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Author Topic: Spies...Agents...foreign surveillance programs & other governmental calamities  (Read 19953 times)
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« on: October 29, 2013, 06:16:11 PM »



don't know if you have read over or about the foreign surveillance program hoopla that's going on between the USA and GERMANY...but I thought it worth to mention in as a starting theme of this thread.

We know that every country spies on every other country - no news here - double agents exist - and spies are cought ever so often.

Foreign surveillance programs exist in nearly every country.....but you shouldn't be cought doing it  Cool

That's what happened to the US, when NSA collected all kinds of intelligents, on Merkel & Co, and the BND (German equivalent) caught them.

Tought shit, and it wouldn't be highly amusing to me, if it wouldn't have far-reaching consequences.


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US spied on German leader Merkel's phone since 2002

By Annika Breidthardt and Gernot Heller, Reuters




BERLIN - The United States may have bugged Angela Merkel's phone for more than 10 years, according to a report in Der Spiegel on Saturday that also said President Barack Obama told the German leader he would have stopped it happening had he known about it.

Germany's outrage over reports of bugging of Merkel's phone by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) prompted it to summon the U.S. ambassador this week for the first time in living memory, an unprecedented post-war diplomatic rift.

Der Spiegel said Merkel's mobile telephone had been listed by the NSA's Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002 - marked as "GE Chancellor Merkel" - and was still on the list weeks before Obama visited Berlin in June.

In an SCS document cited by the magazine, the agency said it had a "not legally registered spying branch" in the U.S. embassy in Berlin, the exposure of which would lead to "grave damage for the relations of the United States to another government".

From there, NSA and CIA staff tapped communication in the Berlin's government district with high-tech surveillance.

Quoting a secret document from 2010, Der Spiegel said such branches existed in about 80 locations around the world, including Paris, Madrid, Rome, Prague, Geneva and Frankfurt.

The magazine said it was not clear whether the SCS had recorded conversations or just connection data.

Obama apologized to Merkel when she called him on Wednesday to seek clarification on the issue, Der Spiegel wrote, citing a source in Merkel's office.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung also said Obama had told Merkel he had not known of the bugging.

Merkel's spokesman and the White House declined comment.

"We're not going to comment on the details of our diplomatic discussions," said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council at the White House.

The rift over U.S. surveillance activities first emerged earlier this year after reports that Washington had bugged European Union offices and had tapped half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month.

But it appeared close to resolution after Merkel's government said in August - just weeks before a parliamentary election - the United States had given sufficient assurances they were upholding German law.

Germany will send intelligence chiefs to Washington next week to seek answers on the allegations around Merkel's phone.

Obama ordered a review of U.S. surveillance programs after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents that raised alarm in the United States and abroad.
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 06:16:41 PM »

German paper says Obama aware of spying on Merkel since 2010

BERLIN | Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:00pm EDT




(Reuters) - A German newspaper said on Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama knew his intelligence service was eavesdropping on Angela Merkel as long ago as 2010, contradicting reports that he had told the German leader he did not know.

Germany received information this week that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had bugged Merkel's mobile phone, prompting Berlin to summon the U.S. ambassador, a move unprecedented in post-war relations between the close allies.

Reuters was unable to confirm Sunday's news report. The NSA denied that Obama had been informed about the operation by the NSA chief in 2010, as reported by the German newspaper. But the agency did not comment directly on whether Obama knew about the bugging of Merkel's phone.

Both the White House and the German government declined comment.

Citing a source in Merkel's office, other German media have reported that Obama apologized to Merkel when she called him on Wednesday, and told her that he would have stopped the bugging happening had he known about it.

But Bild am Sonntag, citing a "U.S. intelligence worker involved in the NSA operation against Merkel", said NSA chief General Keith Alexander informed Obama in person about it in 2010.

"Obama didn't stop the operation back then but let it continue," the mass-market paper quoted the source as saying.

The NSA said, however, that Alexander had never discussed any intelligence operations involving Merkel with Obama.

"(General) Alexander did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel," NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in an emailed statement.

"News reports claiming otherwise are not true."

