release, pdf): Report adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE): "The text, passed by 33 votes to 7 with 17 abstentions, condemns the “vast, systemic, blanket collection of personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information”, adding that “the fight against terrorism can never be a justification for untargeted, secret or even illegal mass surveillance programmes”.

The following amendment was adopted: "Compromise Amendment No 16 '20a. Calls on all EU Member States and in particular, with regard to its Resolution of 04/07/2013 and Inquiry Hearings, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland to ensure that their current or future legislative frameworks and oversight mechanisms governing the activities of intelligence agencies are in line of the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union data protection legislation; calls on these Member States to clarify these allegations of mass surveillance activities , including mass surveillance of cross border telecommunications, untargeted surveillance on cable-bound communications, potential agreements between intelligence services ans telecommunication companies as regards access and exchange of personal data and access to transatlantic cables, US intelligence personnel and equipment on EU territory without oversight on surveillance operations, and their compatibility with European Union legislation: invites these National Parliaments to intensify cooperation of their intelligence oversight bodies of their national parliaments at a European level.' .

and NSA snooping: MEPs table proposals to protect EU citizens' privacy (pdf)  The report will go before the plenary session on 12 March 2014. See also: LIBE: No EU-US trade deal unless fundamental rights ensured (New Europe, link) and MEPs say No to Snowden asylum in Europe (euobserver, link)

UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and 'Dirty Tricks' (NBC News) and See: Set of GCHQ slides - JTRIG (pdf) which suggest a wider list of targets and ways of disrupting their activities: The Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) focused on cyber forensics, espionage and covert operations including: the 4D's: Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive. Techniques employed are: bombarding their phones with calls, deleting their online presence, email/text friends and colleagues, blogging pretending to be a victim, "stop someones computer from working.

NETHERLANDS: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Netherlands, not USA, gathered info from 1.8 million phone calls (Dutch, link):

"The Dutch security service was responsible for collecting information from about 1.8 million telephone calls and text messages at the end of 2012 and in early 2013, ministers have told parliament. Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk told MPs in October the Americans were behind the tapping, after the revelations were first published in German magazine Spiegel.

However, in a two paragraph briefing on Wednesday, Plasterk and defence minister Jeanine Hennis said the information had been gathered by the Netherlands itself....the information was gathered from satellite and radio-based phone calls, messages and emails"

UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: War on Anonymous: British Spies Attacked Hackers, Snowden Docs Show (NBC News, link):

"secret British spy unit created to mount cyber attacks on Britain’s enemies has waged war on the hacktivists of Anonymous and LulzSec, according to documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and obtained by NBC News.

The blunt instrument the spy unit used to target hackers, however, also interrupted the web communications of political dissidents who did not engage in any illegal hacking. It may also have shut down websites with no connection to Anonymous."

And see: Document (pdf)

German authorities sued over illegal spying allegations (euractiv, link)

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Yahoo release US surveillance requests (Guardian, link)

• Tech giants turn over data from tens of thousands of accounts
• Limited disclosure part of transparency deal made last month

And: Making Surveillance a Little Less Opaque (New York Times, link): "The new rules will now allow companies to disclose the FISA orders as well as the national security letters — but, again, only in broad ranges. They can also disclose how many users were affected but not the nature of the information they turned over to the government. Simply put, the new rules will not appreciably improve the public’s understanding of the surveillance system or its ability to push back. What is clear is that government officials have not budged from their belief that Americans should simply trust them to do the right thing."

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda's detention: a chilling attack on journalism - When the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald was detained at Heathrow airport last August under the Terrorism Act, MI5 were pulling the strings and knew full well that he wasn't a terrorist (Guardian, link)

And: Hackers sue German government over NSA spying (Washington Post, link)

UPDATED: Canada's WiFi Surveillance and CSEC's Non-Denial Denials (notes jrgallagher, link)

USA-NSA-CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exclusive: CSEC used airport Wi-Fi to track Canadian travellers: Edward Snowden documents - Electronic snooping was part of a trial run for U.S. NSA and other foreign services (CBC News, link):

" top secret document retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by CBC News shows that Canada's electronic spy agency used information from the free internet service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary airline passengers for days after they left the terminal.

After reviewing the document, one of Canada's foremost authorities on cyber-security says the clandestine operation by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) was almost certainly illegal."

See document: IP Profiling Analytics & Mission Impacts (pdf)

USA: NSA: Vice-admiral Michael Rogers to take command of embattled NSA (Guardian, link)

Rogers is currently commander of navy Fleet Cyber Command
Richard Ledgett will become the NSA's new deputy director
New leaders to face ongoing fallout from Snowden disclosures

UK: Cameron says he failed to make case for mass surveillance after Snowden leaks - Files from analyst showed need to update communication laws, says PM, also claiming civil liberties must be held 'in proportion' (Guardian, link) and Australia's relations with Indonesia at stake over secret East Timor papers - Canberra blocking release of 30-year-old documents on atrocities as it seeks to rebuild ties with Jakarta, AAT told (Guardian, link)

NSA said to have spied on leaders at Danish climate summit (euobersver, link)

UPDATED: UK-GCHQ: Huge swathe of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer - Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity' (Guardian, link). See Full-text of legal opinion (pdf)

EU-USA: EU justice chief attacks European "hypocrisy" on spying (Reuters, link): ""If the EU wants to be credible in its efforts to rebuild trust, if it wants to act as an example for other continents, it also has to get its own house in order."

Angela Merkel says US and UK snooping sows distrust (BBC News, link): "She used her inaugural address to parliament after her re-election to warn that such surveillance ultimately undermined mutual security. She also accused the UK and US of using spy agencies to gain economic advantage rather than just for security."

CoE: Parliamentary Assembly: Committee to invite Edward Snowden to debate mass surveillance with US officials (CoE, link)

UK-GCHQ: Huge swath of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer - Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity' (Guardian, link)

GCHQ head Sir Iain Lobban stands down - Foreign Office claims 53-year-old spy chief's departure part of long-planned move and nothing to do with Edward Snowden revelations (Guardian, link)

EU threatens suspension of data deal with US (euractiv, link)

EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: State of surveillance: the NSA files and the global fightback (pdf) by Ben Hayes

UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NBC News: Snowden docs reveal British spies snooped on YouTube and Facebook (link) with 48 page slideshow constructed by GCHQ revealing a pilot programme called "Squeaky Dolphin":

See: GCHQ slides (48 slides, pdf) and another GCHQ document: The mobile challenge (pdf): "By 2015 up to 90% of internet traffic will be accessed on mobile devices...Predicted that in 2011 mobile broadband will overtake fixed-line internet connections in the UK"

and: Angry Birds and 'leaky' phone apps targeted by NSA and GCHQ for user data (Guardian, link using different documents): US and UK spy agencies piggyback on commercial data • Details can include age, location and sexual orientation • Documents also reveal targeted tools against individual phones: "GCHQ documents use Angry Birds – reportedly downloaded more than 1.7bn times – as a case study for app data collection."

See also: Spy Agencies Tap Data Streaming From Phone Apps (New York Times, link) and slides: Analysis of Smartphones Devices - "All in a day's work" (pdf)

Obama advisor: Pipeline deals could see US spy on EU leaders (euobserver, link)

After Snowden: How vulnerable is the internet? (BBC News, link)

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Tech giants reach White House deal on NSA surveillance of customer data (Guardian, link)

• Deal ends months of wrangling before secret Fisa court
• Companies can disclose more information on data turned over

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Big Data and the Future of Privacy (White House Blog, link), EU justice ministers seek data security reform (DW, link), Edward Snowden tells German TV that NSA is involved in industrial espionage - Public broadcaster ARD airs interview in which whistleblower says National Security Agency is involved in industrial espionage (Guardian, link) And see: NSAs' Upstream Collection (, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament question to the Commission on USA "spying" on EU citizens: Question and answer given by High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission (pdf): The answer from the High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission presents the permanent contradiction for the EU: the Lisbon Treaty guarantees the right of protection of personal data while at the same time it gives each Member State the sole responsibility for national security. So unless they all agree, and the UK for one will not, a "no spying on citizens" agreement is not possible - and the USA knows this.

"according to Article 16(1) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, every European citizen has the right to the protection of personal data concerning them. However, pursuant to Article 4(2) of the Treaty on the European Union, national security remains the sole responsibility of each Member State. As a consequence, it seems difficult at the stake to find appropriate measures concerning the protection of personal data in a case concerning a third country like the United States. At the moment, the EU does not intend to undertake negotiations on a ‘no-spy’ agreement with the United States."

See also: Germany probes intel agencies: Germany's Parliamentary Control Panel (PKGr) meets to determine who will oversee the country's three intelligence agencies. Left party politician Andre Hahn hopes the panel's influence will grow. (DW, link)

THE EU SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES COOPERATION MECHANISM: Under Article 73 of the Lisbon Treaty (included in the Treaty but not in the proposed Constitution) it states:

"It shall be open to Member States to organise between themselves and under their responsibility such forms of cooperation and coordination as they deem appropriate between the competent departments of their administrations responsible for safeguarding national security "

Are EU security and intelligence agencies using the Treaty cooperation and coordination provision and if so how? Have they jointly discussed the "problems" created by the Snowden revelations?

A rare hint at the linkage between the "gatherers" (NSA, GCHQ etc) and the "users" (the security, intelligence and .law enforcement agencies) was given in a Guardian article: GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance Edward Snowden papers unmask close technical cooperation and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies: A document cited by the Guardian revealed that the UK's internal security agency MI5 (Security Service) and MI6 (SIS, Secret Intelligence Service) work with GCHQ not only to extend the technical capabilities of other EU state agencies but also to advise them on how to get round their national laws:

"We [GCHQ] have been assisting the BND (along with SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] and Security Service) in making the case for reform or reinterpretation of the very restrictive interception legislation in Germany,"

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES OVERSIGHT BOARD: Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (238 pages, pdf)

Watchdog Report Says N.S.A. Program Is Illegal and Should End (New York Times, link): "An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency’s program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only “minimal” benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down."

UK-GCHQ-ECHR: Justify GCHQ mass surveillance, European court tells ministers - Judges order government to provide submission about whether spying activities violated European convention on human rights (Guardian, link)

"Ministers have been ordered to justify GCHQ's mass surveillance programmes by judges at the European court of human rights who have fast-tracked a case brought by privacy and human rights campaigners. The court in Strasbourg has told the government to provide submissions by the beginning of May about whether GCHQ's spying activities could be a violation of the right to privacy under article 8 of the European convention. Marking the case a priority, campaigners are hopeful the court will bring a ruling before the end of the year."

See: Full-text: Statement of Facts in Application no: 51870/13: Big Brother Watch and Others against the United Kingdom lodged on 4 September 2013 (pdf)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Watchdog Report Says N.S.A. Program Is Illegal and Should End (New York Times, link):

"An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency’s program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only “minimal” benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down."

USA-EU-UK-NSA-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Swedish FM to head new inquiry into NSA revelations (euobserver, link): "An new commission to be headed by Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt is set to investigate the implications of the US snooping affair for the future of the internet.....The Global Commission on Internet Governance - launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Swizterland, this week....The project is the brainchild of two think tanks: the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in the US and the UK’s Royal Institute of International Affairs, better known as Chatham House."

And: Independent commission to investigate future of internet after NSA revelations - Two-year inquiry headed by Swedish foreign minister, set up by Chatham House and CIGI thinktanks, is announced at Davos (Guardian, link)

Also: Mobile phone networks challenge government over text message trawling - EE, O2, Vodafone and Three demand answers on how spies can allegedly get around UK laws using NSA's Dishfire program (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US withholding Fisa court orders on NSA bulk collection of Americans' data - Justice Department refuses to turn over 'certain other' documents in ACLU lawsuit meant to shed light on surveillance practices (Guardian) and See: Letter to ACLU (pdf) Also: Human Rights Watch calls for legislation against surveillance (DW, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Top German Prosecutor Considers NSA Investigation (Der Spiegel, link) and see European Parliament press release: Moraes on NSA reform: Obama speech may not suffice to restore EU citizens’ trust (pdf)

USA-NSA-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: "DISHFIRE" programme retains messages for future use: NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep (Guardian, link): NSA extracts location, contacts and financial transactions • 'Dishfire' program sweeps up 'pretty much everything it can' • GCHQ using database to search metadata from UK numbers:

"The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of "untargeted and unwarranted" communications belonging to people in the UK. The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects "pretty much everything it can", according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets."

"The GCHQ memo sets out in clear terms what the agency's access to Dishfire allows it to do, before handling how UK communications should be treated. .."In contrast to [most] GCHQ equivalents, DISHFIRE contains a large volume of unselected SMS traffic," it states (emphasis original). "This makes it particularly useful for the development of new targets, since it is possible to examine the content of messages sent months or even years before the target was known to be of interest."" [emphasis added] See: DISHFIRE: SMS document (8 pages, pdf)

In a "separate document", not released, concerning GCHQ Channel 4 News added that:

"A separate document reveals the extent to which GCHQ staff used Dishfire to gain information which, under British law, they would need permission to request from telecoms companies within the UK. Under American law, the NSA must delete all US-related texts from the Dishfire database, but does not do the same for UK numberds.

This gives GCHQ a vital store of information, and the documents encourage staff to use it to scope out numbers to see if they might be of interest. "You
can... run queries prior to targeting a number, as the content may give you an idea of how useful the number will be," states the document."

