2013-07-07 Snowden: Everyone's in bed with the NSA

Germany, Britain, Sweden: these countries and more have been "in bed" with the NSA for a long time, according to whistleblower Edward Snowden and Rick Falkvinge.


Today Spiegel published an interview with Edward Snowden, conducted by Laura Poitras and Jacob Appelbaum via encrypted email before Snowden left Hawaii. The interview reveals further secrets about the extent of US surveillance, and suggests that US allies are sometimes more extreme than the US.

Snowden's comments undermine the rhetoric of German chancellor Angela Merkel who has repeatedly expressed outrage at what she calls the "Cold War tactics" of the US.

"They are in bed with the Germans, just like with most other Western states", Snowden says of the NSA.

Other agencies don't ask us where we got the information from and we don't ask them. That way they can protect their top politicians from the backlash in case it emerges how massively people's privacy is abused worldwide.

Germans are particularly sensitive about eavesdropping because of their experiences with the Gestapo and with the Stasi.

United Kingdom

Snowden described the British GCHQ Tempora programme as a "full take".

It sucks up all information, no matter where it comes from and which laws are broken. If you send a data packet and it goes through Britain, we'll get it. If you download anything and the server is in Britain, we'll get it.


Today Rick Falkvinge offered an explanation for why Sweden chose to veto the EU probe into the surveillance scandal: Swedes are giving massive amounts of Russian Internet traffic to the NSA.

Putting it all together, Sweden is wiretapping Russia for the NSA, and has been doing so since the FRA law took effect in Sweden. The FRA agency is continuously wiretapping Russia based on the agreement signed in April 2007, and sharing the data with the NSA.

In this context, it is no coincidence that Sweden and the UK, as the only two European countries, recently chose to block EU investigations into US wiretapping of European officials and industries.

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