Edward Snowden has given testimony to an inquiry by the European Parliament regarding NSA surveillance that relates to European countries.
In the testimony are Snowden’s qualms with the mass-surveillance that is being carried out, and he apparently tried to raise these issues with “more than ten distinct officials, none of whom took any action to address them,” before he decided he would have to go the media.
He acknowledged that the Russian Secret service has tried to talk to him, but he claims that he neither working with them or China.
“Even the secret service of Andorra would have approached me, if they had had the chance: that’s their job,” wrote Snowden. “But I didn’t take any documents with me from Hong Kong, and while I’m sure they were disappointed, it doesn’t take long for an intelligence service to realize when they’re out of luck.”
There isn’t really anything new in this statement, just a reiteration that he felt that the program was wrong and also a waste of resources. The testimony is a useful summary of the NSA and their involvement with intelligence agencies in Europe.
“The result is a European bazaar, where an EU member state like Denmark may give the NSA access to a tapping center on the (unenforceable) condition that NSA doesn’t search it for Danes, and Germany may give the NSA access to another on the condition that it doesn’t search for Germans.”
“Yet the two tapping sites may be two points on the same cable,” he continued, “so the NSA simply captures the communications of the German citizens as they transit Denmark, and the Danish citizens as they transit Germany, all the while considering it entirely in accordance with their agreements.”
“Ultimately, each EU national government’s spy services are independently hawking domestic accesses to the NSA, GCHQ, FRA, and the like without having any awareness of how their individual contribution is enabling the greater patchwork of mass surveillance against ordinary citizens as a whole,” Snowden also wrote.