"It also offers GCHQ the chance to pull in mobile phone data from years ago - before the person ever became a suspect: "This makes it particularly useful for development of new targets, since it is possible to examine the content of messages sent months or even years before the target was known to be of interest," the document states." [emphasis added]

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Obama Speech on NSA Reform (pdf) and see: 17 January 2014: PRESIDENTIAL POLICY DIRECTIVE/PPD-28 SUBJECT: Signals Intelligence Activities (pdf)

See also: Obama presents NSA reforms with plan to end government storage of call data (Guardian, link)

• President stops short of ending controversial bulk collection
• Obama assures allied foreign leaders on NSA surveillance
• Reforms also include added Fisa court safeguards

and: ACLU Comment on President’s NSA Speech (link) and Where Does the President Stand on NSA Reform? (Quick Guide, link)

Different perspectives on proposals: New York Times (link): "even as Mr. Obama spoke eloquently of the need to balance the nation’s security with personal privacy and civil liberties, many of his reforms were frustratingly short on specifics and vague on implementation." , Washington Post (link) and Guardian (link): "NSA surveillance: American debate, British denial - Barack Obama's speech on NSA reform has paved the way for a proper evaluation of security and privacy. The UK must do the same"; Obama NSA reform proposals receive mixed reaction in Berlin (DW, link): "Senior political leaders in Berlin have welcomed US President Barack Obama's NSA speech as an important first step. But many have expressed skepticism that Washington will follow through with broad surveillance reform." Obama's NSA speech as an important first step. But many have expressed skepticism that Washington will follow through with broad surveillance reform." (Guardian, link): "Europeans were largely underwhelmed by Barack Obama's speech on limited reform of US espionage practices, saying the measures did not go far enough to address concerns over American snooping on its European allies."

UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK rejects German 'no spy' pact, report says (euobserver, link): "The UK is reportedly opposed to a no-spy pact being crafted by EU states, despite months of German-led negotiations." And see: N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers (New York Times, link)

USA-NSA-UK-GCHQ: NSA and GCHQ activities appear illegal, says EU parliamentary inquiry - Civil liberties committee report demands end to indiscriminate collection of personal data by British and US agencies (Guardian, link)

See: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP (pdf)

Also: Snowden set for EU parliament video link (euobserver, link)

EU-UK-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Claude Moraes MEP (pdf)

"Condemns in the strongest possible terms the vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information; emphasises that the systems of mass, indiscriminate surveillance by intelligence services constitute a serious interference with the fundamental rights of citizens; stresses that privacy is not a luxury right, but that it is the foundation stone of a free and democratic society; points out, furthermore, that mass surveillance has potentially severe effects on the freedom of the press, thought and speech, as well as a significant potential for abuse of the information gathered against political adversaries; emphasises that these mass surveillance activities appear also to entail illegal actions by intelligence services and raise questions regarding the extra-territoriality of national laws";

UK: Interception, Intelligence and Surveillance reports: Interception Commissioner fails to report on Section 8(4) certificates authorising GCHQ's mass data collection

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The government claims that GCHQ's interception of fibre-optic cable telecommunications traffic (and of satellite communications) is lawful under under RIPA 2000 Section 8(4) certificates issued by the Foreign Secretary. These certificates grant sweeping general powers which are meant to be overseen by the Interception Commissioner who is responsible reporting on Sections 1-11 of RIPA 2000. His Report is silent on this crucial issue - this is yet another reason for a wholesale review of the role and accountability of the security and intelligence agencies in a democratic society."

Interception warrants and modifications at all-time high Collection of communications data ("metadata") at all-time high Surveillance Commissioner unable to monitor all undercover police as Home Office fails to provide details of exactly which units are to be overseen

USA: NSA-ACLU: ACLU will appeal ruling that NSA bulk phone record collection is legal (Guardian, link)

• Appeal is against verdict by New York federal judge
• Federal appeals courts drawn into controversy

And see: NSA statement does not deny 'spying' on members of Congress

• Agency responds to questions from Senator Bernie Sanders
• Statement cites 'same privacy protections as all US persons'

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit (Der Spiegel, link):

"The NSA's TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency's top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting."

Cited document: COTTONMOUTH (pdf)

See also: Shopping for Spy Gear: Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox (Der Spiegel, link) and: NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware (The Verge, link): "The report indicates that the NSA, in collaboration with the CIA and FBI, routinely and secretly intercepts shipping deliveries for laptops or other computer accessories in order to implant bugs before they reach their destinations. According to Der Spiegel, the NSA's TAO group is able to divert shipping deliveries to its own "secret workshops" in a method called interdiction, where agents load malware onto the electronics or install malicious hardware that can give US intelligence agencies remote access."

And: NSA Spying on Europe/Asia SEA-ME-WE-4 Undersea Telecom Cables (including document, link)

USA: METADATA COLLECTION RULING: NSA mass collection of phone data is legal, federal judge rules (Guardian, link)

• Dragnet program deemed 'controversial but lawful'
• Lawsuit brought by ACLU dismissed

Full-text of ruling (pdf) See also: Judge on NSA Case Cites 9/11 Report, But It Doesn’t Actually Support His Ruling (Pro Publica, link)

See also: NSA phone surveillance program likely unconstitutional, federal judge rules (Guardian, link)

• Dragnet 'likely' in breach of fourth amendment
• Judge describes scope of program as 'Orwellian'
• Ruling relates to collection of Americans' metadata

Full-text of ruling (pdf)

Greenwald: US, British media are servants of security apparatus (Russia Today, link): "Journalist Glenn Greenwald condemned the mainstream media during an address at a German computer conference on Friday and accused his colleagues of failing to challenge erroneous remarks routinely made by government officials around the globe. Thousands of attendees at the thirtieth annual Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg packed into a room to watch the 46-year-old lawyer-turned-columnist present a keynote address delivered less than seven months after he started working with former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden."

NSA-GCHQ: The NSA's three types of cable interception programs (Washington Post, link) See also: Special Source Operations (pdf)

NSA-GCHQ: BULLRUN: Briefing Sheet (pdf) What is BULLRUN? (Wikipedia, link)

USA-NSA: New documents show how the NSA infers relationships based on mobile location data (Washington Poost, link): "Everyone who carries a cellphone generates a trail of electronic breadcrumbs that records everywhere they go. Those breadcrumbs reveal a wealth of information about who we are, where we live, who our friends are and much more. And as we reported last week, the National Security Agency is collecting location information in bulk — 5 billion records per day worldwide — and using sophisticated algorithms to assist with U.S. intelligence-gathering operations." See: Cotraveler document (pdf)

And: "In the view of the NSA, signals intelligence, or electronic eavesdropping, was a matter of life and death, “without which America would cease to exist as we know it,” according to an internal presentation" (Washington Post): NSA/CSS Mission: Provide and Protect vital information for the nation (dated 24-2-08, pdf)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Surveillance: complacency, secrecy –Britain's great vices: Democracy's real responses to state surveillance begin on the streets where we live, where we wake up, calculate the risks, and insist on having our say (Observer Editorial, link):

"the two worlds of DC and Cheltenham intersect at last. There is no absolute security, just as there are no definitive reforms. There is always desperate peril to secrecy. Horrible things happen when nobody knows. Exaggeration – about everything from terrorist threats to budget cuts – is endemic behind closed doors. Perhaps America, in the decade after 9/11, has feared and promised too much. But certainly Britain, drifting in a haze of conspiratorial chappishness, has changed far too little. The answer to both ailments is out there for us all to register. It is what we expect, what we understand and demand, that matters most. This secret world is our world, too. Democracy's real responses begin on the streets where we live, where we wake up, calculate the risks, and insist on having our say."

MULTINATIONAL SURVEILLANCE & DISRUPTION: 12 Corporate Espionage Tactics Used Against Leading Progressive Groups, Activists and Whistleblowers - Corporate spies for Dow, Kraft and others have tried to discredit, shame and infiltrate civic groups using an array of dirty tricks (link) and see: Report (pdf): "“Posing as volunteers. Stealing documents. Dumpster diving. Planting electronic bugs. Hacking computers. Tapping phones and voicemail. Planting false information. Trailing family members. Threatening reporters. Hiring cops, CIA officers and combat veterans to do all these dirty deeds—and counting on little pushback from law enforcement, mainstream media or Congress.”

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Apple, Google, Microsoft and more demand sweeping changes to US surveillance laws - AOL, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and LinkedIn to call for reforms to restore the public's trust in the internet (Guardian, link) Link to: Global Government Surveillance Reform

See also: Snowden to make video appearance at EU parliament (euobserver, link) and Amnesty to take legal action against UK security services Human rights group says it is 'highly likely' its emails and phone calls have been intercepted by British intelligence (Guardian, link)

ITALY-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Revealed: How the Nsa Targets Italy (L'Expresso, link):

"A special unit operating under cover and protected by diplomatic immunity, assigned to a very sensitive mission: to spy on the communication of the Italian leadership. That is what top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published in Italy exclusively by l'Espresso in collaboration with "la Repubblica" reveal. A file mentions the "Special Collection Service " (SCS) sites in Rome and in Milan, the very same service which, according to the German weekly "Der Spiegel ", spied on the mobile phone of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel....The Special Collection Service is likely one of the most sensitive units in U.S. intelligence. The service deploys teams under diplomatic cover, operating in US embassies around the world to control friendly and enemy governments." See: Close Access SIGADS - Italy (pdf) and SCS: Global Special Collection Centres (pdf)

And: The Guardian: Special supplement on Snowden-NSA-GCHQ (link)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show (Washington Post, link):

"The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable."

See also: How the NSA is tracking people right now (pdf) And see: Example of current records (pdf): Note transfer to MARINA:.Marina is the primary storage and analysis tool for “metadata.”

EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament inquiry: Programme for inquiry meeting 5 December 2013 (pdf) and Working Document from AFET (pdf)

UK: GCHQ: Alan Rusbridger and the home affairs select committee: the key exchanges - Guardian's editor-in-chief tells MPs that the publication of NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden was in the public interest (Guardian, link)

and UK-GCHQ: MPs ask MI5 boss to justify claim that NSA leaks endangered national security - Keith Vaz, chairman of home affairs select committee, says spy chief Andrew Parker has been summoned to give evidence (Guardian, link)

AUSTRALIA:: Revealed: Australian spy agency offered to share data about ordinary citizens (Guardian, link)

• Secret 5-Eyes document shows surveillance partners discussing what information they can pool about their citizens
• DSD indicated it could provide material without some privacy restraints imposed by other countries such as Canada
• Medical, legal or religious information 'not automatically limited'
• Concern that intelligence agency could be 'operating outside its legal mandate'

UN: EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden revelations prompt UN investigation into surveillance - UN's senior counter-terrorism official says revelations 'are at the very apex of public interest concerns' (Guardian, link) and see:

It's outrageous to accuse the Guardian of aiding terrorism by publishing Snowden's revelations - Alan Rusbridger is being grilled by MPs – but he has published nothing that could be a threat to national security (Guardian link) article by Ben Emmerson.

USA-NSA-CANADA: NSA G8-G20 Summit SIGINT Directive (pdf) See also: Exclusive: New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto - Surveillance during 2010 summit 'closely co-ordinated with Canadian partner' CSEC (CBC News, link)

EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: What now for the surveillance state? Even GCHQ and the NSA know their work may not be sustainable without a proper debate about their power (Guardian, link): Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger:

And: Decoded: the main stories from the Snowden files explained: Revelations about mass surveillance by the NSA and GCHQ have shocked some and embarrassed others. Here we outline the main stories, what they mean and why they matter (Guardian, link)

CANADA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How CSEC became an electronic spying giant (Globe and Mail, Canada, link): "It is known as “Camelot,” and it is believed to be among the most expensive government buildings Canada has ever built. Next year, the analysts, hackers and linguists who form the heart of Communications Security Establishment Canada are expected to move from their crumbling old campus in Ottawa to a gleaming new, $1-billion headquarters." And: Read a CSEC document that was first acquired by Edward Snowden (link): "In early 2012, Communications Security Establishment Canada analyzed telecommunications flows surrounding Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy. The ministry was described by CSEC as “a new target to develop.” Codenamed “Olympia,” the suite of analytic tools used by CSEC to parse the ministry’s telephone and Internet use was the subject of a presentation made to allied intelligence analysts inside the United States.

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison (The Truth, link):

"If you live in the United States, you live in a high tech surveillance grid that is becoming more oppressive with each passing day. In America today, the control freaks that run things are completely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that we do. If we continue on the path that we are currently on, we will be heading into a future where there will be absolutely no privacy of any kind. In fact, many would argue that we are essentially there already."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament inquiry: Programme 2 December 2013 (pdf) and see: NSA leaks: former DPP calls for more scrutiny of UK's security services - Lord Macdonald says that ISC 'needs more power, cash and opposition chair' (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU-USA Working Group report published: Existence of PRISM confirmed by USA and also the blanket powers to place under surveillance non-US people including the "the political activities of individuals or groups" : Report on the findings by the EU Co-chairs of the ad hoc EU-US Working Group on Data Protection (released 28.11.13, pdf) among its findings are:

"Under US law, a number of legal bases allow large-scale collection and processing, for foreign intelligence purposes, including counter-terrorism, of personal data that has been transferred to the US or is processed by US companies. The US has confirmed the existence and the main elements of certain aspects of these programmes, under which data collection and processing is done with a basis in US law that lays down specific conditions and safeguards. Other elements remain unclear, including the number of EU citizens affected by these surveillance programmes and the geographical scope of surveillance programmes under Section 702."

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) (as amended by the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1881a) allows the collection of personal data from non-US people.

"Under Section 702, information is obtained "from or with the assistance of an electronic communication service provider". This can encompass different forms of personal information (e.g. emails, photographs, audio and video calls and messages, documents and internet browsing history) and collection methods, including wiretaps and other forms of interception of electronically stored data and data in transmission.

The US confirmed that it is under Section 702 that the National Security Agency (NSA) maintains a database known as PRISM. This allows collection of electronically stored data, including content data, by means of directives addressed to the main US internet service providers and technology companies providing online services, including, according to classified documents disclosed in the press but not confirmed by the US, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Apple, Skype and YouTube.


The US also confirmed that Section 702 provides the legal basis for so-called "upstream collection"; this is understood to be the interception of Internet communications by the NSA as they transit through the US 1 (e.g. through cables, at transmission points).

Section 702 does not require the government to identify particular targets or give the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (hereafter 'FISC') Court a rationale for individual targeting. Section 702 states that a specific warrant for each target is not necessary."