Bild am Sonntag said Obama in fact wanted more material on Merkel, and ordered the NSA to compile a "comprehensive dossier" on her. "Obama, according to the NSA man, did not trust Merkel and wanted to know everything about the German," the paper said.

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment and reiterated the standard policy line that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.

Bild said the NSA had increased its surveillance, including the contents of Merkel's text messages and phone calls, on Obama's initiative and had started tapping a new, supposedly bug-proof mobile she acquired this summer, a sign the spying continued into the "recent past".

The NSA first eavesdropped on Merkel's predecessor Gerhard Schroeder after he refused to support President George W. Bush's war in Iraq and was extended when Merkel took over in 2005, the paper said.

Eighteen NSA staff working in the U.S. embassy, some 800 meters (yards) from Merkel's office, sent their findings straight to the White House, rather than to NSA headquarters, the paper said. Only Merkel's encrypted landline in her office in the Chancellery had not been tapped, it added.

Bild said some NSA officials were becoming annoyed with the White House for creating the impression that U.S. spies had gone beyond what they had been ordered to do.

BREACH OF TRUST

Merkel has said she uses one mobile phone and that all state-related calls are made from encrypted lines.

The rift over U.S. surveillance activities first emerged this year with reports that Washington had bugged European Union offices and tapped half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month.

Merkel's government said in August - just weeks before a German election - that the United States had given sufficient assurances it was complying with German law.

This week's news has reignited criticism of the U.S. surveillance. Volker Kauder, head of Merkel's party in parliament, called it a "grave breach of trust" and said the United States should drop its "global power demeanor".

Kauder said, however, that he was against halting negotiations on a European free trade agreement with the United States, a call made by Social Democrats and some of Merkel's Bavarian allies.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Bild am Sonntag: "Bugging is a crime and those responsible for it must be held to account."

The Social Democrats, with whom Merkel is holding talks to form a new government, have joined calls from two smaller opposition parties for a parliamentary investigation into the U.S. surveillance, but Kauder has rejected the idea.

SPD parliamentary whip Thomas Oppermann said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked many of the sensitive documents, could be called as a witness. Snowden is living in Russia, out of reach of U.S. attempts to arrest him.

(Reporting by Annika Breidthardt; Additional reporting by Anna Yukhananov in Washington; Editing by Robin Pomeroy, Alistair Lyon and Christopher Wilson)
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 06:17:28 PM »

Germans React To Revelations That The U.S. Spied On Chancellor Angela Merkel

It was recently revealed that the National Security Agency secretly monitored European leaders and 60 million Spanish phone calls from a spying hub in the United States German Embassy, all while President Obama was reportedly oblivious to the program.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was so discomfited that even after President Obama personally apologized, she called for a European-wide reconsideration of cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies. The new revelations will make an already tense situation much worse.

During TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in Berlin, TechCrunch TV went out to get some reactions to gauge local sentiment regarding the news. We didn’t find any protesters in front of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, which sits right next to the Brandenburg Gate and just about a mile away from Angela Merkel’s office.

Sadly, most people were too afraid to actually talk to us about the NSA on camera, but we found a few brave Germans who were willing to talk to us. Here is what they had to say.

In case you want to read up on the current state of this affair, here is a quick breakdown of the recent news:

From documents provided by notorious NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Germany’s Der Spiegel reports that U.S. spies posed as diplomats and set up spying hubs in Frankfurt and Berlin. A clandestine force, the Special Collection Service, built special permeable walls to listen to all manner of communication — “cellular signals, wireless networks and satellite communication.” German officials have ordered an investigation and are pretty angry.

El Mundo reports that the NSA collected 60 million phone calls and Internet browsing behavior in Spain (original Spanish). Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian reporter who co-authored the story, notes that that this kind of spying is punishable under Spanish law.

President Obama was apparently oblivious to the German spying. “These decisions are made at NSA,” one official said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “The president doesn’t sign off on this stuff.”






The Obama administration is considering ending spying on allied heads of state, a senior administration official said, as the White House grappled with the fallout from revelations that the U.S. has eavesdropped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.



