Europe between past and future

Aug 1, 2013

LOGS OF THURSDAY, 01-08-2013 /EU Parliament and EU Commission: Stop mass surveillance, protect our data and our whistleblowers! /NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ /WIKILEAKS Statement on Snowden’s Successful Russian Asylum Bid

EU Parliament and EU Commission: Stop mass surveillance, protect our data and our whistleblowers!


We, the citizens, are aware that we are now the targets of mass surveillance. Our fundamental rights are being violated. We demand that a Committee of Investigation is created by the European Parliament to provide information on recent scandals surrounding the mass surveillance of EU citizens. We demand a prohibition on the transfer of user data from EU citizens to foreign intelligence services. This prohibition should also apply to the wholesale spying on citizens of member states by other member states. We demand that the EU initiate an international agreement on surveillance disarmament as well as legal protection to whistleblowers across Europe. This will ensure that future violations of fundamental rights can be brought to light and treated correctly in the future.
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission 
Stop mass surveillance, protect our data and our whistleblowers!

We, the citizens, are concerned because we see that our fundamental rights have been violated. We do not wish to live in a culture of mass surveillance in which we are all placed under general suspicion. We demand that the following requests are taken seriously to initiate a change for the future direction of Europe and the World:

1. Create Transparency: We ask the EU Parliament to establish a Committee of Investigation to elucidate the extent and degree to which European citizens have become the victims of mass surveillance by programs such as PRISM and TEMPORA. The committee should clarify who had knowledge of these programs, and to what extent the rights of EU citizens have been violated.

2. Strengthen Data Protection: The new General Data Protection Regulation must include a prohibition on data transfers to foreign intelligence services and of the mass surveillance by member states on each other. Data protection must ensure citizens have the right to determine how their data is used. We demand the strengthening of European data protection laws.

3. Ban Mass Surveillance Programs: We believe, that without concrete suspicion and without a court order, nobody should be placed under surveillance and hence placed in a condition of general suspicion. We therefore demand a prohibition of mass public surveillance programs within the EU.

4. Disarm Mass Surveillance Internationally: We ask the EU Parliament and the EU Commission to initiate an international agreement to reduce mass surveillance worldwide.

5. Protect Whistleblowers: We ask the EU to create a legal framework allowing political asylum and legal protection for whistleblowers within Europe. Whistleblowers - like Edward Snowden who enlighted us about mass surveillance by the American and the British secret services - are an important mechanism to correct undesirable developments in a democracy, and should be protected from criminal persecution.

with best regards
[Your name]

LOGS OF THURSDAY, 01-08-2013 :
( All times in CET! )

Greetings from our region here...

- RADIO BLACK POWER 6295kcs, 21.58hrs, SINPO 4-5,4434
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- RADIO CALIPSO, 1629kcs, 01.09hrs, SINPO 4-5,4434
  ( Instrumental music, report for Bluebird etc., ID )

