SPYING ON AMERICANS: Obama’s Backdoor “Cybersecurity” Wiretap Bill Threatens Political and Private Rights; Spying on Social Media

Under the guise of “cybersecurity,” the new all-purpose bogeyman to increase the secret state’s already-formidable reach, the Obama administration and their congressional allies are crafting legislation that will open new backdoors for even more intrusive government surveillance: portals into our lives that will never be shut.

As Antifascist Calling has frequently warned, with the endless “War on Terror” as a backdrop the federal government, most notably the 16 agencies that comprise the so-called “Intelligence Community” (IC), have been constructing vast centralized databases that scoop-up and store all things digital–from financial and medical records to the totality of our electronic communications online–and do so without benefit of a warrant or probable cause.

The shredding of constitutional protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment, granted to the Executive Branch by congressional passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) after the 9/11 attacks, followed shortly thereafter by the oxymoronic USA Patriot Act set the stage for today’s depredations.

Under provisions of multiple bills under consideration by the House and Senate, federal officials will be given broad authority over private networks that will almost certainly hand security officials wide latitude over what is euphemistically called “information-sharing” amongst corporate and government securocrats.

As The Washington Post reported in February, the National Security Agency “has pushed repeatedly over the past year to expand its role in protecting private-sector computer networks from cyberattacks” but has allegedly “been rebuffed by the White House, largely because of privacy concerns.”

“The most contentious issue,” Post reporter Ellen Nakashima wrote, “was a legislative proposal last year that would have required hundreds of companies that provide such critical services as electricity generation to allow their Internet traffic to be continuously scanned using computer threat data provided by the spy agency. The companies would have been expected to turn over evidence of potential cyberattacks to the government.”

Both the White House and Justice Department have argued, according to the Post, that the “proposal would permit unprecedented government monitoring of routine civilian Internet activity.”

National Security Agency chief General Keith Alexander, the dual-hatted commander of NSA and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), the Pentagon satrapy that wages offensive cyberwar, was warned to “restrain his public comments after speeches in which he argued that more expansive legal authority was necessary to defend the nation against cyberattacks.”

While we can take White House “objections” with a proverbial grain of salt, they do reveal however that NSA, the largest and most well-funded of the secret state’s intel shops will use their formidable surveillance assets to increase their power while undermining civilian control over the military in cahoots with shadowy security corporations who do their bidding. (Readers are well-advised to peruse The Surveillance Catalog posted by The Wall Street Journal as part of their excellent What They Know series for insight into the burgeoning Surveillance-Industrial Complex).

As investigative journalist James Bamford pointed out recently in Wired Magazine, “the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies” is “truly staggering.”

In a follow-up piece for Wired, Bamford informed us that when questioned by Congress, Alexander stonewalled a congressional subcommittee when asked whether NSA “has the capability of monitoring the communications of Americans, he never denies it–he simply says, time and again, that NSA can’t do it ‘in the United States.’ In other words it can monitor those communications from satellites in space, undersea cables, or from one of its partner countries, such as Canada or Britain, all of which it has done in the past.”

Call it Echelon on steroids, the massive, secret surveillance program first exposed by journalists Duncan Campbell and Nicky Hager.

And with the eavesdropping agency angling for increased authority to monitor the electronic communications of Americans, the latest front in the secret state’s ongoing war against privacy is “cybersecurity” and “infrastructure protection.”

‘Information Sharing’ or Blanket Surveillance?

Among the four bills currently competing for attention, the most egregious threat to civil liberties is the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA, H.R. 3523).

Introduced by Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), the bill amends the National Security Act of 1947, adding language concerning so-called “cyber threat intelligence and information sharing.”

“Cyber threat intelligence” is described as “information in the possession of an element of the intelligence community directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from: (1) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or (2) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.”

In keeping with other “openness” mandates of our Transparency Administration™ the Rogers bill will require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to establish procedures that permit IC elements to “share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities, and (2) encourage the sharing of such intelligence.”