The Obama administration is considering ending spying on allied heads of state, a senior administration official said, as the White House grappled with the fallout from revelations that the U.S. has eavesdropped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
 
The official said late Monday that a final decision had not been made and an internal review was still underway.
 
The revelations about National Security Agency monitoring of Merkel were the latest in a months-long spying scandal that has strained longstanding alliances with some of America's closest partners.

Earlier Monday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for a ‘total review of all intelligence programs.’
 
Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement that the White House had informed her that ‘collection on our allies will not continue.’

The administration official said that statement was not accurate, but added that some unspecified changes already had been made and more were being considered, including terminating the collection of communications from friendly heads of state.

The official was not authorized to discuss the review by name and insisted on anonymity.

As a result of the spying allegations, German officials said on Monday that the U.S. could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows.

As possible leverage, German authorities cited last week's non-binding resolution by the European Parliament to suspend a post-9/11 agreement allowing the Americans access to bank transfer data to track the flow of terrorist money.

A top German official said she believed the Americans were using the information obtained from Merkel to gather economic intelligence apart from terrorism and that the agreement known as SWIFT should be suspended.

Feinstein said while the intelligence community has kept her apprised of other issues, like the court orders on telephone record collection, intelligence officials failed to brief her on how they followed foreign leaders.

Her statement follows reports based on new leaks from former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden indicating that the NSA listened to Merkel and 34 other foreign leaders.

‘With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies - including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany - let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,’ Feinstein said.

She added that the U.S. should not be ‘collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers’ unless in an emergency with approval of the president.

European Union officials who are in Washington to meet with lawmakers ahead of White House talks said U.S. surveillance of their people could affect negotiations over a U.S.-Europe trade agreement. They said European privacy must be better protected.

Many officials in Germany and other European governments have made clear, however, that they don't favor suspending the U.S.-EU trade talks which began last summer because both sides stand to gain so much through the proposed deal, especially against competition from China and other emerging markets.

As tensions with European allies escalate, the top U.S. intelligence official declassified dozens of pages of top secret documents in an apparent bid to show the NSA was acting legally when it gathered millions of Americans' phone records.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said he was following the president's direction to make public as much information as possible about how U.S. intelligence agencies spy under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Monday's release of documents focused on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the bulk collection of U.S. phone records.

The document release is part of an administration-wide effort to preserve the NSA's ability to collect bulk data, which it says is key to tracking key terror suspects, but which privacy activists say is a breach of the Constitution's ban on unreasonable search and seizure of evidence from innocent Americans.

The release of the documents comes ahead of a House Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday on FISA reform.

The documents support administration testimony that the NSA worked to operate within the law and fix errors when they or their systems overreached. One of the documents shows the NSA admitting to the House Intelligence Committee that one of its automated systems picked up too much telephone metadata. The February 2009 document indicates the problem was fixed.

Another set of documents shows the judges of the FISA court seemed satisfied with the NSA's cooperation.

It says that in September 2009, the NSA advised the Senate Intelligence Committee about its continuing collection of Americans' phone records and described a series of demonstrations and briefings it conducted for three judges on the secretive U.S. spy court.

The memorandum said the judges were ‘engaged throughout and asked questions, which were answered by the briefers and other subject matter experts,’ and said the judges appreciated the amount and quality of information the NSA provided.

It said that two days later, one of the judges, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, renewed the court's permission to resume collecting phone records.

The documents also included previously classified testimony from 2009 for the House Intelligence Committee by Michael Leiter, then head of the National Counterterrorism Center.

He and other officials said collecting Americans' phone records helped indict Najibullah Zazi, who was accused in a previously disclosed 2009 terror plot to bomb the New York City subways.

The documents also show the NSA considered tracking targets using cellphone location data, and according to an April 2011 memo consulted the Justice Department first, which said such collection was legal. Only later did the NSA inform the FISA court of the testing.

NSA commander Gen. Keith Alexander revealed the testing earlier this month to Congress but said the agency did not use the capability to track Americans' cellphone locations nor deem it necessary right now.

