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  • Waar is bulkinterceptie goed voor?

    Volgens de overheid is bulkinterceptie noodzakelijk om aanslagen te voorkomen. Maar het middel kan het zicht van de inlichtingendiensten dusdanig vertroebelen waardoor potentiële aanslagplegers door de mazen van het sleepnet glippen.

    Het massaal aftappen van het internetverkeer, ook wel bulkinterceptie genoemd, is volgens de overheid noodzakelijk om de nationale veiligheid te vergroten en terroristische aanslagen te voorkomen. De in de WIV 2017 opgenomen bevoegdheid tot bulkinterceptie geeft de inlichtingendiensten de mogelijkheid om grote hoeveelheden communicatie (telefoon en internet) zonder selectie, dus van iedereen in een bepaalde stad of zelfs land, te verzamelen.

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    German spies ‘can’t be trusted’: Relations between the UK and Berlin intelligence chiefs hit after comments by London

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Germany’s spy agency BND is being frozen out by GCHQ as well as in America
    Both believe insecure servers have led to Wikileaks taking classified documents

    Berlin officials are angry that secret intelligence data has not been handed over

    The freeze-out also applies to the Metropolitan Police and UK Border Force

    Relations between British and German spy chiefs have hit rock bottom because London says its counterparts in Berlin cannot be trusted to keep secrets.

    At a time of escalating Islamic terror threats across Europe, Germany’s spy agency BND is being frozen out by GCHQ and the National Security Agency in the US.

    Both London and Washington believe insecure German data servers have contributed to the leaking of tens of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks.

    And they have infuriated Berlin by refusing to hand over secret intelligence data demanded by left wing and Green politicians which they fear will be aired in the German parliament.

    At a time of escalating Islamic terror threats across Europe, Germany’s spy agency BND is being frozen out by GCHQ (base pictured)
    At a time of escalating Islamic terror threats across Europe, Germany’s spy agency BND is being frozen out by GCHQ (base pictured)

    It is claimed in Germany that a tranche of 500,000 sides of files put out by Wikileaks this month were GCHQ documents on covert mobile phone policy for British intelligence agents dated June 2010 and classified as secret.

    They believe that the documents, once shared with Germany, were transferred to hackers – possibly Russian – who then fed them to the whistleblowing group.

    Also listed as top secret was a briefing paper for attendees at a pre-G20 meeting held in London between September 2 and 5 2009 in which Turkey’s role in Europe was on the agenda.

    It is understood that in November 2014 there was a meeting in Berlin between Sir Simon McDonald, the then British ambassador to Germany, together with Patrick McGuinness, Deputy National Security Adviser for Intelligence, Security, and Resilience at the Cabinet Office, and high security officials in Angela Merkel’s government.

    In November 2014 there was a meeting in Berlin between Sir Simon McDonald, the then-British ambassador to Germany, and high security officials in Angela Merkel’s government
    In November 2014 there was a meeting in Berlin between Sir Simon McDonald, the then-British ambassador to Germany, and high security officials in Angela Merkel’s government

    The British made it plain at the meeting that co-operation between Britain and Germany was becoming increasingly problematic because of leaks.

    A source familiar with the meeting said: ‘They stressed that a secret service is just that and that its workings and operations must remain secret and they felt that Germany was leaking them like a sieve.

    Britain told the Germans that the freeze on information would not only apply to MI6 and GCHQ but also to the Metropolitan Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the UK Border Force.

    The source said: ‘It has now reached the point where there is virtual radio silence between the two biggest and most important intelligence services of the western world and the BND of Germany.

    ‘Germany is worried because it needs the umbrella protection of these agencies. It is virtually blind without it.’

    Another crisis meeting was held in Berlin in February last year to discuss the biggest rift between secret services since the end of the Second World War. It failed to placate the British and the Americans.

    High-grade information on jihadists, their movements and terror plans as discovered by London and Washington and directly involving Germany, are no longer being passed on as a matter of routine.

    The upheaval has been caused in part by left-wing and green politicians still fuming over the spying activities carried out in Germany by America’s National Security Agency, which involved the eavesdropping on Mrs Merkel’s personal mobile telephone.

    The German government requested Britain to release details of the secret operations to a committee probing the NSA and other foreign spy agency activities in the country.