These measures however, will not protect the public at large from attacks by groups of organized cyber criminals since such intelligence is only “shared with certified entities or a person with an appropriate security clearance,” gatekeepers empowered by the state who ensure that access to information is “consistent with the need to protect U.S. national security, and used in a manner that protects such intelligence from unauthorized disclosure.”

In other words, should “cleared” cyber spooks be directed by their corporate or government masters to install state-approved malware on private networks as we discovered last year as a result of the HBGary hack by Anonymous, it would be a crime punishable by years in a federal gulag if official lawbreaking were disclosed.

The bill authorizes “a cybersecurity provider (a non-governmental entity that provides goods or services intended to be used for cybersecurity purposes),” i.e., an outsourced contractor from any one of thousands of spooky “cybersecurity” firms, to use “cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information in order to protect the rights and property of the protected entity; and share cyber threat information with any other entity designated by the protected entity, including the federal government.”

Furthermore, the legislation aims to regulate “the use and protection of shared information, including prohibiting the use of such information to gain a competitive advantage and, if shared with the federal government, exempts such information from public disclosure.”

And should the public object to the government or private entities trolling through their personal data in the interest of “keeping us safe” well, there’s an app for that too! The bill “prohibits a civil or criminal cause of action against a protected entity, a self-protected entity (an entity that provides goods or services for cybersecurity purposes to itself), or a cybersecurity provider acting in good faith under the above circumstances.”

One no longer need wait until constitutional violations are uncovered, the Rogers bill comes with a get-out-of-jail-free card already in place for state-approved scofflaws.

Additionally, the bill also “preempts any state statute that restricts or otherwise regulates an activity authorized by the Act.” In other words, in states like California where residents have “an inalienable right to privacy” under Article 1, Section 1 of the State Constitution, the Rogers bill would be abolish that right and effectively “legalize” unaccountable snooping by the federal government or other “self-protected,” i.e., private entities deputized to do so by the secret state.

Social Media Spying

How would this play out in the real world? As Government Computer News reported, hyped-up threats of an impending “cyber-armageddon” have spawned a host of new actors constellating America’s Surveillance-Industrial Complex: the social media analyst.

“Companies and government agencies alike are using tools to sweep the Internet–blogs, websites, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter feeds–to find out what people are saying about, well, just about anything.”

Indeed, as researchers Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins pointed out last year in Loving the Cyber Bomb?, “An industrial complex reminiscent of the Cold War’s may be emerging in cybersecurity today.”

Brito and Watkins averred that “the military-industrial complex was born out of exaggerated Soviet threats, a defense industry closely allied with the military and Department of Defense, and politicians striving to bring pork and jobs home to constituents. A similar cyber-industrial complex may be emerging today, and its players call for government involvement that may be superfluous and definitely allows for rent seeking and pork barreling.”

Enter social media analysis and the private firms out to make a buck–at our expense.

“Not surprisingly,” GCN’s Patrick Marshall wrote, “intelligence agencies have already been looking at social media as a source of information. The Homeland Security Department has been analyzing traffic on social networks for at least the past three years.”

While DHS claims it does not routinely monitor Facebook or Twitter, and only responds when it receives a “tip,” such assertions are demonstrably false.

Ginger McCall, the director of the Electronic Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Open Government Program told GCN that the department is “explicitly monitoring for criticism of the government, for reports that reflect adversely on the agency, for public reaction to policy proposals.”

But DHS isn’t the only agency monitoring social media sites such as Facebook and Google+.

As Antifascist Calling reported back in 2009, according to New Scientist the National Security Agency “is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks.”

Not to be outdone, the CIA’s venture capital investment arm, In-Q-Tel, has poured millions of dollars into Visible Technologies, a Bellevue, Washington-based firm specializing in “integrated marketing, social servicing, digital experience management, and consumer intelligence.”

According to In-Q-Tel “Visible Technologies has developed TruCast®, which takes an innovative and holistic approach to social media management. TruCast has been architected as an enterprise-level solution that provides the ability to track, analyze, and respond to social media from a single, Web-based platform.”

Along similar lines, the CIA has heavily invested in Recorded Future, a firm which “extracts time and event information from the web. The company offers users new ways to analyze the past, present, and the predicted future.”