Asked Monday if the NSA intelligence gathering had been used not only to protect national security but American economic interests as well, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: ‘We do not use our intelligence capabilities for that purpose. We use it for security purposes.’

But National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden later clarified that: ‘We do not use our intelligence capabilities to give U.S. companies an advantage, not ruling out that we are interested in economic information.’

Carney acknowledged the tensions with allies over the eavesdropping disclosures and said the White House was ‘working to allay those concerns,’ though he refused to discuss any specific reports or provide details of internal White House discussions.
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 06:19:19 PM »

'We're really screwed now': NSA insiders are in full panic mode after Senate intelligence chief calls for a full investigation into spying programs


Who knows what: Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has called for a review of all spying programs after world leaders found out they were subject to NSA protocols



Intelligence officials are now panicking after a top Democratic leader took aim at the NSA spying program for foreign leaders.

'We're really screwed now,' the unnamed NSA source told Foreign Policy in response to Senator Dianne Feinstein's disparaging comments on Monday.

'You know things are bad when the few friends you've got disappear without a trace in the dead of night and leave no forwarding address.'

Senator Feinstein, who is the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for a 'total review of all intelligence programs' after it was reported that the National Security Agency had been collecting phone records for dozens of allied leaders.

'The White House has informed me that collection on our allies will not continue, which I support,' Feinstein said Monday.

'But as far as I’m concerned, Congress needs to know exactly what our intelligence community is doing. To that end, the committee will initiate a major review into all intelligence collection programs.

This statement was knocked down once more by an anonymous senior administration official who told Buzzfeed that Mrs Feinstein was getting ahead of herself.

'The statement that ‘collection on our allies will not continue’ is not accurate,' the source told Buzzfeed.
 
'While we have made some individual changes, which I cannot detail, we have not made across the board changes in policy like, for example, terminating intelligence collection that might be aimed at all allies.'
 
The staunch Democrat's decision to strike out at the head of her party and his administration is an important- and unexpected one.

Some insiders are saying that her strong stance is also a possible defensive tact.
 
'It's an absolute joke to think she hasn't been reading the signals intelligence intercepts as Chairman of Senate Intelligence for years,' a senior congressional aide told Foreign Policy.
 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney fended off questions about intelligence gathering of world leaders on Monday, but wouldn't go on-record saying when Obama knew about the program
 
'Bottom line question is where was the Senate Intelligence Committee when it came to their oversight of these programs? And what were they being told by the NSA, because if they didn't know about this surveillance, that would imply they were being lied to.'
 
The official statement does little to counter that theory, as a National Security Council spokesperson said that they have been working with Mrs Feinstein for years.

'We consult regularly with Chairman Feinstein as a part of our ongoing engagement with the Congress on national security matters,' Cailin Hayden said in a statement according to Foreign Policy.
 
'We appreciate her continued leadership on these issues as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.  I'm not going to go into the details of those private discussions, nor am I going to comment on assertions made in the Senator's statement today about U.S. foreign intelligence activities.'
 
Feinstein said while the intelligence community has kept her apprised of other issues, like the court orders on telephone record collection, intelligence officials failed to brief her on how they followed foreign leaders.
 
Her statement follows reports based on new leaks from former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden indicating that the NSA listened to Merkel and 34 other foreign leaders.
 
Her statement follows reports based on new leaks from former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden indicating that the NSA listened to Merkel and 34 other foreign leaders.
 
‘With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies - including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany - let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,’ Feinstein said.
 
She added that the U.S. should not be ‘collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers’ unless in an emergency with approval of the president.

European Union officials who are in Washington to meet with lawmakers ahead of White House talks said U.S. surveillance of their people could affect negotiations over a U.S.-Europe trade agreement. They said European privacy must be better protected.
 
Many officials in Germany and other European governments have made clear, however, that they don't favor suspending the U.S.-EU trade talks which began last summer because both sides stand to gain so much through the proposed deal, especially against competition from China and other emerging markets.
 
As a result of the spying allegations, German officials said Monday that the U.S. could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows.