"Foreign intelligence could, on the face of the provision, include information concerning the political activities of individuals or groups, or activities of government agencies, where such activity could be of interest to the US for its foreign policy." [emphasis added]

EU commissioner under fire over response to US spy allegations (euobserver, link)

CANADA-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exclusive: New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto - Surveillance during 2010 summit 'closely co-ordinated with Canadian partner' CSEC (CBC News, link)

"Top secret documents retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden show that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government allowed the largest American spy agency to conduct widespread surveillance in Canada during the 2010 G8 and G20 summits. The documents are being reported exclusively by CBC News.

The briefing notes, stamped "Top Secret," show the U.S. turned its Ottawa embassy into a security command post during a six-day spying operation by the National Security Agency while U.S. President Barack Obama and 25 other foreign heads of government were on Canadian soil in June of 2010.

The covert U.S. operation was no secret to Canadian authorities. An NSA briefing note describes the American agency's operational plans at the Toronto summit meeting and notes they were "closely co-ordinated with the Canadian partner."

USA-UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Five Eyes, 9-Eyes and many more (, link) and

UN advances surveillance resolution reaffirming 'human right to privacy' (Guardian, link)

• Draft goes ahead despite US and UK concerns over language
• Inquiry possible into impact of excessive government spying

EU-USA: Reports and press releases on USA surveillance and rebuilding "trust":

- Commission Press release: EU-US agreements: Commission reports on TFTP and PNR (pdf)

- Commission Press release:
European Commission calls on the U.S. to restore trust in EU-U.S. data flows (pdf)

- Commission Communication: Rebuilding Trust in EU-US Data Flows (COM 846-13, pdf)

- Press release: European Commission calls on the U.S. to restore trust in EU-U.S. data flows (pdf)

USA SURVEILLANCE: Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit 'Radicalizers' (Huffington Post, link)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Privacy International report: Eyes Wide Open (link):

For almost 70 years, a secret post-war alliance of five English-speaking countries has been building a global surveillance infrastructure to “master the internet” and spy on the worlds communications. This arrangement binds together the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to create what’s collectively known as the Five Eyes.

EU to review ‘safe harbour’ data privacy rule for US companies (Financial Times, link):

"The EU will review a key provision in its data protection rules that US technology companies have relied on to move data across borders without European oversight, in a sign of more fallout from the spying scandal sparked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden."

EU-USA: TRADE TALKS: Leaked document shows EU fear of inferiority in US trade talks (euractiv) and Issues paper Communicating on TTIP - Areas for cooperation between the Commission services and Member States (Notak, link) plus see: Issues paper Communicating on TTIP – Areas for cooperation between the Commission services and Member States (pdf)

EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE BY SECURITY & INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES: Article 10 of the Convention includes the right of access to data held by an intelligence agency (Media report, link):

"In its judgment of 25 June 2013 in the case of Youth Initiative for Human Rights v. Serbia the European Court of Human Rights has recognised more explicitly than ever before the right of access to documents held by public authorities, based on Article 10 of the Convention (right to freedom of expression and information). The judgment also recognises the importance of NGOs acting in the public interest. The judgment contains a particularly important statement by the Court unambiguously reaffirming that in Europe security services and intelligence agencies are to respect the European Convention of Human Rights. The Court ordered the information held by the Serbian Intelligence Agency to be made accessible for the applicant NGO."

See: Judgment: Full-text (pdf)

New NSA leak reveals invasion of the management consultants - Spookhaus documents infested with the very worst corporate-speak imaginable (The Register, link)

USA-NSA-UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Digital “Sleeper Cells”: NSA Infects More Than 50,000 Computer Networks Worldwide With Malware “Implants” (link) and see Chart: Worldwide SIGINT/Defense Cryptologic Platform (jpg) which sets out the global "Classes of Accesses" including 50,000 "implants", 16 of the 20 "Covert, Clandestine or Cooperative" world-wide accesses to high speed optical cables, 80+ SCS (Special Collections Service) embassy/mission-based spying centres, and FORNSAT (foreign satellite collection). The "double-bubble" over the UK indicates both interception of high speed optical cables and well as satellite collection by GCHQ Cheltenham and Bude and the US base in Menwith Hill, Yorkshire.

NSA Report Outlined Goals for More Power (New York Times, link): "Officials at the National Security Agency, intent on maintaining its dominance in intelligence collection, pledged last year to push to expand its surveillance powers, according to a top-secret strategy document.

In a February 2012 paper laying out the four-year strategy for the N.S.A.’s signals intelligence operations, which include the agency’s eavesdropping and communications data collection around the world, agency officials set an objective to “aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age.”

See SIGINT Strategy: 2012-2016, 23 February 2012 (pdf)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA infected 50,000 computer networks with malicious software (, link). See also: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm (Die Spiegel, link) and U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary (link) plus $52.6 billion budget (link)

Catching up: back stories

- NZ police affidavits show use of PRISM for surveillance (ItNews, NZ, link), See also Disclosure Affadavit (pdf) and 2nd version (psd)
- 'Project 6': CIA Spies Operating in the Heart of Germany (De Spiegel, link) "For years, intelligence services from the US and Germany conducted a secret project on German soil. Together, they developed a counter-terrorism database -- with even a journalist coming under suspicion."

- Revealed: How Australia spies on its neighbours
(The Age, link)
- The NSA's intern inquiry about the Elysée hacking revealed (Le Monde, Technologies, link)
- NSA chief’s admission of misleading numbers adds to Obama administration blunders (Washington Times, link)
- Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans (Reuters, link)
- Sweden sits on pipeline of intelligence 'gold' (The Local, link)

USA: NSA DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Report Outlined Goals for More Power (New York Times, link): "Officials at the National Security Agency, intent on maintaining its dominance in intelligence collection, pledged last year to push to expand its surveillance powers, according to a top-secret strategy document.

In a February 2012 paper laying out the four-year strategy for the N.S.A.’s signals intelligence operations, which include the agency’s eavesdropping and communications data collection around the world, agency officials set an objective to “aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age.”

See SIGINT Strategy: 2012-2016, 23 February 2012 (pdf)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA infected 50,000 computer networks with malicious software (, link). See also: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm (Die Spiegel, link) and U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary (link) plus $52.6 billion budget (link)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data: Guardian, link)

• 2007 deal allows NSA to store previously restricted material
• UK citizens not suspected of wrongdoing caught up in dragnet
• Separate draft memo proposes US spying on 'Five-Eyes' allies

Documents show Blair government let US spy on Britons (Channel 4 News, link) and: Watchdog demands GCHQ report on NSA's UK data storage Intelligence and security committee chair Sir Malcolm Rifkind seeks explanation of deal that allowed US to 'unmask' Britons (Guardian, link)

UKUSA-AGREEMENT: "Five-Eyes" agreement: UKUSA Agreement Release 1940-1956 (link) Contains a wealth of background

USA-NSA: ICELAND-GERMANY: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA surveillance hinders Iceland's attempts to be a haven for free speech - 'It is obvious that it doesn’t matter if we have the best source protection laws in the world,' says Icelandic MP (Guardian, link) plus German MPs complain about NSA silence on Angela Merkel hacking National Security Agency accused of showing 'reluctance to speak plainly' about allegations that chancellor's phone was hacked (Guardian, link)

and see: Corporations increasingly spying on nonprofits, group says (Los Angeles Times, link)

NORWAY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Norway denies NSA collaboration – but admits to snooping on phone calls - Military intelligence chief responds to claims that 33 million Norwegian phone calls had been monitored by the NSA (Guardian, link) and NSA targets Norway mobile calls (euobserver, link)

NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Declassified Documents: NSA Wanted To Collect Geolocation Data (Der Spiegel, link) and: DNI Clapper Declassifies Additional Intelligence Community Documents Regarding Collection Under Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (link) and "Exploring the Possibility of Acquiring Such Mobility Data' (pdf)

See also: Indonesia halts co-operation on people smuggling in phone tapping row Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono demands explanation – Tony Abbott says he will reply 'swiftly, fully and courteously' (Guardian, link)

AUSTRALIA-INDONESIA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The NSA scandal has detonated in Australia - we can no longer look away - We grant intelligence agencies extraordinary powers to go after violent extremists. But since when did the president of Indonesia, or Germany's chancellor, join this company? (Guardian, link)

and: Australia: 3G surveilance in Asia (pdf), Australia's spy agencies targeted Indonesian president's mobile phone Secret documents revealed by Edward Snowden show Australia tried to monitor the mobile calls of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife (Guardian. link)

Plus: NSA grapples with huge increase in records requests (USA Today, link): "Americans are inundating the NSA with open-records requests, leading to an 888% increase in such inquiries in the past fiscal year. Anyone asking is getting a standard pre-written letter saying the NSA can neither confirm nor deny that any information has been gathered." and Exclusive: Surveillance technology out of control, says Lord Ashdown - Former Lib Dem leader says it is time for high-level inquiry to address fundamental questions about privacy in 21st century (Guardian, link) and German MPs complain about NSA silence on Angela Merkel hacking National Security Agency accused of showing 'reluctance to speak plainly' about allegations that chancellor's phone was hacked (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time Fisa court judge who authorised massive tapping of metadata was hesitant but felt she could not stand in the way (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Give Snowden Asylum in Germany (New York Times, link): by Malte Spitz a Green Party politician and a privacy activist. Hans-Christian Ströbele is a Green Party member of the Bundestag and serves on the intelligence committee:

"We demand an immediate change in the government’s policy. Edward Snowden should be given a safe residence in Germany or in another democratic European country and be allowed to stay permanently if he wants to." and:

"The spying goes on" (Security Times, link, Hans-Christian Ströbele is a Green Party member of the Bundestag, see page 6)

EU-USA: EU-USA Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting: 18 November in Washington, DC (pdf): The meeting will discuss both "Umbrella" Data Protection Agreement, stalled since the spring of 2011, and the "ad hoc EU-US working group" on USA data surveillance of the EU:

"Vice-President Viviane Reding said ahead of the meeting: "There have been more than 15 negotiating rounds. But one fundamental issue has not yet been resolved: a meaningful agreement has to give European citizens concrete and enforceable rights, notably the right to judicial redress. Every U.S. citizen in the European Union already enjoys this right, irrespective of whether he or she is resident in the EU. But European citizens who are not resident in the U.S. do not enjoy this right. It is important that a European boarding a plane in Rome or searching the web from his home in Germany has a right of judicial redress in the U.S. whenever their personal data are being processed in the U.S."

UK-AUSTRALIA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Threat from NSA leaks may have been overstated by UK, says Lord Falconer Ex-lord chancellor defends Guardian reporting of Snowden files and says he's sceptical of warnings from spy agency chiefs (Guardian, link) and Also: Belgian and Dutch data protection agencies to investigate Swift security (Finextra, link)

and: Australia: 3G surveilance in Asia (pdf), Australia's spy agencies targeted Indonesian president's mobile phone Secret documents revealed by Edward Snowden show Australia tried to monitor the mobile calls of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife (Guardian. link)

Plus: Fibre optic cable networks from which metadata can be scooped up: Submarine Cable Map (link)

EP: DATA SURVEILLANCE INQUIRY: 18 November 2013: Strasbourg: The extent of national competence as regards internal security (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers and Poland: Adam Bodnar (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Passively 'Sniffing' Data: How Mobile Network Spying Works (Der Spiegel, link): "British intelligence agency GCHQ has been targeting mobile phone company networks. Telecoms security expert Philippe Langlois explains what they can find this way, and how users can protect themselves from such snooping." and 'Royal Concierge': GCHQ Monitors Hotel Reservations to Track Diplomats (Der Spiegel, link). See also: New York Times backs the Guardian over Snowden leaks (Guardian, link) and Greenwald: “Many, Many, Many More Significant Documents About Canadian Surveillance and Partnership with NSA Will Be Reported” (link)

Plus: Media from Europe to US face new, sometimes uncomfortable tests revealing NSA spy documents (Washington Post. link) and European, US Media Face New Tests With NSA Spying (Huff Post, link)

UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Counter-terror chief renews fight for 'snooper's charter' - Charles Farr tells MPs that public's data was never collected by GCHQ and claims Snowden leaks damaged GCHQ's work (Guardian, link): "The Home Office's head of counter-terrorism has revived his fight to secure the return of the "snooper's charter" legislation, insisting that the government's spy listening centre GCHQ has never collected the communications data required by Britain's police and security services under the ditched bill." and

Oil Espionage: How NSA and GCHQ Spied on OPEC (Leaksource, link): "America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ are both spying on the OPEC oil cartel, documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal. The security of the global energy supply is one of the most important issues for the intelligence agencies. Documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that both America's National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters..."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Jim Sensenbrenner takes NSA reform case to European parliament - Wisconsin congressman attends meeting of EU civil liberties committee and labels Feinstein reform proposals 'scary' (Guardian, link), The personal data protection from the US perspective (New Europe, link) and Tech giants plead innocence to MEPs on US snooping (euobserver, link) See also: John Kerry: world leaders have been understanding about NSA leaks US secretary of state says foreign governments understand that Barack Obama did not order all phone and internet surveillance (Guardian, link)

UK: Information commissioner voices fears over scale of NSA surveillance - Christopher Graham says issues of national security cannot be allowed to overshadow concerns of legitimate public interest (Guardian, link)

European Parliament Press Releases: NSA has no direct access to customers' data, IT firms tell MEPs (pdf) and NSA inquiry: EP should rethink data transfer
deals with the US, experts say

Council of Europe: Speech by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights: “Freedom of expression and democracy in the digital age - Opportunities, rights, responsibilities” (pdf):

"restrictions to media freedom on grounds of national security emerge as a particularly serious one, as we have seen following the recent disclosure of the US
and UK mass surveillance programmes. The US intelligence agency, NSA, and its British counterpart, GCHQ, target encryption techniques that are used by Internet
services such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo, making them vulnerable to surveillance. States, of course, have a duty to ensure security within their borders, and
in doing so they can undertake the secret surveillance of individuals who can pose a threat. But if they do not do this properly, they risk undermining or even destroying the same democracy they are purporting to defend. To stem this risk, states and private companies must develop surveillance policies that respect human rights. Spying on individuals on a massive scale, without strict legal rules and democratic oversight, can have adverse effects on freedom of expression by provoking a chilling effect on investigative journalists and activists who might fear exposing their sources."

UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Spy agency revelations: Tory peer urges 'defenders of liberty' to speak out - John Gummer, now Lord Deben, says left and right should worry about terrorism being used as an excuse to curtail freedom (Guardian, link):

"freedom means you have to be constantly on your guard against those who use terrorism and the need to defend against it as an excuse for actions which are manifestly unacceptable," he said."

See also: Quantum Spying: GCHQ Used Fake LinkedIn Pages to Target Engineers (Spiegel Online, link): "Elite GCHQ teams targeted employees of mobile communications companies and billing companies to gain access to their company networks. The spies used fake copies of LinkedIn profiles as one of their tools." and Part 2: GCHQ Wants To Make Mobile Web an All-Seeing Surveillance Machine (Spiegel Online, link)

See also: Facebook statement to the European Parliament inquiry into surveillance (pdf)

And: NSA leaks: Theresa May says editors 'should recognise their responsibilities' - Home secretary follows cabinet colleagues in criticising newspapers over stories based on Edward Snowden revelations (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Why NSA's war on terror is more than just a 'neat' hacking game - Edward Snowden's revelations show how British and US spies have compromised e-commerce and civil liberties with a series of clever coding stunts (Observer, link)

A grilling that wouldn’t have scared a puppy (link): "As feared, yesterday’s “grilling” consisted of friendly and open-ended questions – resulting in few specific answers and barely anything not already on the public record. These public servants have presided over blanket surveillance of the entire population without public, parliamentary or democratic mandate. But Parliament’s response yesterday was woeful. There was also an odd, circular feel to proceedings with questions about accountability met by repeated statements about oversight by the Committee – despite the fact that little of substance was discussed."

and see: Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger to be questioned by MPs over NSA leaks Rusbridger to appear before home affairs select committee after claims that revelations were damaging national security (Guardian, link) and What is Tor? A beginner's guide to the privacy tool: The anonymity software has sparked controversy but who built it, what is it used for, what browser does it use – and why is the NSA so worried by it? (Guardian, link)

Council of Europe: UK-GCHQ-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK objects to attempt by Council of Europe to examine online spying - Foreign Office delays publication of declaration by 47-member human rights watchdog on gathering electronic data (Guardian, link):

"Britain is delaying the publication of a declaration on internet freedom by the 47 members of Europe's human rights watchdog after objecting to a probe into the gathering of "vast amounts of electronic data" by intelligence agencies.

In a sign of Britain's determination to protect the work of GCHQ and other intelligence agencies, the government is declining to endorse a political declaration by the Council of Europe that could limit the ability of "security agencies" to gather electronic data."

See: Council of Europe: Political Declarations and Resolutions, 8 November 2013 (pdf), para 10

EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Ex-MI5 and MI6 legal chief says UK should adopt French oversight model - David Bickford rejected wholesale law changes but says judges better placed than ministers to authorise intelligence operations (Guardian, link)

UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Two takes on UK spy chiefs presentation to parliament: UK intelligence work defends freedom, say spy chiefs (BBC News, link) and UK spy chiefs defend mass-snooping on Europeans (euobserver, link)

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: CIA Is Said to Pay AT&T for Call Data (New York Times, link): “The C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to assist with overseas counterterrorism investigations by exploiting the company’s vast database of phone records, which includes Americans’ international calls, according to government officials… The C.I.A. supplies phone numbers of overseas terrorism suspects, and AT&T searches its database and provides records of calls that may help identify foreign associates, the officials said. The company has a huge archive of data on phone calls, both foreign and domestic, that were handled by its network equipment, not just those of its own customers.”

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Miranda detention hearing: "ARTICLE 19, English PEN and the Media Legal Defence Initiative have submitted a brief to the UK High Court as an intervention in the case of David Miranda, media worker and partner of Glenn Greenwald, a prominent journalist. The brief argues that his detention and the seizure of information he was carrying, provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, was unlawful under international law protecting freedom of expression." See joint submission:Joint Submission to hearing (pdf)

and see: David Miranda detention based on legitimate concerns, court told - Police wanted to know how encrypted files were arranged as they feared release of all Snowden material, lawyers argue (Guardian, link): "Justification for controversial port stops under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – under which around 60,000 passengers a year are questioned – emerged during David Miranda's legal challenge of his detention at Heathrow airport.... Mr Justice Ouseley, one of three judges considering the case, intervened to comment: "Just as well it was not in force during world war two, it might have applied to the French Resistance.""

UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Cyprus: the home of British/American Internet surveillance in the Middle East (link) by Nicky Hager and Stefania Maurizi:

"British and US Internet surveillance in the Middle East and surrounding regions occurs from a secret base on the island of Cyprus, as l'Espresso, the German daily “Sueddeutsche Zeitung”, the Greek daily “Ta Nea” and the Greek channel “AlphaTV” can reveal. The country only has a million citizens and is a small player in world affairs, but it is a key site for the mass surveillance systems revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden."

And: Exclusive: RAF Croughton base 'sent secrets from Merkel’s phone straight to the CIA' (Independent, link)

EU-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: LIBE Committee Inquiry on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens:

Meeting: 7 November 2013: Agenda (pdf)
EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (EU INTCEN) (Wikipedia, link)
Report on the democratic oversight of the security services: Adopted by the Venice Commission (pdf)
Judicial Scrutiny of Intelligence Agencies (pdf) David Bickford, Former Legal Director of the Security and intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6
- Letter from BT declining invitation to attend Inquiry (pdf)
- Press release: Claude Moraes, Chair of the Inquiry: Moraes: EP is looking not only into NSA allegations but also at EU's own backyard (pdf)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The interception of satellite communications: ECHELON (Wikipedia, link)

and see: Switzerland: Onyx (interception system) (Wikipedia, link): "The goal of the system is to monitor both civil and military communications, such as telephone, fax or Internet traffic, carried by satellite. Onyx uses lists of keywords to filter the intercepted content for information of interest, and the choice of keywords by the intelligence community must be approved by an independent commission. The system is not supposed to monitor internal communications; however, the monitoring of a communication between a person in Switzerland and someone in another country is allowed."

Statewatch: EU: Welcome to the new world of the interception of telecommunications (link to database) and EU agrees rules for remote computer access by police forces – but fails, as usual, to mention – the security and intelligence agencies (link to database). Article and Analysis by Tony Bunyan.

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MIranda case: Police: the Security Service wanted to retrieve Miranda’s “espionage” material (Headoflegal, link): "The Metropolitan Police’s written grounds of defence in the Miranda judicial review case, published on this blog today, contain a number of significant claims about how they, in liaison with the Security Service, came to stop and question David Miranda at Heathrow airport in August this year."

Miranda case: The Queen v David Miranda: Defence case (pdf)

EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Cyprus: Isle of spies (Presseurop, link):

"which is home to one of the main listening posts maintained by the British signals intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It has now emerged that a UK military base on the island is the "foreign station" codenamed "Sounder" and see:

Et Tu, UK? Anger Grows over British Spying in Berlin: First it was the US -- and now it turns out the UK might have been spying from its embassy in Berlin, too. Officials at Germany's Foreign Ministry responded Tuesday by inviting Britain's ambassador for a lecture (Spiegel Online, link)

Background: Revealed: Britain's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin' - Claims that GCHQ has maintained spying operations even after US pulled out (Independent, link)

EU-USA Data surveillance A coincidence or part of a much wider trawl of communications across the EU?

- Did the intelligence agencies of France, Spain and Italy take part in a NATO coordinated "trawl" of communications over exactly the same period?
- And if they did, how is it that their governments did not seem to know what was going on?

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"EU governments are caught in a double-bind. They do not want to be spied upon by their "friend", the USA, but they spy too and on each other. Far more important is who is holding this mass of personal data in each EU state, who do they pass it on to and against whom and why is it used?

The pervasive pre-emptive logic of the security and intelligence agencies, in the EU and the USA, reverses the presumption of innocence - everyone is a potential suspect."

EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: DO WE NEED ANOTHER UNACCOUNTABLE AGENCY? EU should create own spy agency, Reding says (euobserver, link): "EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding has said the Union should create its own intelligence service by 2020."

UK-GCHQ-EU-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Revealed: Britain's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin' - Claims that GCHQ has maintained spying operations even after US pulled out (Independent, link):

"Concerns were raised tonight that Britain operates a top-secret listening post from its Berlin embassy to eavesdrop on the seat of German power.

Documents leaked by the US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden show that GCHQ is, together with the US and other key partners, operating a network of electronic spy posts from diplomatic buildings around the world, which intercept data in host nations."

UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Privacy International files OECD complaints against telcos for role in UK mass surveillance program (link)

"Privacy International today has filed formal complaints with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the UK against some of the world’s leading telecommunication companies, for providing assistance to British spy agency GCHQ in the mass interception of internet and telephone traffic passing through undersea fibre optic cables.

According to recent reports, BT, Verizon Enterprise, Vodafone Cable, Viatel, Level 3, and Interoute granted access to their fibre optic networks for the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) surveillance program, Tempora. As a result, Privacy International believes that there are grounds to investigate whether up to a dozen OECD guidelines, pertaining to companies' responsibilities to respect human rights, including the right to privacy and freedom of expression, were violated."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Draft Working Document on Foreign Policy Aspects of the Inquiry on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens for consideration in the AFET committee on 4 November 2013 (pdf):

"in light of the technologies available and the revelations about activities of US and some European intelligence services, many citizens consider the open, democratic character of our societies to be in danger. It is the task of public authorities, both in the EU and the US, to re-establish the balance between security and privacy. There is a danger of the development of a surveillance state, given growing data processing capacities of computers and availability of any kind of information on social networks. The individual risks being completely known and his behaviour predictable by the state....

However, the US debate is solely focussed on remedies needed to strengthen the rights of US citizens."

USA-UK-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Human rights groups' open letter to David Cameron on surveillance - 'National security should never be used to justify preventing disclosures of illegalities or wrongdoing,' says coalition (Guardian, link): The UK government's actions and Cameron’s recent veiled threats prompted 70 of the world’s leading human rights organisations to write a joint letter to the prime minister:

"We have joined together as an international coalition of free speech, media freedom and human rights organisations because we believe that the United Kingdom government's response to the revelations of mass surveillance of digital communications is eroding fundamental human rights in the country. The government's response has been to condemn, rather than celebrate, investigative journalism, which plays a crucial role in a healthy democratic society."

 USA-NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Three documents from New York Times: Documents Show N.S.A. Efforts to Spy on Both Enemies and Allies (link) and Mission Plan: 2008-2013 (pdf) and 2007 Mission List (pdf) and

NETHERLANDS: SIGINT and wiretapping: the Dutch Intelligence and Security Act 2002 (link) and Denmark is one of the NSA's '9-Eyes' (Copenhagen Post, link)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Metropolitan police detained David Miranda for promoting 'political' causes Justification for airport detention of partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald alarms human rights groups and Tory MP (The Observer, link)

"The detention of the partner of a former Guardian journalist has triggered fresh concerns after it emerged that a key reason cited by police for holding him under terrorism powers was the belief that he was promoting a "political or ideological cause".

The detention order under Schedule 7 said:

"We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger people's lives. Additionally the disclosure or threat of disclosure is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is examined under schedule 7."

USA- NSA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Portrait of the NSA: no detail too small in quest for total surveillance The NSA gathers intelligence to keep America safe. But leaked documents reveal the NSA's dark side – and show an agency intent on exploiting the digital revolution to the full (The Observer, link)

EU-UK-GCHQ: GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance Edward Snowden papers unmask close technical cooperation and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies (Guardian, link):

"The German, French, Spanish and Swedish intelligence services have all developed methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic over the past five years in close partnership with Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency.....In the intelligence world, far more than it managed in diplomacy, Britain has made itself an indispensable bridge between America and Europe's spies."

The documents used by the Guardian also reveal that the UK's internal security agency MI5 (Security Service) and MI6 (SIS, Secret Intelligence Service) work with GCHQ not only to extend the technical capabilities of other EU state agencies but also to advise them on how to get round their national laws, for example:

""We have been assisting the BND (along with SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] and Security Service) in making the case for reform or reinterpretation of the very restrictive interception legislation in Germany,"

See also: National Security Agency: Relationships and Authorities (pdf): including: "Leverage unique key corporate partnerships to gain access to high-capacity international fiber-optic cables, switches and/or routers throughout the world"

BELGACOM-GCHQ: Slide show - 3 pages (Der Spiegel, link)

AUSTRALIA-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exposed: Australia's Asia spy network (Sydney Morning Herald, link): "Australian embassies are being secretly used to intercept phone calls and data across Asia as part of a US-led global spying network, according to whistleblower Edward Snowden and a former Australian intelligence officer."

See also: US spy leaks: How intelligence is gathered (BBC News, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA/CIA "Special Collection Service" (SCS) based on 80 locations world-wide used by NSA for surveillance: Full document (pdf)

EU-SPAIN-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: El CNI facilitó el espionaje masivo de EEUU a España (Il Mundo, link):

"According to the document seen by El Mundo, the US classifies cooperation with various countries on four different levels. In the first group – "Comprehensive Cooperation" – are the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The second group – "Focused Cooperation" – of which Spain is a member, includes 19 countries, all of them European, apart from Japan and South Korea. The third group – "Limited cooperation" – consists of countries such as France, Israel, India and Pakistan; while the fourth – "Exceptional Cooperation" – is made up of countries that the US considers to be hostile to its interests." (Guardian take on story)

see also New NSA leak: High level of Danish and US intelligence sharing (Copenhagen Post, link)

NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say (Washington Post, link):

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials. By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.

