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More Details Emerge On How the US Is Bugging Its European Allies 442

dryriver writes with this excerpt from the Guardian: "U.S. intelligence services are spying on the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington, according to the latest top secret U.S. National Security Agency documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. One document lists 38 embassies and missions, describing them as 'targets.' It details an extraordinary range of spying methods used against each target, from bugs implanted in electronic communications gear to taps into cables to the collection of transmissions with specialised antennae. Along with traditional ideological adversaries and sensitive Middle Eastern countries, the list of targets includes the E.U. missions and the French, Italian and Greek embassies, as well as a number of other American allies, including Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey. ... One of the bugging methods mentioned is codenamed Dropmire, which, according to a 2007 document, is 'implanted on the Cryptofax at the E.U. embassy, DC' – an apparent reference to a bug placed in a commercially available encrypted fax machine used at the mission. The NSA documents note the machine is used to send cables back to foreign affairs ministries in European capitals."
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More Details Emerge On How the US Is Bugging Its European Allies

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  • Mud in the water (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @08:25AM (#44152559)

    "Friends spying on friends" is not something new and unusual, despite what at least 1 German politician implied. The US has arrested Israeli spies in decades past. Israel has arrested US spies. It may be deplorable, but it's universal. Raising a ruckus about it is just a sideshow.

    Snowden apparently originally thought that this was part of his job and was OK with it. What allegedly turned him was when he realized that a lot of what he was doing was unrelated to spying on other nations, other nationals and terrorists, but was spying on US citizens even when there was absolutely no reason to think they were doing anything worth spying on.

  • Pot meet Kettle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @08:37AM (#44152655) Homepage

    I think we can all distinguish between spying on one's own citizens and spying on foreigners, in particular in foreign lands. That of course includes governments. Normally this kind of stuff stays under the radar, but this is not the first time it has happened. Israel has been caught quite a few times spying on the US and running agents to further their own national interests. France has a long history of doing corporate espionage on behalf of their own industries. The Brits have always had their fingers in everything.

    Spying isn't just about military stuff. It is often about economics and politics and knowing what others are planning and doing (vs what they might say publicly).

  • Re:No Shit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 01, 2013 @08:42AM (#44152685)

    So you think that there aren't going to be any consequences for this? Fool.

    With great power comes great responsibility, but you sound more like the local schoolyard bully - and that's exactly how the US has been coming across for years. Looks like the rest of the world finally figured out who they are dealing with.

  • Re:No Shit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @08:43AM (#44152691)

    That doesn't excuse it.

    The business I conduct in my country in the EU is of zero import to the US.

    I suspect that True Patriots interpret "national security" to include economic hegemony.

  • by Pav ( 4298 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @08:48AM (#44152729)

    ...there is a possibility that Snowden may be a "false flag" to discredit leakers. I'm not saying he is or isn't, but Naomi Wolf [naomiwolf.org] says it better than me - she's a writer and journalist with a proven record on whistleblower and civil rights issues... WELL worth looking up for End of America [youtube.com] alone).

    Snowden may very well be the real deal... but it's just worth thinking a step ahead and not balancing the foundations on him or any one person. These issues are much bigger than any single entity anyway... the problems are systemic. We need to act, and act positively despite the potential for political tricks.

  • by Koreantoast ( 527520 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @09:44AM (#44153175)
    Agreed. I think that Snowden hurts his own credibility and his self-professed cause by spilling out all the details of United States espionage activities overseas. Had Snowden had a compelling whistleblower case by simply reporting on US domestic spying; many would view him as a patriot (as he self-proclaimed) for reporting on these abuses. However, muddies the water tremendously, I would even argue crosses the line, by providing details of US intelligence activities overseas, not just to the European Union but also to the Chinese and the Russians. Those actions directly harming his home country, undermining American intelligence activities against nations that have comprehensive espionage programs targeted at the United States (this includes European nations).
  • Re:No Shit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rioki ( 1328185 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @09:54AM (#44153305) Homepage

    I can say this for Germany, but it probably applies to any sane Government. The BND does intelligence gathering that any private individual could, such as areal photos and driving by installations. Their main effort is centered around inferring information from what is "publicly" available. To actually infiltrate installations, the country in question must be at war with Germany.

    The US has always cheeped me out. The level of paranoia is astonishing and I think it is a mere wonder that we came out of the cold war without any major incident.

  • Re:No Shit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Teun ( 17872 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @09:55AM (#44153313) Homepage

    So many people think this spying is primarily for military and security reasons but the EU is first of all an economic pact, the EU doesn't even have a joint military and the major EU powers are through NATO already allied with the US.
    By consequence the spying on the EU is for economic reasons.
    In the past there have been very suspicious deals where for example in China an Airbus contract was at last minute handed to Boeing, we don't need more of this crap were government organisations are doing dirty legwork for corporation.

    The upcoming Free Trade negotiations are obviously a nice target, the US dearly wants to know how far they can push the EU in their own direction by exploiting divisions among the EU members, I'm afraid the US has now shot themselves in both feet.

  • by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @09:58AM (#44153361) Homepage

    You cannot elect a President if General Alexander can go through the candidates and pick out any that he doesn't like and leak their phone calls.

    You also cant be a CIA director and run around ordering internal security audits in CIA, David Petraeus learned that the hard way - they character assassinated him using his gmail.

  • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:18AM (#44154407)

    So how does this relate to "war on terrorism"? This is plain and simple espionage, most probably for economic gain.

    You may not believe me, and I can't "prove" it, but the War on Terror is a sham. It is a cover for expanding US power and influence around the globe and here at home as well. It is, as Zbigniew Brzezinski calls it, a mythical historical narrative. It is designed to create a focus for the fear and aggression of the population, enabling the powers that be to manipulate that fear into acceptance of whatever measures they claim they need to put in place to counter the external threat. It is classic use of the Hegelian Dialectic, in which one defines a problem (terrorism) and then supplies a solution (war, surveillance, a whole new security bureaucracy) in order to arrive at a desired state (a more complacent and compliant US populace, more power for the US abroad and $Texas for government contractors). That's my take, anyway.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:34AM (#44154597) Homepage

    Angela Merkel comes off looking like a real asshole, IMO. When it came out that the US was spying on US and German citizens, she defended it as necessary for the war on terror. Then she finds out we're spying on her fellow oligarchs and all of a sudden it's an unjustifiable violation of trust.

  • Re:No Shit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @01:04PM (#44155687) Journal

    It's only illegal if it is against the law... You do realize that espionage is ALWAYS illegal in the country being spied on right? That doesn't make it illegal in the country doing the spying.

    One of Russia's replies to the USA's request to extradite Snowden was something along the lines of
    'In Russia, it's not a crime to spy on the USA'

    The theory being that extradition should only apply to actions that are also a crime in the foreign country.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @01:18PM (#44155829)

    I have no idea what Ecuador exports, but that makes me want to find out and buy a whole bunch of it.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie