Tuesday, March 28, 2017
WAYNE MADSEN -- Five Eyes Allies Do Spy on One Another
In 2015, New Zealand's then-Prime Minister John Key was placed under surveillance by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) in Canberra. The transcripts were not only passed on to Australia’s government and the NSA, but also to the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). The Australian eavesdrops detailed Key’s negotiating stance with regard to Pharmac, the government’s drug purchasing agency, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. In December 2016, Key abruptly resigned as prime minister for «personal reasons». Asian trade negotiations also resulted in the ASD conducting surveillance of the Chicago-based law firm Mayer Brown on behalf of NSA. In 2013, Mayer Brown was representing the government of Indonesia in trade talks with the Unites States.
GCHQ also owes the United States a few favors. in 2007, the U.S. Defense Department, which oversees the NSA, confirmed that the NSA did «download [Princess] Diana's conversations» in the years before her death in 1997, but insisted it was only part of a security operation involving «other targets». British law prohibited GCHQ from monitoring Diana, so the NSA gladly conducted the surveillance on behalf of its British counterpart.
Legal work around surveillance operations are detailed in a 2005 Secret NSA draft directive, titled «Collection, Processing and Dissemination of Allied Communications,» which was revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The draft states, «[The 1946 UKUSA] agreement has evolved to include a common understanding that both governments will not target each other's citizens/persons. However, when it is in the best interest of each nation, each reserved the right to conduct unilateral COMINT [communications intelligence] action against each other's citizens/persons... Under certain circumstances, it may be advisable and allowable to target second party persons and second party communications systems unilaterally when it is in the best interests of the US and necessary for US national security... Such targeting must be performed exclusively within the direction, procedures and decision processes outlined in this directive... . This targeting will conform to guidelines set forth in this directive».
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