The firm’s defense and intelligence analytics division promises to “help analysts understand trends in big data, and foresee what may happen in the future. Groundbreaking algorithms extract temporal and predictive signals from unstructured text. Recorded Future organizes this information, delineates results over interactive timelines, visualizes past trends, and maps future events–all while providing traceability back to sources. From OSINT to classified data, Recorded Future offers innovative, massively scalable solutions.”

As Government Computer News pointed out, in January the FBI “put out a request for vendors to provide information about available technologies for monitoring and analyzing social media.” Accordingly, the Bureau is seeking the ability to:

• Detect specific, credible threats or monitor adversarial situations.

• Geospatially locate bad actors or groups and analyze their movements, vulnerabilities, limitations, and possible adverse actions.

• Predict likely developments in the situation or future actions taken by bad actors (by conducting trend, pattern, association, and timeline analysis).

• Detect instances of deception in intent or action by bad actors for the explicit purpose of misleading law enforcement.

• Develop domain assessments for the area of interest (more so for routine scenarios and special events).

So much for privacy in our Orwellian New World Order!

Backdoor Official Secrets Act

Social media “harvesting” by private firms hot-wired into the state’s Surveillance-Industrial Complex will be protected from challenges under provisions of CISPA.

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) pointed out, “a company that protects itself or other companies against ‘cybersecurity threats’ can ‘use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property’ of the company under threat. But because ‘us[ing] cybersecurity systems’ is incredibly vague, it could be interpreted to mean monitoring email, filtering content, or even blocking access to sites. A company acting on a ‘cybersecurity threat’ would be able to bypass all existing laws, including laws prohibiting telcos from routinely monitoring communications, so long as it acted in ‘good faith’.”

And as EFF’s Rainey Reitman and Lee Tien aver, the “broad language” concerning what constitutes a cybersecurity “threat,” is an invitation for the secret state and their private “partners” to include “theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.”

“Yes,” Reitman and Tien wrote, “intellectual property. It’s a little piece of SOPA wrapped up in a bill that’s supposedly designed to facilitate detection of and defense against cybersecurity threats. The language is so vague that an ISP could use it to monitor communications of subscribers for potential infringement of intellectual property. An ISP could even interpret this bill as allowing them to block accounts believed to be infringing, block access to websites like The Pirate Bay believed to carry infringing content, or take other measures provided they claimed it was motivated by cybersecurity concerns.”

More troubling, “the government and Internet companies could use this language to block sites like WikiLeaks and NewYorkTimes.com, both of which have published classified information.”

Should CISPA pass muster it could serve as the basis for establishing an American “Official Secrets Act.” In the United Kingdom, the Act has been used against whistleblowers to prohibit disclosure of government crimes. But it does more than that. The state can also issue restrictive “D-Notices” that “advise” editors not to publish material on subjects deemed sensitive to the “national security.”

EFF warns that “online publishers like WikiLeaks are currently afforded protection under the First Amendment; receiving and publishing classified documents from a whistleblower is a common journalistic practice. While there’s uncertainty about whether the Espionage Act could be brought to bear against WikiLeaks, it is difficult to imagine a situation where the Espionage Act would apply to WikiLeaks without equally applying to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and in fact everyone who reads about the cablegate releases.”

And with the Obama regime’s crusade to prosecute and punish whistleblowers, as the recent indictment of former CIA officer John Kiriakou for alleged violations of the Espionage Act and the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for disclosing information on the CIA’s torture programs, we have yet another sterling example of administration “transparency”! While Kiriakou faces 30 years in prison, the former head of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who was responsible for the destruction of 92 torture videotapes held by the Agency, was not charged by the government and was given a free pass by the Justice Department.

As the World Socialist Web Site points out: “More fundamentally, the prosecution of Kiriakou is part of a policy of state secrecy and repression that pervades the US government under Obama, who came into office promising ‘the most transparent administration in history.’”