As possible leverage, German authorities cited last week's non-binding resolution by the European Parliament to suspend a post-9/11 agreement allowing the Americans access to bank transfer data to track the flow of terrorist money.
 
A top German official said she believed the Americans were using the information obtained from Merkel to gather economic intelligence apart from terrorism and that the agreement known as SWIFT should be suspended.
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 06:25:01 PM »


Trans-Atlantic Relations
All eyes on NSA at EU summit





New reports of NSA spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel have overshadowed the EU summit in Brussels. Europe's top politicians have realized that anyone can be targeted and nothing is secret. Distrust of the US is growing.

s German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at the EU summit in Brussels, her official vehicle sported a license plate with the numbers 007 - more famously known as the code name of fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond.

Whether or not the license plate was a simple coincidence, there was no denying that the newest round of spying allegations against the NSA has overshadowed the summit, which was actually meant to deal with economic issues. Merkel, whose mobile phone, according to reports, was spied on by the US National Security Agency (NSA), was not in a joking mood on Thursday (24.10.2013). "Spying among friends - that's just not done," said the Chancellor in Brussels.

"Trust must be restored," Merkel told the US government, which had assured the Chancellor that her mobile phone was not being tapped.

Late on Thursday evening, however, the British daily The Guardian reported that it had obtained a confidential memo suggesting that the NSA had also monitored the communications of 35 other world leaders. Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, called on EU leaders to suspend the SWIFT agreement and the exchange of banking data with the US, a recommendation already made by the Parliament on Wednesday.

"Data protection must apply, no matter whether it concerns the emails of citizens or the mobile phone of Angela Merkel," said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding.



Franco-German solidarity



On the sidelines of the EU summit, Chancellor Merkel and French President Francois Hollande briefly met to speak about the US's spying activities. After the meeting, a relatively relaxed Merkel said that "being spied on together has brought us closer." On Monday (21.10.2013), Hollande spoke out against the espionage of millions of French citizens by the NSA.

However, in an interview with DW, Alexander Stubb, Finland's Minister for European Affairs, warned against overreacting to this latest news. Stubb said that all top politicians must realize that they could be spied upon. "I am very careful, and always aware that whatever I communicate could be made public," he said.

Questioning the idea of data exchange with the US was not the best way to react, Stubb added, saying that in the worldwide digital community it was impossible to avoid exchanging information with American companies.

"My fear is that if we come down too hard on the Americans right now, we're going to cause a lot of trouble for data movement from Europe to the United States, and that's going to make our small, medium-sized and big companies suffer," he said. "So there needs to be common sense and justice in data protection, and at the same time, we shouldn't shut up shop just yet."



Digital economy to revive labor market



Neelie Kroes Foto: Bernd Riegert (DW) alle Rechte Kroes: The EU needs to catch up in the digital sector

Data protection was also part of the "digital agenda" discussed by the heads of state and government on Thursday evening. The EU intends to strongly promote the development of a faster Internet and online businesses. There are many untapped opportunities in the digital economy, EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes told DW. In the last few years, the development of mobile phone apps was responsible for creating 300,000 jobs in Europe alone.

Kroes has called for the creation of a single European digital market by 2015, in which there are no roaming charges for data transmission. "We have a single market for everything in the EU apart from telecommunications. That's not normal," she said. Companies should be able to operate in all 28 EU countries without being hindered by specific national regulations. At the same time, privacy protection for consumers must be taken into account. "We must find the right balance," Kroes said.



Refugee help




Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta didn't devote much time to the spying scandal, instead bringing up a particularly pressing problem for his country. "We would like the summit to focus on how to help with migration, and find answers," he said. "The case of Lampedusa should never happen again."

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels May 22, 2013. Growing concern in European capitals about aggressive tax avoidance by high-profile corporations such as Amazon, Google and Apple looks set to steal the agenda of a European Union summit in Brussels on Wednesday. REUTERS/Eric Vidal (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) Letta came to the summit looking for help with Italy's migration problems

Italy has called for the distribution of refugees and asylum seekers in all EU states under a quota system. Letta wants to do away with the Dublin II regulation that requires asylum seekers to be processed in the country where they first entered Europe.