The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters . From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and the GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information among the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants." and

Spying scandal: Will the 'five eyes' club open up? (BBC News, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: U.S. Says France, Spain Aided NSA Spying -- Update (Wall Street Journal, link): "Widespread electronic spying that ignited a political firestorm in France and Spain recently was carried out by their own intelligence services and not by the National Security Agency, U.S. officials say.....U.S. officials said the Snowden-provided documents had been misinterpreted and actually show phone records that were collected by French and Spanish intelligence agencies, and then shared with the NSA, according to officials briefed on those discussions." and

N.S.A. Head Says European Data Was Collected by Allies (New York Times, link): "The head of the National Security Agency on Tuesday vigorously challenged recent reports that the United States had been gathering the phone records of millions of Europeans, saying that the records had in fact been turned over by allied spy services. “This is not information we collected on European citizens,” said the agency’s director, Gen. Keith B. Alexander. “It represents information that we and our NATO allies have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations...... General Alexander and James R. Clapper Jr., director of national intelligence, broadly defended the N.S.A.'s practice of spying on foreign leaders. Such espionage, they said, was a basic pillar of American intelligence operations that had gone on for decades. ”

and see: Europeans spy just as much, US intelligence chiefs say (euobserver, link)

EU-USA: TRADE TALKS & DATA PROTECTION: Reding warns data protection could derail US trade talks (euractiv, link): "Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding yesterday (29 October) issued a stark warning that data protection should be kept off the agenda of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But EurActiv understands that US pressure is mounting to keep the debate open on data issues.....“I warn against bringing data protection to the trade talks. Data protection is not red tape or a tariff. It is a fundamental right and as such it is not negotiable,” she added.."

ITALY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA, «spiate 46 milioni di telefonate in Italia» ["NSA: 46 million telephone calls in Italy were spied on"] (corriere della sera, link) and Is Italy next in line for NSA spying revelations? (ZD net, link)

Also: NSA faces sweeping review into extent of surveillance - Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein, who has been a loyal defender of the NSA, demands a 'total' surveillance review (Guardian, link) and US to 'review' spying activities amid European outrage (euobserver, link)

GERMANY-USA-DATA-PROTECTION: Appearances and Reality: Merkel Balks at EU Privacy Push (Spiegel Online, link): Chancellor Merkel ends up backing UK PM to delay the Regulation on Data Protection:

"Chancellor Merkel has put on a good show of being outraged by American spying. But, at the same time, she has impeded efforts to strengthen data security. Does she really want more privacy, or is she more interested in being accepted into the exclusive group of info-sharing countries known as the 'Five Eyes' club?

...American tech corporations could hardly believe their luck at having Merkel's support. Now they're hoping for more leeway to water down the data-protection law as soon as the furor over the latest spying scandal has subsided. One high-ranking American tech-company executive told the Financial Times: "When we saw the story about Merkel's phone being tapped … we thought we were going to lose." But, he added: "It looks like we won." "

GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Partner Merkel, Obama im Mai 2012 in Camp David (Die Spiegel, link, 7 MB, large pdf): CIA/NSA Special Collection Service - The Special Collection Service is a joint CIA-NSA surreptitious entry agency which breaks into targeted facilities to steal secret information. Based on documents addressed to: "USA, AUS,CAN, GBR,NZL" (the "Five-Eyes")

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How embassy eavesdropping works (Duncan, link): "Secret US espionage activity against Germany, from Germany and revealed this week by Der Spiegel has added new evidence to European concerns about the interception of the phones of the Germany's Chancellor Merkel and other world leaders. Duncan was a consultant to Der Spiegel for the enquiry and identified the listening "windows" shown"

and The embassy spy centre network (link): "Over 70 US embassies around the world hide joint NSA-CIA “Special Collection Service” (SCS) electronic monitoring centres. The images here show some of the more prominent sites in Europe and the Middle East. All feature rooftop sheds packed with surveillance antenna and equipment.

SPAIN-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA 'monitored 60m Spanish calls in a month' (BBC News, link): "The US National Security Agency secretly monitored 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month, Spanish media say....They say the NSA collected the numbers and locations of the caller and the recipient, but not the calls' content." see: La NSA rastreó 60 millones de llamadas en España en un mes (El Pais, link)

UN: US DATA SURVEILLANCE: Draft Resolution on Privacy (pdf): Including:

"Affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular the right to privacy, including in the context of the surveillance of communications.. [and Calls on all States]

To take measures to put an end to violations of these rights and to create the conditions to prevent such violations, including by ensuring that relevant national legislation complies with their international human rights obligations and is effectively implemented"

GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Surveillance: Merkel cell phone is since 2002 on U.S. eavesdropping list (Spiegel Online, translation, link) and US bugged Merkel's phone from 2002 until 2013, report claims (BBC News, link):

It appears that Merkel's telecommunications were placed under surveillance by the NSA's Special Collection Service (SCS) from 2002, two years after she was elected the CDU's party leader. Her party was then in opposition and this suggests that the net cast by the SCS operations in Berlin (and in other capitals) extended not just to governments but to potential future government parliamentarians too.

And see: Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop Watching Us' rally - Statement from whistleblower Edward Snowden read to crowd featuring groups from left and right of political spectrum (Guardian, link)

UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Leaked memos reveal GCHQ efforts to keep mass surveillance secret - Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers show UK spy agency fears legal challenge if scale of surveillance is made public (Guardian, link):

"The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has repeatedly warned it fears a "damaging public debate" on the scale of its activities because it could lead to legal challenges against its mass-surveillance programmes, classified internal documents reveal."

EU: EUROPEAN COUNCIL: Statement of Heads of State or government: on USA data surveilance, 24-25 October 2013 (pdf):

"A lack of trust could prejudice the necessary cooperation in the field of intelligence gathering.

The Heads of State or Government took note of the intention of France and Germany to seek bilateral talks with the USA with the aim of finding before the end of the year an understanding on mutual relations in that field. They noted that other EU countries are welcome to join this initiative."

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"The European Council [Prime Ministers and Heads of State] is now the fourth formal EU institution, and some would argue the most powerful as it sets the agenda. Its statement only addresses the concerns of governments not those of the people or civil society groups who have been place under surveillance by unaccountable agencies in the USA and EU Member States.

This comes at the same time as it also agreed to put off the decision to adopt the new EU Regulation on data protection until 2015, when the expectation had been that it would be adopted before the European Parliament elections in May 2014. And comes just days after the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee adopted, by a large majority, a policy position to ensure that no personal data could be transferred outside the EU without the authorisation of the national data protection authority and that the individual concerned would have to be informed of the request.

It would appear that the priority of the European Council is to strongly oppose the USA spying on EU governments but not demanding that its own citizens are protected."

FRANCE-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: USA and French intelligence (pdf) Concerning cyber attacks on the French Presidential network.

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts (Guardian, link)

• Agency given more than 200 numbers by government official
• NSA encourages departments to share their 'Rolodexes'
• Surveillance produced 'little intelligence', memo acknowledges

The NSA memo suggests that such surveillance was not isolated as the agency routinely monitors world leaders

EU: SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament study: National programmes for mass surveillance of personal data in EU Member States and their compatability with EU law (pdf): "It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations."

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Berlin Complains: Did US Tap Chancellor Merkel's Mobile Phone? (Spiegel Online, link): "Berlin is taking seriously indications that Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone might have been tapped by US intelligence, according to SPIEGEL information. Merkel spoke with President Barack Obama on Wednesday about her concerns." and UK: Angela Merkel phone-bugging claims are result of Snowden leaks, MP claims - David Winnick says disclosure shows wisdom of decision to hold Commons debate on oversight of UK spying agencies (Guardian, link)

UK-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: FROM 1998: UK “spying” on EU partners (Statewatch Bulletin, January-February 1998)  

The UK's overseas intelligence gathering service, MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service, SIS), spies on other EU governments to strengthen their position in negotiations. As the Guardian put it: “The clearest confirmation from authoritative sources of a long-held suspicion comes in BBC 2's How to be Foreign Secretary..”. The programme broadcast on Sunday 8 January 1998 quotes a senior official, who could not be identified, as saying:

"Of course, we spied on them. It is as vital to know what our European partners are doing as any Soviet battle plan.” (Times, 2.1.98)

UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Security services need full review (Guardian, link) Letter from: John McDonnell MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP: and see: Early day motion (link):

"That this House considers that the revelations exposed in The Guardian that British security services have examined the internet activities of British citizens without the consent of Parliament demonstrate that the Intelligence and Security Committee is not fit for purpose; believes that the Committee should be chaired by an hon. Member who has not served in a Department with responsibility for intelligence and security services for the purpose of avoiding any potential allegations of conflict of interest; and calls for any independent review reporting to Parliament on the appropriate structure and arrangements to ensure effective Parliamentary democratic scrutiny of the intelligence and security services."

FRANCE-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: France in the NSA's crosshair : phone networks under surveillance (M Technologies, link), NSA Spying: Laurent Fabius convened "immediately" U.S. Ambassador (Le Monde, translation), Le Monde (link) and Le Monde PRISM slides (pdf)

Snowden leaks: France summons US envoy over spying claims (BBC News, link) and US spy agency 'monitored millions of French phones' (France 24, link)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Documents reveal NSA’s extensive involvement in targeted killing program (Washington Post, link): "It was an innocuous e-mail, one of millions sent every day by spouses with updates on the situation at home. But this one was of particular interest to the National Security Agency and contained clues that put the sender’s husband in the crosshairs of a CIA drone." and:

The GCHQ scandal is not about the Guardian - It is an insult to parliament: Instead of shooting the messenger, MPs should be affronted that they have been kept in the dark over activity they are meant to oversee (Guardian, link)

Also: UK's top prosecutor defends journalists who break law in public interest - Keir Starmer says his guidelines are drafted to let journalists pursue difficult stories without fear of prosecution (Guardian, link): "Britain's most senior prosecutor has launched a robust defence of journalists who break the law pursuing investigations that have a genuine public interest. Legal guidelines had been drafted, he said, to protect reporters." See: Guidelines for prosecutors on assessing the public interest in cases affecting the media (CPS, link) and Annex A (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russia (New York Times, link): "Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, said in an extensive interview this month that he did not take any secret N.S.A. documents with him to Russia when he fled there in June, assuring that Russian intelligence officials could not get access to them." And: UK: Extent of spy agencies' surveillance to be investigated by parliamentary body - Intelligence inquiry begun after Edward Snowden leaks and Guardian revelations on GCHQ and NSA personal data sharing (Guardian, link)

UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Extent of spies' mass surveillance to be investigated by parliamentary body - Intelligence inquiry begun after Edward Snowden leaks and Guardian revelations on GCHQ and NSA personal data sharing (Guardian, link)

USA-NSA DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally (Washington Post, link):

"The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million a year."

See documents: Content Acquisition Optimisation (pdf), SSO Collection Optimisation (pdf) and SSO Collection Optimization Overview (pdf)

GERMANY: DATA SURVEILLANCE: German NSA has deal to tap ISPs at major Internet Exchange (ars technica, link)"Spy agency BND stays mum on how it's distinguishing domestic vs. foreign traffic."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Editors on the NSA files: 'What the Guardian is doing is important for democracy' - On Thursday the Daily Mail described the Guardian as 'The paper that helps Britain's enemies'. We showed that article to many of the world's leading editors. This is what they said (Guardian, link) and Surveillance, democracy, transparency – a global view (Guardian, link) and: Editorial: Spies and journalism: when worlds collide - The raging global discussion about the proper limits of surveillance of the past few months will become harder to ignore (link)

Also: Sir David Omand: Snowden leak is 'most catastrophic loss to British intelligence ever' (Daily Telegraph, link): "Sir David Omand, who was once Britain’s homeland security adviser to No 10, said Snowden’s actions eclipsed the exploits of the Cambridge spy ring, whose five members leaked information to the Soviet Union during the Second World War and Cold War."

UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MI5 chief's defence of GCHQ surveillance: extracts and analysis - Andrew Parker has given his first speech since becoming head of the UK's domestic intelligence agency (Guardian, link) and UK debate grows over 'Orwellian' NSA and GCHQ surveillance - MI5 director's speech gets backing of prime minister as Guardian editor warns over suppressing dissent (Guardian, link) See also: Full text of speech: Director of Security Service on MI5 and the Evolving Threat (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Speech by European Data Protection Supervisor at Civil Liberties Committee hearing on mass surveillance (pdf):

"At this stage, there seems to be little doubt that we are facing an existential challenge to our fundamental rights and liberties. We must therefore be prepared to "draw a line in the sand"....Let me therefore be very clear, we must now make a stand, it is really "now or never"."

UK-CANADA-BRAZIL: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MI5 chief: GCHQ surveillance plays vital role in fight against terrorism: Sir Andrew Parker mounts strident defence of UK intelligence and denies MI5 seeks 'all-pervasive security apparatus' (Guardian, link) Full text of speech: Director of Security Service on MI5 and the Evolving Threat (link)

See also: Brazil accuses Canada of spying after NSA leaks: Canadian ambassador summoned to explain claims spy agency collected Brazilian energy ministry internet and phone data (Guardian, link) and Australian government withheld knowledge of Prism program - Freedom of information request confirms Attorney General's Department prepared a secret ministerial briefing in March (Guardian, link)

EU: DATA PROTECTION: Hundreds of US companies make false data protection claims (euobserver, link) and see: EU/US Safe Harbor – Effectiveness of the Framework in relation to National Security Surveillance (pdf) presentation by Chris Connolly (Galexia) to the LIBE Committee hearing on “Electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens”.

EU-UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE:: Belgacom downplays UK hacking allegations at EU hearing (euobserver, link):

"Belgian telecommunications firm Belgacom has played down revelations it was hacked by British intelligence..."

"Why would Belgacom internal systems be a target for a state? We’re talking about a massive, sophisticated attack," Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie in 't Veld, who chaired the hearing, said. Claude Moraes, a British centre-left MEP, noted: "You have allegations of the UK spying on Belgian telephone systems which were part of the infrastructure of the European Union … I think that's quite an unusual allegation and of course it can't just stand, it has to be investigated."