Critic Bill Van Auken observed that Kiriakou’s prosecution “marks the sixth government whistleblower to be charged by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act, twice as many such prosecutions as have been brought by all preceding administrations combined. Prominent among them is Private Bradley Manning, who is alleged to have leaked documents exposing US war crimes to WikiLeaks. He has been held under conditions tantamount to torture and faces a possible death penalty.”

“In all of these cases,” the World Socialist Web Site noted, “the World War I-era Espionage Act is being used to punish not spying on behalf of a foreign government, but exposing the US government’s own crimes to the American people. The utter lawlessness of US foreign policy goes hand in hand with the collapse of democracy at home.”

The current crop of “cybersecurity” bills are sure to hasten that collapse.

Under Rogers’ legislation, “the government would have new, powerful tools to go after WikiLeaks,” or anyone else who challenges the lies of the U.S. government by publishing classified information that contradicts the dominant narrative.

By Tom Burghardt
Global Research, April 10, 2012

Find this story at 10 April 2013

Copyright © 2005-2013 GlobalResearch.ca

Germany Discloses Most of the Spy Tools It’s Using—and Other Countries Should, Too

Most law enforcement agencies refuse to reveal the surveillance technologies they use, claiming doing so could threaten national security. But authorities in Germany have shown it’s possible to be transparent without the sky falling in—by disclosing how they’ve spent millions on spy tools to help monitor Skype, email, and mobile phones.

Earlier this year, German politician Jan Korte submitted a series of written questions to the country’s federal ministry of home affairs regarding surveillance tools. The request was prompted by a scandal about how police had paid a private company to develop a controversial spy trojan to infiltrate and monitor suspects’ computers—a tactic that in most circumstances violates the German constitution. The answers Korte received were published in German in July, but have only this month been translated into English. (Update, Nov. 14: Thanks to blogger Anne Roth for the translation.)

What the answers revealed is the technology used by some of the country’s federal agencies and the companies contracted to provide it. Between 2005 and 2011, for instance, the Federal Office of Administration, which carries out work for all of Germany’s federal ministries, spent more than €1.9 million ($2.5 million) on telecom and internet surveillance gear provided by the companies TU München and Syborg, plus €158,000 ($204,000) on facial recognition software from the firm Cognitec.

Some police and intelligence agencies declined to provide Korte with the requested information, claiming it was restricted or classified. But others did not show the same concern. Customs authorities, for one, released details about the sophisticated surveillance tools they purchased, including spending more than €100,000 ($130,000) on software to monitor Skype, Gmail, Hotmail, AIM, Yahoo Mail, and Bit Torrent. The customs authorities, tasked with tackling drug crime in Germany, also paid a company called Schönhofer €1.8 million ($2.3 million) for equipment such as “ICT vehicles” designed to help gather data from target areas using “signal interrogator” technology. They additionally splashed out €170,000 ($220,000) on a cellphone-tracking tactic described as “stealthping,” which involves sending a covert signal to a phone in order find out its nearest location tower to discover the whereabouts of a person.

By Ryan Gallagher
Posted Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, at 5:04 PM ET Slate.com

Find this story at 31 October 2012

The answers Korte received were published in German in July, but have only this month been translated into English.

All contents © 2013 The Slate Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Main opposition slams Erdoğan over wiretapping

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticizez the government for not addressing the issue of illegal recordings and locating the perpetrators of these crimes

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), speaks during a breakfast with Ankara media bureau chiefs.
The leader of the main opposition party likened the wiretapping of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Uludere tragedy, in which 34 civilians mistaken for terrorists were killed, and accused the ruling party of practicing a double standard with regard to unlawful eavesdropping.

“In democratic countries, the political power should decidedly address and resolve these kinds of problems. They have to find the perpetrators and bring them to the justice. Did this happen? No. If the political power does not address the issue – which does not target itself – that is, if it applies a double standard, then it cannot obtain results,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told Ankara media bureau chiefs on Dec. 26. “The incident took place a year ago and if the perpetrators cannot be found yet, then we have to find those responsible for it. Then this is another Uludere incident,” he said, referring to failed attempts since early 2012 to ascertain who gave the order of the attack against the civilians.

