New documents provided by Snowden/Greenwald show the elite of nations collaborating with the NSA.

  • The “five spying eyes” are the well known inner circle of USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zeeland, based on the UKUSA agreement.
  • First level friends are Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and France. Together with the inner circle we have to talk about “The 9 spying eyes”.
  • Second level friends are Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden. (It is little bit strange to call Sweden a second level friend, because the FRA is spying for the NATO. 70% of international Internet traffic of Russia is routed over Sweden and scanned by FRA for spying purposes in cooperation with NSA.)
  • Third level friends are all cooperating intelligence services in Middle East and Afghanistan, 41 countries at all.

Germany has long protested at its exclusion from 9-Eyes and were a little grumpy at not being invited to join the group. Now, using the scandal following the disclosure of Merkels phone tap, the German intelligence service want to became a part of the inner circle. Official it is called “No-spy-agreement”, but such an agreement covered by a second secret cooperation agreement forms the basis for entering the inner circle. The partners of the inner circle have to collect large scale of information, pre-processing and send relevant results to the NSA/GCHQ data pool. In this case NSA and GCHQ may stop or reduce the spying in Germany.

Some German politicians are ready to go this way. By an internal paper of CDU/CSU (link only in German) the surveillance of Internet should be extended in NSA-style. German intelligence services should be improved to watch directly at Internet exchange nodes like DE-CIX.

from here

We see the writing on the wall


Last week the email provider Lavabit.com was closed. It was one of few secure email provider. It was used by Edward Snowden along with other privacy sensitive users. Ladar Levison (founder of Lavabit.com) did not say what it had been asked to do, only that it was legally prohibited from sharing the events leading to its decision. He don’t want to “become complicit in crimes against the American people.”. In an interview he said:

If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either.

A second secure email service was closed last week too. Lavabit’s note has led to Silent Circle dropping its email service, saying “We see the writing on the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now.”. In the opinion of Phil Zimmermann and other privacy activist working for Silent Circle there is no way to get email secure:

Email that uses standard Internet protocols cannot have the same security guarantees that real-time communications has. There are far too many leaks of information and metadata intrinsically in the email protocols themselves. Email as we know it with SMTP, POP3, and IMAP cannot be secure.

Because of publications by NSA whistleblowers like Snowden, Binney, Bamford or Drake we get knowledge about vast surveillance programs. Email is one of the first targets for communication surveillance. It seems, there is no email privacy any more. You may re-think you communication behavior and don’t use email anymore as far as possible in future. Think about Jabber (XMPP), private messages in forums, TorChat… More ideas are welcome.

from here