WIKILEAKS Statement on Snowden’s Successful Russian Asylum Bid

1 August 2013, 16:00 UTC

Today, Thursday 1st August at 15:50 MSK, Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia. He left Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow with WikiLeaks staffer and legal advisor Sarah Harrison who has accompanied him during his 39 day stay in the transit zone and continues to do so. Ms Harrison has remained with Mr Snowden at all times to protect his safety and security, including during his exit from Hong Kong. They departed from the airport together in a taxi and are headed to a secure, confidential place.
On 16th July Mr Snowden made a request for temporary asylum to Russia. Despite the ongoing pressure from the United States, which has been trying to interfere with this sovereign process in violation of the UN Protocol on the Rights of Refugees, Russia has done the right thing and granted Mr Snowden temporary asylum. The certificate of temporary asylum by the Russian Federation lasts for one year and affords Mr Snowden the right to live in and travel around Russia, where he can now plan his next steps in safety. On receiving his asylum certificate Mr Snowden said: "Over the past eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning. I thank the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws and international obligations."
WikiLeaks, whilst being a publishing organisation, also fights for the rights and protections of journalistic sources, and so has taken a leading role in assisting Mr Snowden secure his safety. Mr Snowden, an American citizen, was forced to flee his country to enable him to safely reveal to the public the crimes of his government. President Barack Obama while elected on a platform promising to protect whistleblowers, has now prosecuted more national security whistleblowers than all other presidents in United States history combined. This bellicose response from the US administration makes it clear that Snowden could not receive a fair trial. Assange said "This is another victory in the fight against Obama’s war on whistleblowers. This battle has been won, but the war continues. The United States can no longer continue the surveillance of world citizens and its digital colonization of sovereign nations. The public will no longer stand for it. Whistleblowers will continue to appear until the government abides by its own laws and rhetoric."
WikiLeaks commends Russia for accepting Snowden’s request and supporting him when many countries felt so compromised by US threats that they could not. Throughout Snowden’s stay in the airport it has been heartening to see citizens of the United States, of Russia and the world supporting Mr Snowden. WikiLeaks would also like to extend their gratitude to the airport staff who have assisted in making the extended stay of Mr Snowden and Ms Harrison as comfortable and secure as possible, despite the difficult conditions.
Mr Snowden and Ms Harrison have been staying in the airport for almost six weeks, having landed on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong on the 23rd June. They had been booked on a connecting flight the following day. Mr Snowden intended to request asylum in Latin America. However, after Mr Snowden’s departure was made public, the United States government canceled his passport, which rendered onward travel impossible.
From within the transit zone of the airport, Mr Snowden and Ms Harrison spent a number of weeks prior to his Russian application assessing the options available to him to ensure his future safety. Without a passport and no immediate offers of the necessary safe passage, travel was impossible. Over twenty asylum requests to various countries were made to try to secure Mr Snowden’s passage. Throughout this period the United States took irregular and disproportionate actions to block Mr Snowden’s right to seek asylum: downing the plane of the President of Bolivia and making direct political and economic threats againt nations Mr Snowden requested assistance from. This is in violation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2312 (1967), which states that:
"the grant of asylum. . . is a peaceful and humanitarian act and... as such, it cannot be regarded as unfriendly by any other State."
Despite these actions, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua stood strong and granted Mr Snowden asylum. At a meeting with lawyers and human rights organisations on the 12th July, Mr Snowden announced that he accepted Venezuela’s asylum offer, although ultimately US interference has, at least for the time being, prevented its practical acceptance.
The Obama administration has demonstrated in its treatment of Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake, James Risen, James Rosen and others that the United States is no longer a safe place for whistleblowers and national security journalists. WikiLeaks urges that the US government amends its ways, reverse this trend and re-establish its moral authority. We will continue to defend Mr Snowden and urge the United States government to respect its constitution and international law.