“What we have observed with this unlawful eavesdropping is the double standard the government is practicing. It feels disturbed when the prime minister is wiretapped but gloats when others are monitored. This is not right. At the end of the day, Mr. Prime Minister, whatever goes around comes around,” he said.

Stressing that Erdoğan’s political rivals have been frequent victims of wiretapping and many politicians’ privacy have been violated through video recordings in the past, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the government for not addressing the issue and locating the perpetrators of these crimes. “This is a crime that we should all react against together. The victim can be the prime minister or a citizen. But we should denounce it altogether,” he said.

Yet there is a graver situation with regard to wiretapping in the country, according to Kılıçdaroğlu. “There are some acts that turn illegal wiretapping into a legal one. You will ask how it is possible. If some officials apply to the court to legally wiretap journalists but submit fake names to do so, this is a graver crime. I wonder what the prime minister’s reaction to that was.”

Describing attempts to eavesdrop on Erdoğan as a serious and grave issue, the main opposition leader asked the prime minister to inform the people about the perpetrators of this crime and further explain his claim that he might have been wiretapped by the deep state. “I think the prime minister should first answer the question regarding what the deep state is. Which ‘deep state’ wiretapped Erdoğan? The legal one or the illegal one?”

Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım is one of the people responsible for the wiretapping of Erdoğan, he maintained, recalling the minister’s advise that people not talk on the phone if they believe they are being eavesdropped on. “If you are disdainful of such an important issue, then it ends up with the wiretapping of the prime minister.”

Support to ODTÜ
Regarding ongoing attempts to isolate Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), whose students protested Erdoğan last week, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized both the government members and rectors of other universities that issued statements criticizing ODTÜ and its students. “We are, of course, against violence. There should be no violence. But we are equally against an understanding that regards the students’ right to protest, to open placards and to shout slogans, as violence. We also do not approve of other universities’ attempts to see the incident through the eyes and discourse of the prime minister. These are not the real views of these universities but of the rectors appointed by the [ruling] Justice and Development Party (AKP),” he said.

Noting that Erdoğan was escorted by nearly 3,500 policemen at ODTÜ, he asked “Are you going to a university or to an enemy country?”

‘Erdoğan won’t be able to be the president’
Reaffirming his statement that he would vote for President Abdullah Gül if the presidential race of 2014 would be between Gül and Erdoğan, Kılıçdaroğlu said he believed Turkey would elect someone eligible to this post who will not be Erdoğan. “The people will surely not elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as president. Can someone polarizing Turkey that much be the president? Can someone who enjoys the tension be the president? I trust in my people,” he said.

December/27/2012

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

Find this story at 27 December 2012

© http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com

Who bugged the Turkish prime minister? And other questions

The rumors started to hit the political corridor as soon as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s Security Chief Zeki Bulut was removed from office on Sept. 7, 2012.

He was actually appointed as the police chief of the Western Anatolian town of Denizli. On paper it was a promotion, but in fact it was a clear demotion according to tendencies in the Turkish bureaucratic system; you’d expect a bigger city after protecting the prime minister for years. A few days later it was understood that he was not alone. Most of the 200-strong team of bodyguards including four police commissars and five squad leaders were moved elsewhere; some papers had claimed that the entire police team and some civilian officers in the Prime Ministry building were replaced.

The rumors were about a number of bugs found in Erdoğan’s office by the electronic sweeping teams of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). It was not possible to make that a proper news story since it was not possible to obtain even a tiny bit of information from any official source, until Erdoğan himself said on Dec. 21 in an NTV interview that he was also eavesdropped on, possibly by the remnants of a “deeper state” in Turkey. “A deeper state exists almost in every country,” he claimed. “We try a lot but unfortunately it is not possible to eradicate the deeper state”; that was in reference to the ongoing court cases of Ergenekon, Balyoz and OdaTV in which many army officers, academics, journalists and writers, lawyers and police chiefs are being tried for conspiring to overthrow the government.