MEPs also criticised the UK for declining to send a speaker.."

See: European Parliament press release: Belgacom hacking case: MEPs regret UK intelligence service absence at EP hearing (pdf)

See full text: UK Permanent Representative in Brussels turning down invitation and leaving an empty chair at the hearing: Letter to LIBE Committee (pdf) :

"The activities of intelligence services are equally the sole responsibility of each Member State and fall outside the competences of the Union. For that reason, and with respect, the UK must decline your invitation for the Director of GCHQ to attend your Hearing. Further, it is my Government’s consistent policy not to comment on intelligence matters."

And see original report: : Belgacom Attack: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm - A cyber attack on Belgacom raised considerable attention last week. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and seen by SPIEGEL indicate that Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency was responsible for the attack. (Spiegel Online, link)

EU-USA DATA SURVEILLANCE: Letter from US Representation to the European Union declining to attend the European Parliament inquiry (pdf):

"In response to your invitation for US Government officials to participate in the LIBE Committee's hearings on alleged NSA programs, I regret that we cannot offer any encouragement for official US participation..."

The response says that the "appropriate" channel is the Ad Hoc Working Group set up by the USA, the EU Council, Commission and EU Member states whose meetings and documents are secret.

GERMANY-UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: German intelligence service is as bad as the NSA: There has been much criticism of the US agency in Germany, but surveillance laws in both countries fail to protect internet privacy (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ - When the Guardian offered John Lanchester access to the GCHQ files, the journalist and novelist was initially unconvinced. But what the papers told him was alarming: that Britain is sliding towards an entirely new kind of surveillance society (Guardian, link):

"“The documents make clear that GCHQ's eavesdropping abilities are on a scale unmatched anywhere in the free world, and they privately boast about the "more permissive legal environment" in the UK – and yet, nobody seems to care. It's tragicomic that the surveillance story which most gripped the public imagination concerned Poole borough council's use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) to spy on a family suspected of cheating in regard to school catchment areas.”

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Newsnight Greenwald interview: Link (3-10-13, BBC)

UK-USA DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA and GCHQ target Tor network that protects anonymity of web users (Guardian, link) and Attacking Tor: how the NSA targets users' online anonymity (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US denies entry to German NSA critic (New Europe, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden to EU: Whistleblowers need protection (euobserver, link): "Surveillance of whole populations is one of the greatest challenges facing human rights, former NSA agent Edward Snowden told the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee at a hearing on whistleblowers."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How the NSA obtains and uses airline reservations (The Identity project, link) and see: How airline reservations are used to target illegal searches (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: A TIMELY REMINDER FROM HISTORY: A quote from Senator Frank Church, who headed a seminal inquiry in 1975 into the surveillance of the peace movement in the USA (the “Church Committee report”), seems pertinent today:

"If a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of government to know. Such is the capacity of technology."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens (New York Times, link):

"Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials."

See also: Documents on N.S.A. Efforts to Diagram Social Networks of U.S. Citizens (link) which again emphasise that surveillance of anyone in the world is OK so long as they are careful when it comes to involving US citizens:

" The primary new responsibility is the requirement: to enter a foreign intelligence (FI) justification for making a query or starting a chain"

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Creeping Cloud (New York Times, Sunday Review, link):

" James Bamford, the chronicler of the untrammeled powers of the “Puzzle Palace,” as he calls the N.S.A., wrote in Wired that the Utah tower of Babel may be able to store a yottabyte. That is equal to a septillion bytes or about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text...."They saw 9/11 and all these other terrorist attacks on CNN. They didn’t have a clue. The more electronic hay they stack on their haystack, the more difficult it is to find the needle.” " (emphasis added)

USA: SURVEILLANCE: Another watershed moment: Leahy Delivers Keynote Address On Foreign Surveillance Oversight At Georgetown University Law Center (link):

"I entered the Senate in 1975. The very first vote I cast as a United States Senator was in favor of the Senate resolution that created the Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans – that is, the Church Committee. It was a watershed moment in history, and I remain proud of that first vote.

Through the work of the Church Committee, the American public learned of years of excesses and abuses that had occurred in the secretive and largely unchecked intelligence community. These revelations made clear that change was needed. They led to the enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveilance Act in 1978, as well as the establishment of the congressional Intelligence Committees to provide ongoing, comprehensive oversight of our intelligence agencies. Today, nearly 40 years later, we have arrived at another watershed moment. And once again, it is time for change."

See also: Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Introduction of the FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 Senate Floor (link)

INDIA-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA planted bugs at Indian missions in D.C., U.N. (The Hindu, link)

"Two of the most important nerve-centres of Indian diplomacy outside the country — the Permanent Mission of India at the United Nations and the embassy in Washington, DC — were targets of such sophisticated bugs implanted by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) that entire computer hard disks might have been copied by the American agency. The U.N. Mission building in New York and the embassy premises, including its annex, in Washington were on a top-secret list of countries and missions — many of them European allies of the U.S. — chosen for intensive spying."

And see: NSA spied on Indian embassy and UN mission, Edward Snowden files reveal - Documents released by US whistleblower show extent and aggression of datamining exercises targeting its diplomatic ally (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Suspension of SWIFT Treaty? European Commissioner Malmstrom: Intervention by Cecilia Malmström on the EU-US TFTP Agreement in the European Parliament (pdf) See: EU wants answers on NSA bank spying allegations (euobserver, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA surveillance goes beyond Orwell's imagination – Alan Rusbridger: Guardian editor says depth of NSA surveillance programs greatly exceed anything the 1984 author could have imagined (link): ""All sorts of people around the world are questioning what America is doing," said Rusbridger. "The president keeps saying: well we don't spy on our people. [But] that's not much comfort if you are German."

 EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament Briefing Note: The US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programmes (PRISM) and
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) activities and their impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights

"In light of the recent PRISM-related revelations, this briefing note analyzes the impact of US surveillance programmes on European citizens’ rights. The note explores the scope of surveillance that can be carried out under the US FISA Amendment Act 2008, and related practices of the US authorities which have very strong implications for EU data sovereignty and the protection of European citizens’ rights."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Belgacom Attack: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm - A cyber attack on Belgacom raised considerable attention last week. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and seen by SPIEGEL indicate that Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency was responsible for the attack. (Spiegel Online, link):

" A "top secret" Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) presentation seen by SPIEGEL indicate that the goal of project, conducted under the codename "Operation Socialist," was "to enable better exploitation of Belgacom" and to improve understanding of the provider's infrastructure."

Edward Snowden has raised 'real issues', says head of UK spy watchdog - Sir Malcolm Rifkind defends UK intelligence agencies' techniques but appears to concede laws may need review (Guardian, link):

"GCHQ had been targeting the Belgian telecoms giant Belgacom, whose major customers include the European parliament, [European Council] and the European commission. The operation, codenamed "Socialist", had given GCHQ the ability to secretly hack into Belgacom for at least three years."

- Rifkind was responding to this article: Edward Snowden has started a global debate. So why the silence in Britain? We're subject to huge unwarranted surveillance – but Westminster's useful idiots are more likely to sanction than criticise it (Simon Jenkins, Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU and US to discuss snooping allegations - information from meetings may not be shared with the public. (european voice, link), Major Belgian telco targeted by a foreign state, Brussels says (ars technica, link), Britain’s intelligence service responsible for cyber-attack against Belgacom (New Europe, link) and Surveillance at the United Nations (EFF link)

EU: Barroso orders security sweep after allegations of US spying (european voice, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 'Follow the Money': NSA Spies on International Payments (Der Spiegel, link)

The United States' NSA intelligence agency is interested in international payments processed by companies including Visa, SPIEGEL has learned. It has even set up its own financial database to track money flows through a "tailored access operations" division.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament inquiry: Civil Liberties Committee holds second hearing on NSA snooping (pdf)

ISRAEL-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel: (Guardian, link)

• Secret deal places no legal limits on use of data by Israelis
• Only official US government communications protected
• Agency insists it complies with rules governing privacy

Full-text of NSA and Israel's 'memorandum of understanding' (pdf)

The existence of this Israel-USA Agreement concerning the exchange of data on US citizens begs the question: Is there another Agreement covering access to data on non-US citizens?

Timeline of Edward Snowden's revelations (Aljazeera, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs call for suspension of EU-US Swift agreement following new NSA revelations (Parliament, link) and European Parliament Press release: European parliament has ‘obligation’ to safeguard citizens’ rights to privacy, says Claude Moraes (pdf) and see: José Bové: US demanded encrypted calls during EU-US trade talks (euractiv, link)

UPDATED: UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Full-text: Secret Document Reveals NSA Campaign Against Encryption (pdf):

New York Times commented: "Documents show that the NSA has been waging war against encryption using a battery of methods that include working with industry to weaken encryption standards, making design changes to cryptographic software, and pushing international encryption standards it knows it can break." NYT version with comments (pdf)

See also: How to remain secure against NSA surveillance, Bruce Schneier, Guardian (link) and The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA and GCHQ unlock privacy and security on the internet (Guardian, link)

• NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records
• $250m-a-year US program works covertly with tech companies to insert weaknesses into products
• Security experts say programs 'undermine the fabric of the internet'

and: NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption programs that EVERYONE uses to email and make purchases on their phones and tablets (Daily Mail, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Unreported NSA spy systems revealed (euobserver, link): "A speaker invited to a European Parliament hearing into the large surveillance programme by the US intelligence agency NSA has revealed two previously unreported systems used to spy on people."

UK-SPAIN: DATA SURVEILLANCE: London spies on Spanish communications as well (Spanish link to:
The British agency GCHQ has intercepted the underwater cable connecting Spain with the Middle East and Asia, to secretly control telephone and Internet connections. European intelligence sources confirmed this surveillance on a massive scale"

Se also from Statewatch: UK/Spain/Gibraltar: Early 20th century communications interception in Spain: a historical perspective

EU-USA:DATA SURVEILLANCE: UN: press should not be 'intimidated into silence' over state secrets - Representatives criticise UK government following detention of David Miranda, and call for public debate over NSA surveillance (Guardian, link): "Two senior UN representatives have warned the British government that the protection of state secrets must not be used as an excuse to "intimidate the press into silence" following the detention of David Miranda under the Terrorism Act."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament LIBE Committee Inquiry: Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU citizens:

Meeting of 24th July 2013 concerning feedback from the first meeting of the EU-US expert group on data protection (pdf)
Letter: President of the EP to the Council (pdf)
Letter: LIBE Chair to EP President (pdf)
Letter: LIBE Chair to Commissioner Reding (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: USA Congressional Research Service:

- NSA Surveillance Leaks: Background and Issues for Congress (pdf)
Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EDRI (European digital Rights) and FREEGroup: Statement: EDRi and FREE urge European Parliament to bring an end to lawless surveillance and Full submission (pdf). Statewatch is a member of both groups.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA leaks: David Cameron's response is intimidation, says world press body - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers tells the UK government its actions could threaten press freedom (Guardian, link) Letter to the UK PM: Protest Campaign - United Kingdom, 23 August 2013 (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda's detention is a threat to press freedom, say European editors - Newspapers urge prime minister to restore Britain's reputation for free press after holding of Guardian journalist's partner (The Observer, link):

"In an open letter to David Cameron published in today's Observer, the editors of Denmark's Politiken, Sweden's Dagens Nyheter, Norway's Aftenposten and Finland's Helsingin Sanomat describe the detention of David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, as harassment."

See: Press freedom: an open letter to David Cameron from Nordic editors: While domestic security must be upheld, it is equally important to protect open public debate (link)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda wins partial court victory over data seized by police Judges curtail using or sharing of material, but authorities can examine it for 'national security' (Guardian, link) and see: Letter to Home Secretary: Detention of David Miranda – Announcement of Independent Review (link)

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Exclusive: UK’s secret Mid-East internet surveillance base is revealed in Edward Snowden leaks - Data-gathering operation is part of a £1bn web project still being assembled by GCHQ (The Independent, link):

"Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, The Independent has learnt. The station is able to tap into and extract data from the underwater fibre-optic cables passing through the region. The information is then processed for intelligence and passed to GCHQ in Cheltenham and shared with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Cameron told Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood to 'warn' Guardian over Edward Snowden documents (Independent, link) and No 10 contacted Guardian over Edward Snowden secrets (BBC News, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: UK requests destruction of sensitive Snowden files, EU silent (euractiv, link): Guardian Editor, Alan Rushbridger, said: "“The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes – and, increasingly, it looks like 'when'"

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: So the innocent have nothing to fear? After David Miranda we now know where this leads - The destructive power of state snooping is on display for all to see. The press must not yield to this intimidation by Simon Jenkins (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: SPIN & REALITY: Theresa May had advance notice of David Miranda detention at Heathrow (Guardian. link): "Home secretary confirms Met briefed her before but denies she directed actions, saying police had 'operational independence' "Downing Street confirmed that the prime minister was also informed. "We were kept abreast in the usual way," a No 10 source said. "We do not direct police investigations." "

The "spin", the official line, is that the Metropolitan Police decided to detain and question Miranda at Heathrow for 9 hours under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The Metropolitan Police informed the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary of the decision taken by the police, who then gave the USA the "heads up" on what was going to happen.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch News Editor, comments:

"In reality this is not the way things happen. The NSA and GCHQ/MI6, the "cousins" in intelligence lexicon, were tracking the movements of Greewald and Miranda and knew that Miranda had been in Germany and was going to change planes in London. They decided to intervene and sought clearance by informally telling their governments what was planned. Given the OK the Metropolitan Police, the "foot soldiers", formally detained Miranda to be questioned by intelligence officials."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Snowden NSA files: US and UK at odds over security tactics as row escalates - White House says it would be 'difficult to imagine' US authorities adopting GCHQ tactic of demanding destruction of hard drives (Guardian, link) and David Miranda's lawyers threaten legal action over 'unlawful' detention - Partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald seeks return of equipment seized during nine-hour interrogation at Heathrow (Guardian, link) and Full-text of lawyers letter (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA files: why the Guardian in London destroyed hard drives of leaked files - A threat of legal action by the government that could have stopped reporting on the files leaked by Edward Snowden led to a symbolic act at the Guardian's offices in London (Guardian, link) and Groklaw legal site shuts over fears of NSA email snooping Pamela Jones shuts award-winning site, saying concerns that messages could be read mean that 'there is now no shield from forced exposure' (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU data watchdog to investigate Prism scandal (euobserver, link): "EU data regulators will carry out their own investigation into whether privacy rules have been breached by secret US surveillance programmes, according to the bloc's privacy experts. In a letter published on Monday (19 August) to EU Justice commissioner Viviane Reding, Jacob Kohnstamm, Chairman of the Article 29 working party, said that his group would assess the controversial PRISM programme as well as other platforms used by the US National Security Agency (NSA)."