But the chances of that happening are not good, even after the tragic death of nearly 400 African refugees earlier this month off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Germany and other EU states have rejected a softening of the Dublin regulation.

European Parliament President Schulz has called for EU leaders to develop new migration policies that provide more possibilities for legal migration. "Europe is a continent that attracts immigrants. A look at the Mediterranean only confirms this fact," he said. "For that reason we need additional regulations. We can't deal with all immigration in Europe with just the Dublin II agreement."

Aside from outraged statements, there were no concrete decisions at the summit about the NSA scandal. The summit was meeting in the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, which was said to have been bugged by the American intelligence service some years ago. "We don't feel very comfortable here anymore," said one EU diplomat, with a smirk.
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 06:25:44 PM »

I'm ok with this everyone does It everyone
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Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?

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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 06:36:17 PM »

serious topic in Germany at the moment but nothing new. The only new thing is that the Americans got caught this time. Found some funny cartoons on fb about this topic

nelcartoons.de

janson-karrikatur.de

thomasplassmann.de
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 06:42:29 PM »


Anger Growing Among Allies on U.S. Spying

BERLIN — The diplomatic fallout from the documents harvested by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden intensified on Wednesday, with one of the United States’ closest allies, Germany, announcing that its leader had angrily called President Obama seeking reassurance that her cellphone was not the target of an American intelligence tap.

 Washington hastily pledged that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, leader of Europe’s most powerful economy, was not the target of current surveillance and would not be in the future, while conspicuously saying nothing about the past. After a similar furor with France, the call was the second time in 48 hours that the president found himself on the phone with a close European ally to argue that the unceasing revelations of invasive American intelligence gathering should not undermine decades of hard-won trans-Atlantic trust.

Both episodes illustrated the diplomatic challenge to the United States posed by the cache of documents that Mr. Snowden handed to the journalist Glenn Greenwald. Last week, Mr. Greenwald concluded a deal with the eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to build a new media platform that aims in part to publicize other revelations from the data Mr. Greenwald now possesses.

The damage to core American relationships continues to mount. Last month, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil postponed a state visit to the United States after Brazilian news media reports — fed by material from Mr. Greenwald — that the N.S.A. had intercepted messages from Ms. Rousseff, her aides and the state oil company, Petrobras. Recently, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, which has said it has a stack of Snowden documents, suggested that United States intelligence had gained access to communications to and from President Felipe Calderón of Mexico when he was still in office.

Secretary of State John Kerry had barely landed in France on Monday when the newspaper Le Monde disclosed what it said was the mass surveillance of French citizens, as well as spying on French diplomats. Furious, the French summoned the United States ambassador, Charles H. Rivkin, and President François Hollande expressed “extreme reprobation” for the reported collection of 70 million digital communications from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013.

In a statement published online, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, disputed some aspects of Le Monde’s reporting, calling it misleading and inaccurate in unspecified ways.

He did not address another report by Le Monde that monitoring by the United States had extended to “French diplomatic interests” at the United Nations and in Washington. Information garnered by the N.S.A. played a significant part in a United Nations vote on June 9, 2010, in favor of sanctions against Iran, Le Monde said.

Two senior administration officials — from the State Department and the National Security Council — had arrived in Berlin only hours before the German government disclosed on Wednesday that it had received unspecified information that Ms. Merkel’s cellphone was under surveillance.

If confirmed, that is “completely unacceptable,” said her spokesman, Steffen Seibert. The accusations followed Der Spiegel’s disclosures in June of widespread American surveillance of German communications, which struck an especially unsettling chord in a country scarred by the surveillance undertaken by Nazi and Communist governments in its past.

Mr. Seibert quoted the chancellor, who was raised in Communist East Germany, as telling Mr. Obama that “between close friends and partners, which the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America have been for decades, there should be no such surveillance of the communications of a head of government.”

“That would be a grave breach of trust,” Mr. Seibert quoted her as saying. “Such practices must cease immediately.”

The government statement did not disclose the source or nature of its suspicions. But Der Spiegel said on its Web site that Ms. Merkel acted after it submitted a reporting inquiry to the government. “Apparently, after an examination by the Federal Intelligence Service and the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology, the government found sufficient plausible grounds to confront the U.S. government,” Der Spiegel wrote.

ARD, Germany’s premier state television channel, said without naming its sources that the supposed monitoring had targeted Ms. Merkel’s official cellphone, not her private one.

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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 06:44:52 PM »


French anger at American NSA revelations



French anger at American spy revelations is set to cast a shadow over talks on the future of Syria while French courts decide if they have enough information to launch legal proceedings against the NSA and FBI.

Fifteen years ago an American electronics firm called Raytheon was the surprise winner of a contract to equip the Amazon basin with an electronic network. The business was thought to have been a shoo-in for French company Thompson. The French were certain they had the best product and the best price.

What they didn't know was that the Americans had been using their Echelon surveillance system to listen in to the communications between Thompson's negotiators in Brazil and its Paris HQ.

The story is related by the former head of the DGSE (French intelligence) Alain Juillet who now heads the Company Security Directors' Club and the Economic Intelligence Academy.

Surprised at the scale of the 'pillage'

Juillet has his nose close to the problem. For him, the idea that allies spy on each other is nothing new. Nor that the USA uses its formidable lead in the sphere of communications technology to spy more than anybody else. But even he says he is surprised by the scale of the "pillage" revealed by Le Monde newspaper.

In new information supplied by Edward Snowden, the former consultant of America's NSA (National Security Agency) reveals, for example, that in a single month (10 December 2012 to 8 January 2013) the agency intercepted over 70 million French communications.

France responded to the revelations by hauling the American ambassador Charles Rivkin in to the Foreign Ministry to provide an explanation. The exchange with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius's chief advisor Alexandre Ziegler was reported to have been "direct" and "quite cold".



France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during a press meeting at the Quai d' Orsay, in Paris Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (Photo: AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is said to have hosted a 'cold' exchange with the US ambassador to Paris

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said "If a friendly country, an ally, is spying on France and other European countries, that is completely unacceptable." In order to reassure the French, Barack Obama called Francois Hollande on Monday. He told him some of the information about American spy activities had been "deformed".


Cooling relations

The French president told his US counterpart of his "profound reprobation”. The details supplied by Edward Snowdon, now in exile in Moscow, show that the NSA's spying goes far further than anti-terrorism. The agency, he says, is sifting through vast quantities of communications between business leaders, journalists, politicians and civil servants.

Asked by the Figaro newspaper how business people, for example, could avoid the gaze of the American Big Brother, Economic Intelligence Academy president Alain Juillet said business people have long been extraordinarily naïve.

They know they're in a hyper-competitive world and yet "too many of our business leaders still send sensitive information via email from un-secured computers without imagining that someone might be reading [this material] at a distance," he said.

Juillet says that only last month the Prime Minister's office had to tell ministerial advisors to make sure top civil servants were using mobile phone technology that enabled them to encrypt confidential conversations.
French President Francois Hollande (C), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2ndR), British Foreign Secretary William Hague (2ndL) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) pose upon their arrival at the Elysee Palace prior to a meeting on Syria conflict in Paris September 16, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS/Michel Euler/Pool) Will cooling relations affect forthcoming talks on Syria?

This, says Juillet, was thanks to Edward Snowden. "Without him no-one would have known," officially at least. The chill in relations because of American spying comes at a delicate moment in Franco-American relations.




Enough information to prosecute?

France was embarrassed by Barack Obama's back-down from punishing Bashir El-Assad militarily for using chemical weapons. The French were also caught out by Washington's sudden change of position over the Iranian nuclear program, when Obama jettisoned what had hitherto been a common policy of absolute refusal to allow Teheran to have the bomb.