Journalist Ahmet Şık, who was under arrest from one of those cases up until a few months ago claimed in an article in Birgün newspaper on Dec. 26 that the unveiling by Erdoğan exposed a rift within the ranks of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) between the core and the followers of the U.S.-resident Islamic theologian Fethullah Gülen. According to this claim, the policemen removed from being the close guard of Erdoğan were sympathizers of the Gülen group, which has been serving the government dearly since the beginning of the Ergenekon, Balyoz and OdaTV probes. Prime Ministry sources deny the claims that the replacement of the bodyguards has anything to do with the bugs in the office.

Or should we say offices? Because according to the stories appearing in Hürriyet, Milliyet and Star newspapers on Dec. 26, the bugs were found in the last weeks of December 2011 in both the Prime Ministry building and the private office of Erdoğan in his apartment home in Ankara. That was when he returned from his more than 20-day stay in Istanbul following an intestinal operation there. The fact brings another factor into the equation. On Feb. 7, 2012 the Istanbul prosecutors who were working on the coup claim cases attempted to interrogate Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkish intelligence, MİT, together with two former officers, which made Erdoğan furious. A number of prosecutors and police officers who had been claimed by Turkish media to be close to the Gülen group were removed from their offices to less relevant positions and Erdoğan forced a law change from Parliament to make the prime minister’s permission obligatory to open an investigation into MİT officers. One has to recall that soon after Fidan had taken his office in May 2011, an illegally recorded tape was leaked to the media about the (failed) secret talks between the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in which Fidan had taken part.

December/27/2012

Find this story at 27 December 2012

© http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com

Speculations mount over PM’s wiretapping

Fingers continue to be pointed as speculation grows in Ankara over who is responsible for wiretapping the prime minister

Speculations have been mounting over perpetrators of the eavesdropping of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after he made public Dec. 21 that wiretapping devices were found in his home-office.

Erdoğan then suggested it was actors within the deep state behind the wiretapping, but fell short of further elaborating on who the deep-state members were exactly. Days later on Dec. 25 Erdoğan offered to close the “bugs issue,” but noted one more bug had been found at his residence.
Deep state refers to a term extensively used in Turkey to describe clandestine collaboration between high-level state security forces and criminal organizations.

Some critics pointed to the Fethullah Gülen movement for eavesdropping on the premier, recalling conflict between the government and the Gülen movement that surfaced when National Intelligence Organization (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan was called to testify as part of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe.

The Gülen movement is an influential moderate-Islamist movement led by Fethullah Gülen, who now resides in the United States. The movement has been accused by critics of manipulating Turkey’s judicial and security apparatus. The Gülen movement has generally lent support to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since its foundation in 2001.

However, an apparent conflict between the ruling party and the movement surfaced earlier this year when a specially-authorized prosecutor in Istanbul called MİT head Fidan to testify about secret talks with the PKK on Feb. 7.

A special law was hastily adopted to prevent Fidan from testifying. In June, Erdoğan accused the specially-authorized courts of “going too far.” “He was instructed by me. If you want to take someone [to prosecute], then take me,” Erdoğan had said.

In July, specially-authorized courts were abolished despite objection from newspapers close to the Gülen movement.

Journalist Ahmet Şık underlined in daily BirGün Dec. 25 that Erdoğan’s doubts of being wiretapped were not new as he held doubts since February when Fidan was called to testify by prosecutors at a time when he was in the hospital.

Two separate bugging devices were found at Erdoğan’s office in his house. These devices are currently being examined by the MİT, according to reports.

Suspicions that Erdoğan was being wiretapped were voiced by the opposition when Erdoğan’s security chief and all of his bodyguards were changed in September. After Erdoğan’s office at Parliament was renovated from top to bottom in October, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Gürsel Tekin issued a Parliamentary question to Erdoğan on Dec. 3. “The renovation of the prime minister’s office coincides with the replacement of his bodyguards. This move raises suspicion whether the prime minister was eavesdropped on,” Tekin said.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) secretary-general İsmet Büyükataman, for his part, asked yesterday if the MİT knew who secretly listened to Erdoğan. “Does the MİT know who eavesdropped on Erdoğan? Have they taken the necessary precautions? Is the Republic of Turkey so helpless that it is unable to find who put those bugs in the prime minister’s office?” Büyükataman said in a statement.