See: Article 20 Working Party Letter to Commissioner Reding concerning XKeyscore and Prism (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: David Miranda, schedule 7 and the danger that all reporters now face - As the events in a Heathrow transit lounge – and the Guardian offices – have shown, the threat to journalism is real and growing (Guardian, link) Interesting article by Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger, which includes details of the pressure put on the newspaper:

"A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister. There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on. The tone was steely, if cordial, but there was an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.

The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more." and:

" one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement"

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: White House was given 'heads-up' over David Miranda detention in UK - US says it did not sanction holding Glenn Greenwald's partner at Heathrow, but was told his name was on passenger list (Guardian, link), David Miranda detention prompts outcry over 'gross misuse' of terror laws - Journalists, human rights lawyers and civil liberties campaigners condemn Miranda's nine-hour detention at Heathrow (Guardian, link) and: Terrorism law watchdog calls for explanation of Miranda detention - David Anderson QC becomes latest figure to question treatment of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner (Guardian, link)

See also: Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000: A police snooping tool to protect private profit (Corporate Watch, link), StopWatch: Briefing (pdf) and New law would allow indefinite retention of data seized at ports (Statewatch database)

Glenn Greenwald's partner detained at Heathrow airport f

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Article 20 Working Party Letter to Commissioner Reding concerning XKeyscore and Prism (pdf): "Especially alarming are the latest revelations with regard to the so-called XKeyscore, which allegedly allows for the collection and analysis of the content of internet communication from around the world."

UK-NSA-GCHQ SURVEILLANCE: Historical article: The Eavesdroppers (pdf) by Duncan Campbell and Mark Hosenball in Time Out, 21 May 1976.

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds (Washington Post, link) and see: Edward Snowden documents show NSA broke privacy rules (BBC News, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Ally and Target: US Intelligence Watches Germany Closely (Spiegel Online, link): "German intelligence services cooperate closely with the NSA, but the country is also a target of US surveillance, as a document seen by SPIEGEL makes clear. The spy software XKeyscore is operated from a facility in Hesse, with some of the results landing on President Obama's desk."

Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly: Resolution: Call for an Inquiry into: Massive Eavesdropping in Europe (pdf)

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Administration: White Paper: Bulk collection of telephony metadata under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act (9-8-13, (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: After PRISM : 181 NGOs ask for less surveillance and improved data protection global standards (EASFJ, link): International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US National Security Agency 'is surveillance leviathan' (BBC News, link): "Papers that said a US spying programme "touches" 1.6% of internet traffic in fact reveal the vast scale of snooping, a senior security researcher has said. Officials played down the scale of the operation, comparing US data collection to a small coin on a basketball court. But Caspar Bowden told the BBC that the National Security Agency (NSA) was a "surveillance leviathan" with no protection for non-US residents."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects - Law-Enforcement Officials Expand Use of Tools Such as Spyware as People Under Investigation 'Go Dark,' Evading Wiretaps (Wall Street Journal, link)

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls - Exclusive: Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans' communications (Guardian, link)

EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Mandatory Data Retention: European Commission: DG Home: Evidence for necessity of data retention in the EU (March 2013) (pdf), Evaluation report on the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC) (18-4-11, pdf) and Commission's Experts' Group Electronic Data Retention (link). The Commission Briefing states that "there are over two million requests per year for retained data" in the EU (p7) - in 2012 the UK alone made 570,135 requests to service providers (Annual Report of Interception of Communication Commissioner). The communications data held by service providers for law enforcement agencies covers: fixed and mobile phones (and location), source data and IP addresses - this is better known as "metadata" and the recent revelations on EU-USA data surveillance has demonstrated how "metadata" can generate a highly detailed picture of a person's life and contacts.

The Briefing criticises "certain NGOs" (eg: vorratsdatenspeicherung) on the basis that criminal investigations are based on several sources of evidence of which mandatory data retention is only one. However, it should be the responsilbitity of each EU Member State to provide aggregate statistics showing 1) the total number of communications data requests 2) the number of people charged and 3) the number of people convicted where communications data has been used. See, for example: USA Wire-tap report (links)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA Said to Search Content of Messages to and From U.S.(New York Times, link): " The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Privacy International to challenge telecoms firms over GCHQ cooperation - Vodafone and BT are among the companies questioned about their compliance with intelligence gathering (Guardian, link).

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: FBI pressures Internet providers to install surveillance software: CNET has learned the FBI has developed custom "port reader" software to intercept Internet metadata in real time. And, in some cases, it wants to force Internet providers to use the software (link)

US directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans (Reuters, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU needs 'German standards' on data privacy (euobserver, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: In wake of leaks, US intelligence pulls back the curtain on metadata collection - Highest US intel official declassifies three previously top-secret documents.(ars technica, link) and see: You may already be a winner in NSA’s “three-degrees” surveillance sweepstakes! NSA's probes could cover hundreds of millions of Americans (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 'The NSA Benefits': Mass Data Transfers from Germany Aid US Surveillance (Spiegel Online, link): "German intelligence sends massive amounts of intercepted data to the NSA, according to documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden, which SPIEGEL has seen. The trans-Atlantic cooperation on technical matters is also much closer than first thought."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Seven telcos named as providing fiber optic cable access to UK spies - New Snowden leaks show Verizon, Vodafone, and BT share direct data (ars technica, link) and see: Who's watching GCHQ? Proper oversight of Britain's secret listening agency is lacking – and that should worry us all (Guardian, link)

UK-GCHQ-USA: Exclusive: NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ (Guardian, link)

• Secret payments revealed in leaks by Edward Snowden
• GCHQ expected to 'pull its weight' for Americans
• Weaker regulation of British spies 'a selling point' for NSA

More detail in: GCHQ: inside the top secret world of Britain's biggest spy agency (Guardian, link)

Files leaked by Edward Snowden reveal how the NSA pays for and influences some of the UK's intelligence gathering programmes. The documents also give unique insights into the challenges faced by the agency and the concerns it has about how to tackle them.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet' (Guardian, link)

• XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data
• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history

See: XKeyscore presentation (pdf) "Top Secret" and addressed to the 1946 UKUSA agreement which involves: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and UK

and: NSA Chief Heckled At BlackHat As Agency Defends XKeyscore: Alexander fends off attacks from BlackHat audience member (Techweek Europe, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Council Presidency: Presidency statement on outcome of discussions on EU–US working group (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New Report Calls for Transparency from Governments and Telecommunications Companies (Global Network Initiative, link) The Report: Opening the lines: A Call for Transparency from Governments and Telecommunications Companies (link, pdf)

IRELAND: State agencies target Irish phone and internet records - Up to 10,000 requests for information made annually in Ireland – compared with just 326 for Austria (Irish Times, (link): "Irish authorities made 27 times as many requests for people’s stored phone and internet use data compared to law enforcement agencies in comparably sized Austria, according to submissions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg."

See also: Data retention might not be proportional to risks (Internet Policy Review, link) on this case.

NSA surveillance: narrow defeat for amendment to restrict data collection - First major challenge to NSA's bulk collection of phone records defeated by only 217 votes to 205 in House of Representatives (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden's fear of flying is justified - Snowden is a refugee, not a spy. But America has history when it comes to forcing down planes in defiance of international law (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EP Inquiry: Letter from Martin Schulz, MEP, President of the European Parliament to the Council Presidency (pdf): Asking how the European Parliament is going to be informed on the meetings taking place between the EU and the USA.

GERMANY-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: 'Key Partners': The Secret Link Between Germany and the NSA (Spiegel Online, link): "Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly said she knew nothing about American surveillance activities in Germany. But documents seen by SPIEGEL show that German intelligence cooperates closely with the NSA and even uses spy software provided by the US"

EU-USA: EU questions decade-old US data agreement (euobserver, link): "The European Commission is casting doubts on a 13-year old data sharing agreement with the United States. EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding on Friday (19 July) told reporters in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius her services will be reviewing the so-called Safe Harbor Agreement."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Extract from the Minutes of the 4 July 2013 meeting of COREPER II: EU-US High Level expert group on security and data protection (pdf): COREPER is the Council of the European Union's Committee of permanent Brussels-based representatives of the 28 EU Member States.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Facebook, Skype challenged in EU over spy affair (euobserver, link): " A group of Austrians, led by law student Max Schrems, has challenged the EU-based subsidiaries of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo on data privacy following revelations that they allowed US intelligence services to search to Europeans' data."

UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Statement from the Intelligence and Security Committee clears GCHQ on use of PRISM: Statement on GCHQ’s Alleged Interception of Communications under the US PRISM Programme (pdf): "It has been alleged that GCHQ circumvented UK law by using the NSA’s PRISM programme to access the content of private communications. From the evidence we have seen, we have concluded that this is unfounded." and: Inquiry into snooping laws as committee clears GCHQ: Intelligence and security committee also confirms GCHQ's use of NSA Prism surveillance material for first time (Guardian, link)

See also: Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament: Annual Report 2012–2013 (pdf). As usual this is peppered with *** (censored sections). The report does draw attention to a little publicised fact that: "The Security Service continues to work closely with the police, and has a network of regional stations ***." In 2011 MI5 set up eight new regional stations - around a quarter of MI5's 4,000+ officers are based in the regions.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The PRISM scandal gets bigger (EDRI, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Power of Britain's Data Vacuum (Spiegel Online, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Merkel calls for EU data protection law after US spy affair (euobserver, link) and Prism case prompts Merkel to seek tougher EU data protection laws (euractiv, link) and see:

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: IRELAND: High Court Refuses Provisional Arrest Warrant for Edward Snowden: What Next? (Human Rights in Ireland, link): The USA’s application for provisional arrest to Ireland is dated 5 July - three days after Morales' jet forced to land.

USA: In 'Chilling' Ruling, Chevron Granted Access to Activists' Private Internet Data: "Sweeping" subpoena violates rights of those who spoke out against oil giant's devastating actions in Ecuador (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Guardian report: Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages (link)

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian...The documents show that:

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal;
• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail;
• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
• Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in that allows users to create email aliases;
• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee MEPs agree on surveillance inquiry's next steps (link)

The European Parliament inquiry into alleged spying by the US and EU countries will hold hearings with their authorities, legal and IT experts, NGOs, data protection authorities, national parliaments following this issue and private firms involved in data transfers, the Civil Liberties Committee decided on Wednesday. The first hearing takes place on 5 September.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Congressional Research Service report: NSA Surveillance Leaks: Background and Issues for Congress (2 July 2013, pdf)

Recent attention concerning National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance pertains to unauthorized disclosures of two different intelligence collection programs. Since these programs were publicly disclosed over the course of two days in June, there has been confusion about what information is being collected and what authorities the NSA is acting under. This report clarifies the differences between the two programs and identifies potential issues that may help Members of Congress assess legislative proposals pertaining to NSA surveillance authorities.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Federal Judge Allows Electronic Frontier Foundation's NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed (link) Why “we only spy on foreigners” doesn’t work any more for the NSA (Washington Post, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU-US counter-terrorism pacts at risk over snooping affair (euobserver, link) and Snowden Claims: NSA Ties Put German Intelligence in Tight Spot (Spiegel Online, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US attempts to block Edward Snowden are 'bolstering' case for asylum - As Venezuela and Nicaragua offer help to whistleblower, experts say US actions are strengthening his case for safe haven (The Observer, link)

And see: The NSA/GCHQ metadata reassurances are breathtakingly cynical - The public is being told that the NSA and GCHQ have 'only' been collecting metadata, not content. That's nothing to be thankful for (The Observer, link), Me and my metadata - thoughts on online surveillance (link) and Betrayed by our own data: Mobile phones are tracking devices that reveal much about our lives. One look at our interactive map of data provided by the Green party politician Malte Spitz shows why (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: NSA leaks: UK blocks crucial espionage talks between US and Europe - First talks to soothe transatlantic tensions to be restricted to data privacy and Prism programme after Britain and Sweden's veto (Guardian, link)

"While Grybauskaite [Lithuanian Council Presidency] said on Thursday that the Europeans wanted to hold two separate sets of talks with the U.S., just a day later she said one was dropped, along with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. “Intelligence matters and those of national security are not the competence of the EU,” Barroso said." (Activist Post, link)

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, observes: "Instead of creating two EU-USA working groups as promised, the UK and Sweden veto means there will only be one working group on PRISM and data protection. The working group that has been vetoed would have covered intelligence and espionage collection and usage - the role of the USA's NSA and UK's GCHQ gathering all forms of communications not just between EU governments but also those of individuals and groups "of interest to the state" in Europe and the rest of the world.."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Venezuela and Nicaragua make Snowden asylum offers (BBC News, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European NGO statement: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Transnational Institute and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights: Grounding of Bolivian presidential jet in attempt to render whistleblower shames European Union (pdf):

"The refusal of entry into their airspace by European states for the Bolivian presidential jet on the basis of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board was an astonishing manoeuvre that flies in the face of the EU’s commitment to democracy, human rights and international law.