 NSA pays £100m in secret funding for

The US government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agencyGCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain's intelligence gathering programmes.
The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. "GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight," a GCHQ strategy briefing said.
The funding underlines the closeness of the relationship between GCHQand its US equivalent, the National Security Agency. But it will raise fears about the hold Washington has over the UK's biggest and most important intelligence agency, and whether Britain's dependency on the NSA has become too great.
In one revealing document from 2010, GCHQ acknowledged that the US had "raised a number of issues with regards to meeting NSA's minimum expectations". It said GCHQ "still remains short of the full NSA ask".
Ministers have denied that GCHQ does the NSA's "dirty work", but in the documents GCHQ describes Britain's surveillance laws and regulatory regime as a "selling point" for the Americans.
The papers are the latest to emerge from the cache leaked by the American whistleblower Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has railed at the reach of the US and UK intelligence agencies.
Snowden warned about the relationship between the NSA and GCHQ, saying the organisations have been jointly responsible for developing techniques that allow the mass harvesting and analysis of internet traffic. "It's not just a US problem," he said. "They are worse than the US."
As well as the payments, the documents seen by the Guardian reveal:
• GCHQ is pouring money into efforts to gather personal information from mobile phones and apps, and has said it wants to be able to "exploit any phone, anywhere, any time".
• Some GCHQ staff working on one sensitive programme expressed concern about "the morality and ethics of their operational work, particularly given the level of deception involved".
• The amount of personal data available to GCHQ from internet and mobile traffic has increased by 7,000% in the past five years – but 60% of all Britain's refined intelligence still appears to come from the NSA.
• GCHQ blames China and Russia for the vast majority of cyber-attacks against the UK and is now working with the NSA to provide the British and US militaries with a cyberwarfare capability.
The details of the NSA payments, and the influence the US has over Britain, are set out in GCHQ's annual "investment portfolios". The papers show that the NSA gave GCHQ £22.9m in 2009. The following year the NSA's contribution increased to £39.9m, which included £4m to support GCHQ's work for Nato forces in Afghanistan, and £17.2m for the agency's Mastering the Internet project, which gathers and stores vast amounts of "raw" information ready for analysis.
The NSA also paid £15.5m towards redevelopments at GCHQ's sister site in Bude, north Cornwall, which intercepts communications from the transatlantic cables that carry internet traffic. "Securing external NSA funding for Bude has protected (GCHQ's core) budget," the paper said.
In 2011/12 the NSA paid another £34.7m to GCHQ.
The papers show the NSA pays half the costs of one of the UK's main eavesdropping capabilities in Cyprus. In turn, GCHQ has to take the American view into account when deciding what to prioritise.
A document setting out GCHQ's spending plans for 2010/11 stated: "The portfolio will spend money supplied by the NSA and UK government departments against agreed requirements."
Other documents say the agency must ensure there has been "an appropriate level of contribution … from the NSA perspective".
The leaked papers reveal that the UK's biggest fear is that "US perceptions of the … partnership diminish, leading to loss of access, and/or reduction in investment … to the UK".
When GCHQ does supply the US with valuable intelligence, the agency boasts about it. In one review, GCHQ boasted that it had supplied "unique contributions" to the NSA during its investigation of the American citizen responsible for an attempted car bomb attack in Times Square, New York City, in 2010.
No other detail is provided – but it raises the possibility that GCHQ might have been spying on an American living in the US. The NSA is prohibited from doing this by US law.
Asked about the payments, a Cabinet Office spokesman said: "In a 60-year alliance it is entirely unsurprising that there are joint projects in which resources and expertise are pooled, but the benefits flow in both directions."
A senior security source in Whitehall added: "The fact is there is a close intelligence relationship between the UK and US and a number of other countries including Australia and Canada. There's no automaticity, not everything is shared. A sentient human being takes decisions."
Although the sums represent only a small percentage of the agencies' budgets, the money has been an important source of income for GCHQ. The cash came during a period of cost-cutting at the agency that led to staff numbers being slashed from 6,485 in 2009 to 6,132 last year.
GCHQ seems desperate to please its American benefactor and the NSAdoes not hold back when it fails to get what it wants. On one project, GCHQ feared if it failed to deliver it would "diminish NSA's confidence in GCHQ's ability to meet minimum NSA requirements". Another document warned: "The NSA ask is not static and retaining 'equability' will remain a challenge for the near future."
In November 2011, a senior GCHQ manager working in Cyprus bemoaned the lack of staff devoted to one eavesdropping programme, saying: "This is not sustainable if numbers reduce further and reflects badly on our commitments to the NSA."
The overriding necessity to keep on the right side of the US was revealed in a UK government paper that set out the views of GCHQ in the wake of the 2010 strategic defence and security review. The document was called: "GCHQ's international alliances and partnerships: helping to maintain Britain's standing and influence in the world." It said: "Our key partnership is with the US. We need to keep this relationship healthy. The relationship remains strong but is not sentimental. GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight."
Astonishingly, the document admitted that 60% of the UK's high-value intelligence "is based on either NSA end-product or derived from NSA collection". End product means official reports that are distillations of the best raw intelligence.
Another pitch to keep the US happy involves reminding Washington that the UK is less regulated than the US. The British agency described this as one of its key "selling points". This was made explicit two years ago when GCHQ set out its priorities for the coming years.
"We both accept and accommodate NSA's different way of working," the document said. "We are less constrained by NSA's concerns about compliance."
GCHQ said that by 2013 it hoped to have "exploited to the full our unique selling points of geography, partnerships [and] the UK's legal regime".
However, there are indications from within GCHQ that senior staff are not at ease with the rate and pace of change. The head of one of its programmes warned the agency was now receiving so much new intelligence that its "mission management … is no longer fit for purpose".
In June, the government announced that the "single intelligence account" fund that pays for GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 would be increased by 3.4% in 2015/16. This comes after three years in which the SIA has been cut from £1.92bn to £1.88bn. The agencies have also been told to make £220m savings on existing programmes.
The parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC) has questioned whether the agencies were making the claimed savings and said their budgets should be more rigorously scrutinised to ensure efficiencies were "independently verifiable and/or sustainable".
The Snowden documents show GCHQ has become increasingly reliant on money from "external" sources. In 2006 it received the vast majority of its funding directly from Whitehall, with only £14m from "external" funding. In 2010 that rose to £118m and by 2011/12 it had reached £151m. Most of this comes from the Home Office.

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