December/27/201 ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

Find this story at 27 December 2012

© http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com

Mysterious clandestine group behind Turkish wiretap case

Early last January, two concealed audio surveillance devices were found at the Ankara headquarters of Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP). Officials and supporters of the center-left party, which is currently Turkey’s main opposition political force, were shocked by the discovery, and an investigation was launched to uncover the culprits. In a surprising move, Turkish police raided late last week the home of a prominent union official, and discovered documents that are said to directly link the CHP wiretaps with Ergenekon, a shadowy ultranationalist network with strong links to the Turkish armed forces. The documents were reportedly discovered at the home of Mustafa Özbek, chairperson of the Türk Metal workers’ union, who is already in prison awaiting trial on criminal conspiracy charges. They appear to disclose that the Ergenekon group set up a clandestine network of safe houses in Turkish capital Ankara, as well as in the occupied Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, for the sole purpose of wiretapping the communications of targeted individuals and organizations. The safe houses were reportedly equipped with wiretapping systems purchased in Israel, some of which were portable and were thus moved to various cities and towns in Turkey, in accordance with Ergenekon mission directives. Ergenekon is a clandestine ultra-nationalist organization with secularist and anti-Western objectives. Its membership, which is reportedly drawn primarily from Turkey’s military and security establishments, is involved in both criminal and political activities aiming to preserve the political power of Turkey’s armed forces, while subverting the rise of Islamism and keeping Turkey out of the European Union. The existence of this mysterious organization was revealed in 2001 by Tuncay Güney, an operative of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT), who was arrested for petty fraud. Rumors about the group resurfaced in 2007, when police in Istanbul’s Ümraniye neighborhood discovered a safe house containing dozens of hand grenades. The discovery sparked a broad juridical investigation into Ergenekon’s activities, which has so far revealed that the shadow network has carried out several targeted assassinations aimed at toppling Turkey’s pro-Islamic government “by creating chaos and mayhem”. Among those individuals listed as targets in Ergenekon’s recent wiretap conspiracy are officials and maintenance staff at CHP’s headquarters, as well as several leftist politicians and union officials.

March 10, 2009 by intelNews
Tuncay Güney
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |

Find this story at 10 March 2009

De inzet van de afluisterbevoegdheid en van de bevoegdheid tot de selectie van Sigint door de AIVD

Bij het toezichtsrapport inzake de inzet van de afluisterbevoegdheid
en de bevoegdheid tot de selectie van Sigint door de AIVD
Het onderzoek van de Commissie heeft zich gericht op de rechtmatigheid van de inzet van
de afluisterbevoegdheid en de bevoegdheid tot de selectie van Sigint door de AIVD in de
periode van september 2010 tot en met augustus 2011. Deze bevoegdheden zijn neergelegd
in de artikelen 25 en 27 van de Wiv 2002 en mogen enkel worden ingezet indien dit
noodzakelijk is in het kader van de veiligheidstaak of de inlichtingentaak buitenland van de
AIVD. Ook is wettelijk vereist dat de inzet van deze bevoegdheden proportioneel en
subsidiair is en voldoet aan in de Wiv 2002 neergelegde zorgvuldigheidsvereisten.
De Commissie constateert dat de AIVD bij de inzet van de afluisterbevoegdheid doordacht
te werk gaat. Zij heeft in de door haar onderzochte operaties geen onrechtmatigheden
geconstateerd. Dit is gezien het grote aantal onderzochte operaties een compliment waard.
Op enkele punten constateert de Commissie evenwel dat er sprake is van
onzorgvuldigheden, vooral ten aanzien van de motivering van operaties.
Voor een deugdelijke motivering is van belang dat de AIVD hierin alle beschikbare relevante
informatie betrekt. Alleen dan kan zorgvuldig worden afgewogen of de privacyinbreuk die
gepaard gaat met de inzet van de afluisterbevoegdheid inderdaad noodzakelijk,
proportioneel en subsidiair is. De Commissie heeft in één geval geconstateerd dat contraindicaties
inzake de dreiging die van een target uitging, niet waren opgenomen in de
motivering. De Commissie signaleert ook dat de AIVD incidenteel omwille van de efficiëntie
van het inlichtingenwerk parallelle, verschillend gerubriceerde motiveringen aanwendt.
Naar het oordeel van de Commissie staat dit op gespannen voet met het belang van een
zorgvuldige en eenduidige motivering.