The potential damage that this action does to both the reputation of the European Union and respect for international law within and beyond its borders cannot be understated. The forcing down and searching the Bolivian President’s jet was a clear breach of fundamental principles of diplomatic immunity and inviolability. Such principles are the bedrock of good international relations and customary international law."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs slam US snooping, amid revelations France does the same (euobserver, link)

- MEPs to set up US spy scandal inquiry (The Parliament, link)

- France 'runs vast electronic spying operation using NSA-style methods': Intelligence agency has spied on French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity, says Le Monde newspaper (Guardian, link)

- Kroes: Spy scandal could harm US Cloud firms (euobserver, link)

- US and Germany to hold talks over European NSA surveillance concerns: Obama tells Merkel US 'takes seriously the concerns' but French interior minister admonishes US ambassador at 4 July party (Guardian, link)

- Latin American leaders slam US, EU on Morales flight (euobserver, link)

- John Pilger: Forcing down Evo Morales's plane was an act of air piracy: Denying the Bolivian president air space was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world (Guardian, link)

- In English : Revelations on the French Big Brother (Société, link)

Updated: EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Parliament to launch in-depth inquiry into US surveillance programmes (pdf) The resolution, approved by 483 votes to 98 with 65 abstentions. The Resolution (pdf)

European Parliament: Letter from the Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) requesting the setting up of an EP inquiry (pdf) and for plenary session vote on Thursday with amendments to be discussed: Joint Motion for a Resolution: on the US National Security Agency surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens’ privacy (pdf) And see: TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance (La Quadrature du net, link)

CoE: Parliamentary Assembly (PACE): European Parliamentarians OK Whistleblower Resolution (, link). See also: PACE committee calls for protection of ‘whistleblowers’ who reveal state wrongdoing (Press release, pdf) and National Security and Access to Information (pdf)

UK-ECUADOR: SURVEILLANCE: Snowden row intensifies as hidden bug found in Ecuador's embassy - Ecuadorean minister threatens to reveal perpetrators after device discovered during meeting over Assange (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Bolivian President: "“kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe"

"According to media reports, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal .. denied his plane the right to fly over their airspace." : EU states ground Bolivian leader's plane in Snowden affair (euobserver, link):

"Saavedrd said he considered the whole fiasco as a hostile act perpetrated by the United States which uses EU governments as proxies." [Bolivian Defence Minister] and "Bolivia's vice president, Alvaro Garcia, went further. He said Morales had been “kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe."

- Bolivians bitter as Snowden stand-off triggers 'hostile act' (CQ News, link): "Just days after the US President’s claim that he would not ‘‘be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker’’, the Obama administration was accused of doing precisely that."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE European Parliament to launch enquiry into US eavesdropping (euractiv, link):

"The European Parliament on Thursday (4 July) plans to establish a special committee to investigate reports that an American spy agency monitored phone calls and e-mails of EU institutions and some member states."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: A blast from the past: ECHELON report and follow up: 1999 (pdf)

EU:-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Barroso orders security sweep after allegations of US spying (European Voice, link) and EU data bill is likely target of NSA snoops (euobserver, link) also Statement by the spokespersons of the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy on the press reports of US surveillance of EU premises (link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The Washington Post publishes new documents on PRISM: NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program (link). And see: U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program (Washington Post, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies - Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers reveal 38 targets including EU, France and Italy (Guardian, link) See also: Press release: Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the alleged surveillance of EU premises (pdf), EU-US relations at risk after new bugging scandal (euobserver, link) and EU calls for US wiretapping to ‘stop immediately’ (euractiv, link)

This is not the first time this has happened, do you remember this from 2003: Telephone lines in EU Council building tapped (euobserver, link)

Consortium How to Thwart Internet Spying (link)

Attacks from America: NSA Spied on European Union Offices (Der Spiegel, link) and 'Out of Control': Europe Furious over NSA Spying on EU Facilities (link)

Documents obtained by the German magazine Der Spiegel from whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the USA's NSA has been spying on the diplomatic missions of the EU at the UN in New York and and its offices in Washington. This involved placing bugs in their offices and intercepting its computer networks. The NSA was able to listen in to discussion as well as getting access to emails and documents.

The documents also show that just over five years ago the NSA conducted an electronic eavesdropping operation in the Council of the European Union's Justis Lipsius headquarters in Rue de la Loi.

and Key US-EU trade pact under threat after more NSA spying allegations: Reports in Der Spiegel that US agencies bugged European council building 'reminiscent of cold war', says German minister (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: For those that missed here are three three original leaks by Snowden: Top Secret: Exhibit A (pdf), Secret: Exhibit B (pdf) and Secret: Certification Order (pdf) and European Parliament: Schulz on alleged bugging of EU office by the US authorities (link)

UK: SPYING ON THE EU: Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ's secret cable trawl: Minister questions legality of mass tapping of calls and internet and demands to know extent to which Germans were targeted (Guardian, link)

EU-USA-UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications: Exclusive: British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA (Guardian, link) and:

Mastering the internet: how GCHQ set out to spy on the world wide web: Project Tempora – the evolution of a secret programme to capture vast amounts of web and phone data (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: A WORD TO THE WISE: Why NSA surveillance is a threat to British doctors and lawyers: Professionals using cloud services will have to guard against the danger of patients and clients being snooped on (Guardian, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MEPs reactions: Jan Albrecht - Sarah Ludford - Sylvie Guillaume

Justice Commissioner Reding has indicated to the European Parliament that she would not object if the parliament were to reinstate of Article 42 (which was removed from the draft Commission proposal by US lobbying) and would require authorisation in every instance where the communications of an EU citizen were requested by US agencies from service providers based in the USA: See:
US spy scandal prompts redraft of EU data bill (euobserver, link). If the parliament were to adopt this position we would see a "battle royale" between it and the Council (EU governments) and other Commissioners and Directorate-Generals who are susceptible to USA pressure.

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: US spy scandal prompts redraft of EU data bill (euobserver, link). See: Commission's draft proposal for the new Regulation on data protection (pdf) and overt lobbying by the US officials against Article 42 including the submission of an Informal Note on Draft EU General Data Protection Regulation (December 2011) (pdf) from the USA. And: final, adopted an published, version: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) (25 January 2012, pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: PRISM: EU citizens' data must be properly protected against US surveillance (Press release, link) and Sarah Ludford MEP press release: PRISM and data protection: Commissioner's answers inadequate (pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU Parliament in push to limit U.S. data access (Reuters, link) and Britain's response to the NSA story? Back off and shut up - Snowden's revelations are causing outrage in the US. In the UK, Hague deploys a police-state defence and the media is silenced (Guardian, link)

The Spanish Police might use spying Trojans on individuals’ computers (EDRIgram, link)

US-UK: DATA SURVEILLANCE: MoD serves news outlets with D notice over surveillance leaks - BBC and other media groups issued with D notice to limit publication of information that could 'jeopardise national security' (Guardian, link)

"reading people's email before/as they do": GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians' communications at G20 summits: Exclusive: phones were monitored and fake internet cafes set up to gather information from allies in London in 2009 (Guardian, link)

"One document refers to a tactic which was "used a lot in recent UK conference, eg G20". The tactic, which is identified by an internal codeword which the Guardian is not revealing, is defined in an internal glossary as "active collection against an email account that acquires mail messages without removing them from the remote server". A PowerPoint slide explains that this means "reading people's email before/as they do".[emphasis added]

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "These revelations come as no surprise to those who have tracked US-UK intelligence-gathering since the 1946 UKUSA agreement setting up global cooperation between the NSA and GCHQ. Intercepts by GCHQ are routinely forwarded to the Cabinet Office and then onto Ministries like the Foreign Office and have always given UK Ministers and officials the inside track in EU and international negotiations. Secondly, this confirms that a technological capacity of "reading people's email before/as they do" can be used not only to spy on other governments but also on organisations and individuals in civil society."

Background: UK-USA: National Archive publishes details of the 1946 UKUSA agreement for first time (Statewatch database)

US defends spy programme to sceptical EU (euobserver, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: How the USA changed the Commission's draft proposal for the new Regulation on EU data protection before it was formally adopted in January 2012 so as not to stand in the way of FISA/PRISM surveillance of the EU: The
Financial Times reported on 12 June 2013, that due to US pressure and high-level lobbying, the Commission's draft proposal for the new Regulation on data protection (pdf), sent out for inter-service consultation in December 2011, was amended by deleting Article 42. Article 42 would have been effectively an "anti-FISA clause" (the USA's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and was deleted, after lobbying, by the full college of Commissioners as this would have led to major conflicts with the USA because most data servers of internet companies holding data on EU citizens are based in the USA. The Financial Times quotes a EU official as saying: "White House officials were making the rounds here and especially targeting Commissioners who have close relationships to the US to get them to remove Article 42" (in the draft proposal).

This volte-face by the Commission followed overt lobbying by the US officials including the submission of an Informal Note on Draft EU General Data Protection Regulation (December 2011) (pdf) from the USA and (put online at the time by Statewatch) which led to negative opinions being expressed by a number of Commission DGs.

The US Note says that Article 42 would impede and hinder law enforcement cooperation because "provision should be made to prohibit a controller or processor to directly dispose personal data to requesting third countries, unless authorised to do so by a supervisory authority [eg: a member state data protection authority... the draft regulation would effectively undermine international cooperation" - the "international cooperation" referred to is, of course, a one-way street whereby the USA reserves to itself to right to put under surveillance anyone in the EU or the world.

The final, adopted an published, version: Proposal for a Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on
the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation)
(25 January 2012, pdf)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Spies Without Borders I: Using Domestic Networks to Spy on the World (EFFI, link) and International Customers: It's Time to Call on US Internet Companies to Demand Accountability and Transparency (EFFI, link)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: EU Commissioner Reding's letter to the US Attorney-General (full-text, pdf) See below for background. Poses seven questions and opens with:

"I have serious concerns about recent media reports that United States authorities are accessing and processing, on a large scale, the data of European Union citizens using major US online service providers. Programmes such as PRISM and the laws on the basis of which such programmes are authorised could have grave adverse consequences for the fundamental rights of EU citizens."

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Council of Europe statement: Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Risks to Fundamental Rights stemming from Digital Tracking and other Surveillance Technologies (pdf) Opens with the following:

"Data processing in the information society which is carried out without the necessary safeguards and security can raise major human rights related concerns. Legislation allowing broad surveillance of citizens can be found contrary to the right to respect of private life. These capabilities and practices can have a chilling effect on citizen participation in social, cultural and political life and, in the longer term, could have damaging effects on democracy. They can also undermine the confidentiality rights associated to certain professions, such as the protection of journalists’ sources, and even threaten the safety of the persons concerned. More generally, they can endanger the exercise of freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights"

and among its Recommendations it: "encourages member States to bear these risks in mind in their bilateral discussions with third countries, and, where necessary, consider the introduction of suitable export controls to prevent the misuse of technology to undermine those standards"

USA-EU: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Europe warns US: you must respect the privacy of our citizens: EU officials demand answers on what data snooping programmes entail and whether they breach human rights (Guardian, link), US spy scandal widens as MEPs and MPs seek answers (euobserver, link) and Parliament expresses anger over US data scandal (euractiv, link)

USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA's Patriot Act Phone Surveillance (ACLU, link): The ACLU are taking a court action against the PRISM surveillance system which is authorised under the Patriot Act Section 215 using a FISA Order (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). PRISM collects personal information from users of Skype, Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc from inside and outside the USA (described as "customers" of US-based internet services).

See also: What's in the rest of the top-secret NSA PowerPoint deck? (Wired): refers to fact that only 5 of the 41 pages handed over to the press by Edward Snowden have so far been published. and Spy court urged to unmask legal basis for NSA dragnet phone surveillance (Wired)

EU-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America: Snowden's whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution (Guardian, link): Daniel Ellsberg:

"In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution."

World leaders seek answers on US collection of communication data - Data protection chiefs and analysts in EU, Pakistan, South Africa and Canada express concerns at revelations in leaks (Guardian, link)

The European Parliament plenary session this morning (11 June) is discussing: "US Internet surveillance of EU citizens (NSA PRISM programme): Commission statement": EU to seek privacy guarantees from US after intel scandal (link)

- Spy scandal to impact talks on EU-US data treaty (euobserver, link)
US data surveillance worries German expert (DW, link) article by Thilo Weichert
Time for Europe to stop being complicit in NSA's crimes (New Europe, link)
US data scandal deepens EU-US divide on privacy (euractiv, link)
US scandal shows EU needs 'highest standards' on data privacy (Public Service Europe, link)

EU: Reactions to exposures on PRISM and Boundless Informant

CZECH REPUBLIC: Prague to protest if US monitoring of Internet is confirmed (Prague Daily Monitor)

US data scandal deepens EU-US divide on privacy (EurActiv); PRISM makes trade deal a mission impossible (Presseurop)

Germany’s Merkel, concerned about US surveillance, will discuss with Obama (Epoch Times);

Germany most snooped country by US (euobserver)

Dutch security service has received information via PRISM Telegraaf and Dutch privacy watchdog wants answers on US data mining (Dutch News) and Bits of Freedom: Dutch spooks must stop use of PRISM (link)

Belgium: Ook Staatsveiligheid krijgt informatie uit Prism (link)

A lesson from history for those who strive to bring intelligence agencies to account (The Privacy Surgeon)

Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data: Revealed: The NSA's powerful tool for cataloguing global surveillance data – including figures on US collection (Guardian, link). And see: Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool – four key slides (link) and Boundless Informant: NSA explainer – full document text (link)

US spy chief Clapper defends Prism and phone surveillance (BBC News, link): "While admitting the government collected communications from internet firms, he said the policy only targets "non-US persons", So that's OK is it? comments Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director. And: NSA taps in to systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and others, secret files reveal (Guardian, link)

See also: USA: NSA collecting phone records of millions daily, court order reveals Guardian (link) Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama. And Verizon court order (link) and NSA spying revelations leaves Europe silent (New Europe, link)

USA: NSA collecting phone records of millions daily, court order reveals Guardian (link) Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama. And Verizon court order (link)

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