This is, therefore, a diplomatic crisis, which may even have legal consequences. The International Human Rights Federation and the Human Rights League, both based in Paris, have filed a formal complaint for the "illegal collection of personal data," "non-respect of personal privacy" and "violation of secret correspondence." French investigators are now trying to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to launch legal proceedings that would bring the NSA and the FBI to justice.
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 04:30:24 AM »


French anger at American NSA revelations



French anger at American spy revelations is set to cast a shadow over talks on the future of Syria while French courts decide if they have enough information to launch legal proceedings against the NSA and FBI.

Fifteen years ago an American electronics firm called Raytheon was the surprise winner of a contract to equip the Amazon basin with an electronic network. The business was thought to have been a shoo-in for French company Thompson. The French were certain they had the best product and the best price.

What they didn't know was that the Americans had been using their Echelon surveillance system to listen in to the communications between Thompson's negotiators in Brazil and its Paris HQ.

The story is related by the former head of the DGSE (French intelligence) Alain Juillet who now heads the Company Security Directors' Club and the Economic Intelligence Academy.

Surprised at the scale of the 'pillage'

Juillet has his nose close to the problem. For him, the idea that allies spy on each other is nothing new. Nor that the USA uses its formidable lead in the sphere of communications technology to spy more than anybody else. But even he says he is surprised by the scale of the "pillage" revealed by Le Monde newspaper.

In new information supplied by Edward Snowden, the former consultant of America's NSA (National Security Agency) reveals, for example, that in a single month (10 December 2012 to 8 January 2013) the agency intercepted over 70 million French communications.

France responded to the revelations by hauling the American ambassador Charles Rivkin in to the Foreign Ministry to provide an explanation. The exchange with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius's chief advisor Alexandre Ziegler was reported to have been "direct" and "quite cold".



France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during a press meeting at the Quai d' Orsay, in Paris Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (Photo: AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is said to have hosted a 'cold' exchange with the US ambassador to Paris

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said "If a friendly country, an ally, is spying on France and other European countries, that is completely unacceptable." In order to reassure the French, Barack Obama called Francois Hollande on Monday. He told him some of the information about American spy activities had been "deformed".


Cooling relations

The French president told his US counterpart of his "profound reprobation”. The details supplied by Edward Snowdon, now in exile in Moscow, show that the NSA's spying goes far further than anti-terrorism. The agency, he says, is sifting through vast quantities of communications between business leaders, journalists, politicians and civil servants.

Asked by the Figaro newspaper how business people, for example, could avoid the gaze of the American Big Brother, Economic Intelligence Academy president Alain Juillet said business people have long been extraordinarily naïve.

They know they're in a hyper-competitive world and yet "too many of our business leaders still send sensitive information via email from un-secured computers without imagining that someone might be reading [this material] at a distance," he said.

Juillet says that only last month the Prime Minister's office had to tell ministerial advisors to make sure top civil servants were using mobile phone technology that enabled them to encrypt confidential conversations.
French President Francois Hollande (C), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2ndR), British Foreign Secretary William Hague (2ndL) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) pose upon their arrival at the Elysee Palace prior to a meeting on Syria conflict in Paris September 16, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS/Michel Euler/Pool) Will cooling relations affect forthcoming talks on Syria?

This, says Juillet, was thanks to Edward Snowden. "Without him no-one would have known," officially at least. The chill in relations because of American spying comes at a delicate moment in Franco-American relations.




Enough information to prosecute?

France was embarrassed by Barack Obama's back-down from punishing Bashir El-Assad militarily for using chemical weapons. The French were also caught out by Washington's sudden change of position over the Iranian nuclear program, when Obama jettisoned what had hitherto been a common policy of absolute refusal to allow Teheran to have the bomb.

This is, therefore, a diplomatic crisis, which may even have legal consequences. The International Human Rights Federation and the Human Rights League, both based in Paris, have filed a formal complaint for the "illegal collection of personal data," "non-respect of personal privacy" and "violation of secret correspondence." French investigators are now trying to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to launch legal proceedings that would bring the NSA and the FBI to justice.


How will they bring the NSA and FBI to justice? I don't agree with all the spying but all countries supposedly do it, though I'm not sure how a personal cell is relevant. But seriously, what could they do to these agencies?
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There's a feeling I get when I look to the West....and my Spirit is crying for leaving
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