    The move was forced by politicians of the hard-left Die Linke and the environmentalist Green parties.

    Left-wing and green politicians are still fuming over the spying activities carried out by the National Security Agency, including eavesdropping on Mrs Merkel’s personal mobile
    Left-wing and green politicians are still fuming over the spying activities carried out by the National Security Agency, including eavesdropping on Mrs Merkel’s personal mobile

    Both the UK and America refused to send any of the requested files to Germany. Included among them was a demand for information about a 2013 operation handled by both countries – and in co-operation with the BND – which was, and remains, top secret but was known to involve a massive surveillance programme on suspected Islamic terrorists across Europe.

    Britain fears a ‘big debate’ in the German parliament which would lay open secret sources and intelligence gathering techniques.

    A BND insider said: ‘Never has a friendly nation been asked to divulge its secrets in this way. It is outrageous and we completely understand the fury that this has unleashed in Whitehall. But it has left us vulnerable.’

    By ALLAN HALL IN BERLIN and IAN DRURY IN LONDON FOR THE DAILY MAIL
    PUBLISHED: 00:22 GMT, 16 December 2016 | UPDATED: 01:36 GMT, 16 December 2016

    Find this story at 16 December 2016
    © Associated Newspapers Ltd

    UK spy agencies have collected bulk personal data since 1990s, files show Agencies privately concede that ‘intrusive’ practices can invade privacy and that data is gathered on people ‘unlikely to be of interest’

    Britain’s intelligence agencies have been secretly collecting bulk personal data since the late 1990s and privately admit they have gathered information on people who are “unlikely to be of intelligence or security interest”.

    Disclosure of internal MI5, MI6 and GCHQ documents reveals the agencies’ growing reliance on amassing data as a prime source of intelligence even as they concede that such “intrusive” practices can invade the privacy of individuals.

    A cache of more than 100 memorandums, forms and policy papers, obtained by Privacy International during a legal challenge over the lawfulness of surveillance, demonstrates that collection of bulk data has been going on for longer than previously disclosed while public knowledge of the process was suppressed for more than 15 years.

    The files show that GCHQ, the government’s electronic eavesdropping centre based in Cheltenham, was collecting and developing bulk data sets as early as 1998 under powers granted by section 94 of the 1984 Telecommunications Act.

    The documents offer a unique insight into the way MI5, MI6, and GCHQ go about collecting and storing bulk data on individuals, as well as authorising discovery of journalists’ sources.

    Bulk personal data includes information extracted from passports, travel records, financial data, telephone calls, emails and many other open or covert sources. Often they are “fused” together to help pinpoint suspects.

    The frequency of warnings to intelligence agency staff about the dangers of trespassing on private records is at odds with ministers’ repeated public reassurances that only terrorists and serious criminals are having their personal details compromised.

    For example, a newsletter circulated in September 2011 by the Secret Intelligence Agency (SIS), better known as MI6, cautioned against staff misuse. “We’ve seen a few instances recently of individuals crossing the line with their database use … looking up addresses in order to send birthday cards, checking passport details to organise personal travel, checking details of family members for personal convenience,” it says.

    “Another area of concern is the use of the database as a ‘convenient way’ to check the personal details of colleagues when filling out service forms on their behalf. Please remember that every search has the potential to invade the privacy of individuals, including individuals who are not the main subject of your search, so please make sure you always have a business need to conduct that search and that the search is proportionate to the level of intrusion involved.” Better where possible to use “less intrusive” means, it adds.

    Theresa May unveils UK surveillance measures in wake of Snowden claims
    Read more
    There has been disciplinary action. Between 2014 and 2016, two MI5 and three MI6 officers were disciplined for mishandling bulk personal data. Last year, it was reported that a member of GCHQ’s staff had been sacked for making unauthorised searches.

    The papers show that data handling errors remain a problem. Government lawyers have admitted in responses to Privacy International that between 1 June 2014 and 9 February this year, “47 instances of non-compliance either with the MI5 closed section 94 handling arrangements or internal guidance or the communications data code of practice were detected.” Four errors involved “necessity and proportionality” issues; 43 related to mistransposed digits, material that did not relate to the subject of investigation or duplicated requests.

    Another MI5 file notes that datasets “contain personal data about individuals, the majority of whom are unlikely to be of intelligence or security interest”.

    The documents have been disclosed before a trial due later this summer at the investigatory powers tribunal, which hears complaints about state-authorised surveillance and the intelligence agencies. IPT sessions hear secret evidence behind closed doors.

    Release of these internal records follows admissions by David Cameron and by parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) last year in the wake of revelations by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The most recent documents refer to a “more onerous authorisation process” after the prime minister’s avowal of the “use of bulk personal data”. They provide fresh detail of what is happening in the intelligence agencies.

    Web and phone companies are required to retain data for official access for 12 months, but the intelligence agency documents make clear that acquired bulk data sets can be held far longer.

    An MI5 memorandum says retention of “low intrusion” material needs to be reviewed only every two years. Some key words are missing from the memo, but it adds: “In MI5, a maximum retention period [redaction] is applied to [bulk personal data]. This can be increased in exceptional circumstances via a policy waiver. This waiver must be authorised by a senior MI5 official and agreed by the BPDRP [bulk data retention review panel] but shall be subject to a detailed review.”

    Bulk personal data is exchanged with “foreign agencies”, presumably mainly those from other countries in the UK’s traditional “Five Eyes” alliance – the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    European court to consider legality of UK surveillance laws
    Read more
    The documents do not specify every type of information exploited but give examples and broad categories: population data and passports, travel records, financial data and communications information. “Some of this data is publicly available, some of it is purchased and some of it is acquired covertly in accordance with SIS statutory functions,” according to an MI6 note.

    Monetary information is held. “The fact that [MI5] holds bulk financial, albeit anonymised data is assessed to be a high corporate risk since there is no public expectation that the service will hold or have access to this data in bulk. Were it to become widely known that the service held this data, the media response would most likely be unfavourable and probably inaccurate.

    “In some cases, it may be necessary for the relevant team to approach the data provider to examine whether any unnecessary/extraneous parts of the dataset can be removed prior to acquisition. Such extraneous data might include large numbers of minors, details of earnings or medical information.”
    Death provides no escape. “Policy and processes in relation to bulk personal data is the same for both the living and the dead,” a combined agencies memo records.

    Each intelligence service has its own database, it appears from the documents. For MI5, storage of bulk data is at their London HQ, Thames House. “In order to ensure the security and integrity of the datasets that the service relies upon for its enhanced analytical capabilities and to reassure data providers that their data will be handled securely, it is essential that the necessary physical controls are in place to mitigate unauthorised access to, or loss of, this information during transportation to and subsequent storage in Thames House.”

    The justification for assembling such sophisticated databases, according to an MI5 document, is that it speeds up the process of detecting suspects. “By integrating bulk data [redaction] with information about individual subjects of interest from other sources of intelligence (liaison relationships, agent reporting, intercept, eavesdropping, surveillance) and from ‘fusing’ different data-sets in order to identify common links, we can better understand target networks, locations and behaviours, enabling a greater depth and breadth of target coverage.

    “The fragmentary nature of many intelligence leads and the magnitude of the threat all mean that there is currently no effective method of resolving identities in a timely fashion without using bulk data.”

    The standard MI5 form for acquisition of bulk data requires agency staff to a tick box if it holds sensitive personal data such as “biometric, financial, medical, racial or ethnic origin, religious, journalistic, political, legal, sexual or criminal activity” and membership of a trade union. MI5 officers also need to explain why acquisition is “necessary and proportionate”.

    The documents show how alert the agencies are to their legal obligations. They refer to the agencies’ “ethics team”, the need for “proportionality” and “necessity”. One note stresses that GCHQ employees’ conditions of employment state that “unauthorised entry to computer records may constitute gross misconduct”.

    But the papers also reveal how much latitude the law – notably Ripa, the Telecommunications Act, and the Data Protection Act – in practice gives them.

    Investigatory powers bill: the key points
    Read more
    The documents include for the first time certificates under section 28 of the Data Protection Act – signed by David Blunkett and Jack Straw in 2001 when they were home and foreign secretary respectively – which provided secrecy about authorised bulk data interceptions under section 94 of the Telecommunications Act. The existence of such directions were not disclosed until last year.

    The quantity of information the agencies have been forced to release suggests their long-established position of “neither confirming nor denying” any operational details may be crumbling at the edges.

    In parliamentary debate over the investigatory powers bill, the government has argued that the security services only conduct targeted searches of data under legal warrants in pursuit of terrorist or criminal activity and that bulk interception is necessary as a first step in that process.

    Millie Graham Wood, a legal officer at Privacy International, said: “The information revealed by this disclosure shows the staggering extent to which the intelligence agencies hoover up our data.

    “This highly sensitive information about us is vulnerable to attack from hackers, foreign governments and criminals. The agencies have been doing this for 15 years in secret and are now quietly trying to put these powers on the statute book for the first time in the investigatory powers bill, which is currently being debated in parliament. These documents reveal a lack of openness and transparency with the public about these staggering powers and a failure to subject them to effective parliamentary scrutiny.”

    A Home Office spokesman said: “Bulk powers have been essential to the security and intelligence agencies over the last decade and will be increasingly important in the future.

    “The acquisition and use of bulk provides vital and unique intelligence that the security and intelligence agencies cannot obtain by any other means. The security and intelligence agencies use the same techniques that modern businesses increasingly rely on to analyse data in order to overcome the most significant national security challenges.”

    Owen Bowcott and Richard Norton-Taylor
    Thursday 21 April 2016 00.01 BST Last modified on Saturday 7 May 2016 15.01 BST
    Find this story at 21 April 2016

    © 2016 Guardian News and Media Limited

    GCHQ captured emails of journalists from top international media

    • Snowden files reveal emails of BBC, NY Times and more
    • Agency includes investigative journalists on ‘threat’ list
    • Editors call on Cameron to act against snooping on media
    GCHQ

    GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

    Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the signals intelligence agency.

    The disclosure comes as the British government faces intense pressure to protect the confidential communications of reporters, MPs and lawyers from snooping.

    The journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested in the space of less than 10 minutes on one day in November 2008 by one of GCHQ’s numerous taps on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet.

    The communications, which were sometimes simple mass-PR emails sent to dozens of journalists but also included correspondence between reporters and editors discussing stories, were retained by GCHQ and were available to all cleared staff on the agency intranet. There is nothing to indicate whether or not the journalists were intentionally targeted.

    The mails appeared to have been captured and stored as the output of a then-new tool being used to strip irrelevant data out of the agency’s tapping process.

    New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed “investigative journalists” as a threat in a hierarchy alongside terrorists or hackers.

    Senior editors and lawyers in the UK have called for the urgent introduction of a freedom of expression law amid growing concern over safeguards proposed by ministers to meet concerns over the police use of surveillance powers linked to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa).

    More than 100 editors, including those from all the national newspapers, have signed a letter, coordinated by the Society of Editors and Press Gazette, to the UK prime minister, David Cameron, protesting at snooping on journalists’ communications.

    In the wake of terror attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices and a Jewish grocer in Paris, Cameron has renewed calls for further bulk-surveillance powers, such as those which netted these journalistic communications.

    Ripa has been used to access journalists’ communications without a warrrant, with recent cases including police accessing the phone records of Tom Newton-Dunn, the Sun’s political editor, over the Plebgate investigation. The call records of Mail on Sunday reporters involved in the paper’s coverage of Chris Huhne’s speeding row were also accessed in this fashion.

    Under Ripa, neither the police nor the security services need to seek the permission of a judge to investigate any UK national’s phone records – instead, they must obtain permission from an appointed staff member from the same organisation, not involved in their investigation.

    However, there are some suggestions in the documents that the collection of billing data by GCHQ under Ripa goes wider – and that it may not be confined to specific target individuals.

    A top secret document discussing Ripa initially explains the fact that billing records captured under Ripa are available to any government agency is “unclassified” provided that there is “no mention of bulk”.

    The GCHQ document goes on to warn that the fact that billing records “kept under Ripa are not limited to warranted targets” must be kept as one of the agency’s most tightly guarded secrets, at a classification known as “Top secret strap 2”.

    That is two levels higher than a normal top secret classification – as it refers to “HMG [Her Majesty’s government] relationships with industry that have areas of extreme sensitivity”.

    Internal security advice shared among the intelligence agencies was often as preoccupied with the activities of journalists as with more conventional threats such as foreign intelligence, hackers or criminals.

    One restricted document intended for those in army intelligence warned that “journalists and reporters representing all types of news media represent a potential threat to security”.

    It continued: “Of specific concern are ‘investigative journalists’ who specialise in defence-related exposés either for profit or what they deem to be of the public interest.

    “All classes of journalists and reporters may try either a formal approach or an informal approach, possibly with off-duty personnel, in their attempts to gain official information to which they are not entitled.”

    It goes on to caution “such approaches pose a real threat”, and tells staff they must be “immediately reported” to the chain-of-command.

    GCHQ information security assessments, meanwhile, routinely list journalists between “terrorism” and “hackers” as “influencing threat sources”, with one matrix scoring journalists as having a “capability” score of two out of five, and a “priority” of three out of five, scoring an overall “low” information security risk.

    Terrorists, listed immediately above investigative journalists on the document, were given a much higher “capability” score of four out of five, but a lower “priority” of two. The matrix concluded terrorists were therefore a “moderate” information security risk.

    A spokesman for GCHQ said: “It is longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the parliamentary intelligence and security committee.

    “All our operational processes rigorously support this position. In addition, the UK’s interception regime is entirely compatible with the European convention on human rights.”

    James Ball
    Monday 19 January 2015 15.04 GMT Last modified on Tuesday 20 January 2015 00.17 GMT

    Find this story at 19 January 2015

    © 2015 Guardian News

    British spooks tapped emails from UK and US media… and rated journalists alongside TERRORISTS as potential security threats, leaked Snowden documents reveal

    Journalists represent ‘a potential threat to security’, according to GCHQ
    Revelation buried in secret documents leaked from the UK spy centre
    Comes amid calls for security services to be given power to monitor emails
    Journalists a ‘low’ security risk compared to terrorists who are ‘moderate’
    GCHQ scooped up 70,000 emails in just 10 minutes, documents reveal
    Among intercepted emails were some sent by BBC and New York Times

    British spooks intercepted emails from US and UK media organisations and rated ‘investigative journalists’ alongside terrorists and hackers as potential security threats, secret documents reveal.
    Internal advice circulated by intelligence chiefs at the Government spy centre GCHQ claims ‘journalists and reporters representing all types of news media represent a potential threat to security’.
    Intelligence documents leaked by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden also show that British security officers scooped up 70,000 emails in just 10 minutes during one interception exercise in 2008.
    Among the private exchanges were emails between journalists at the BBC, New York Times and US network NBC.

    The disclosure comes amid growing calls for the security services to be handed more power to monitor the internet following the Paris terror attacks.
    Internal security advice, shared among British intelligence agencies, scored journalists in a table of potential threats.
    One restricted document, which according to the Guardian was intended for those in army intelligence, warned that ‘journalists and reporters representing all types of news media represent a potential threat to security’.

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    It continued: ‘Of specific concern are “investigative journalists” who specialise in defence-related exposés either for profit or what they deem to be of the public interest.’
    The document adds: ‘All classes of journalists and reporters may try either a formal approach or an informal approach, possibly with off-duty personnel, in their attempts to gain official information to which they are not entitled.’
    It warns staff that ‘such approaches pose a real threat’, adding it must be ‘immediately reported’.
    One table scored journalists a ‘low’ information security risk – compared to terrorists who are seen as a ‘moderate’ threat.

    A spokesman for GCHQ refused to confirm or deny if the leaked documents were accurate. The spokesman said: ‘It is longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters.
    ‘Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the parliamentary intelligence and security committee.
    ‘All our operational processes rigorously support this position. In addition, the UK’s interception regime is entirely compatible with the European convention on human rights.’
    According to the Guardian, GCHQ scooped up emails to and from journalists during one 10-minute ‘tapping’ session in November 2008.
    Emails from the BBC, the Sun and the Mail on Sunday were picked up and shared on the agency’s internal computer system – alongside memos from US media organisations.
    The revelation comes as the British government faces growing pressure to ensure journalists’ texts and emails are protected from snooping.
    Newspaper editors and lawyers have called for a new freedom of expression law.

    By TOM MCTAGUE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 16:32 GMT, 19 January 2015 | UPDATED: 18:06 GMT, 19 January 2015

    Find this story at 19 January 2015

    © Associated Newspapers Ltd