De Commissie constateert dat het in het onderzoek van de AIVD naar
radicaliseringstendensen niet altijd evident is dat de personen of organisaties jegens wie de
afluisterbevoegdheid wordt ingezet, ook daadwerkelijk aanleiding geven tot het ernstige
vermoeden een gevaar te zijn voor de nationale veiligheid. De Commissie onderkent het
belang van dit onderzoek maar benadrukt dat dan wel voortdurend de inzet van bijzondere
bevoegdheden jegens deze personen of organisaties kritisch geëvalueerd dient te worden. Zij
heeft in één geval geconstateerd dat de AIVD gedurende enkele jaren bijzondere
bevoegdheden heeft ingezet zonder duidelijkheid te hebben verkregen over de dreiging die
van de betrokken personen uitging. De Commissie is van oordeel dat de inzet van de
afluisterbevoegdheid met name in de laatste periode van dit onderzoek zich op het
grensgebied bevond van wat wettelijk is toegestaan. In één geval zijn door de AIVD
bijzondere bevoegdheden ingezet tegen een persoon die een bepaalde boodschap wilde
publiceren waarvan volgens de AIVD niet uit te sluiten was dat deze opgevat kon worden
als een oproep tot activisme of geweld. De Commissie vindt deze formulering te ruim. Voor
ii
de inzet van een bijzondere bevoegdheid moet immers gemotiveerd worden dat er een
ernstig vermoeden van een gevaar is.
In één geval constateert de Commissie dat de AIVD de afluisterbevoegdheid heeft ingezet
terwijl er belangrijke redenen waren om voorafgaande hieraan de MIVD de consulteren.
Hierdoor had de AIVD niet alleen mogelijk operationeel relevante informatie kunnen
verkrijgen, ook kan zo voorkomen worden dat beide diensten zich los van elkaar met
dezelfde operationele aangelegenheden bezighouden.
De Commissie onthoudt zich, net als in twee eerdere rapporten waarin dit onderwerp ter
sprake kwam, van een oordeel over de rechtmatigheid van de selectie van Sigint door de
AIVD. Bij de inzet van deze bevoegdheid licht de AIVD vaak niet toe aan wie de nummers
en technische kenmerken toebehoren en waarom deze telecommunicatie dient te worden
geselecteerd. Deze problematiek lijkt eigen aan de selectie van Sigint, de Commissie heeft dit
onlangs ook ten aanzien van de MIVD geconstateerd. De motiveringsvereisten van de Wiv
2002 zijn evenwel strikt, aangezien bij de selectie van Sigint kennis wordt genomen van de
inhoud van communicatie van personen en organisaties. In het eind 2011 uitgebrachte
toezichtsrapport 28 inzake de inzet van Sigint door de MIVD heeft de Commissie het
juridisch kader voor het gehele proces van de inzet van Sigint uiteengezet en
aanknopingspunten gegeven voor een betere motivering. De Commissie zal dan ook in het
volgende diepteonderzoek naar de inzet van de afluisterbevoegdheid en de bevoegdheid tot
de selectie van Sigint door de AIVD nagaan in hoeverre de motivering van de selectie van
Sigint is verbeterd.

Het rapport is te vinden bij CTIVD

Reactie van de minister

Persbericht

Tappen en infiltreren

De telefoontap is een veelvuldig ingezet opsporingsmiddel. Nu de inzet van telefoontap steeds minder effectief blijkt en de internettap nog in de kinderschoenen staat, lijkt het voor de hand te liggen dat er in de opsporing meer aandacht zal komen voor andere bijzondere opsporingsmethoden, zoals observatie (stelselmatig volgen), infiltratie, pseudokoop en -dienstverlening, undercover stelselmatig informatie inwinnen, inkijken, direct afluisteren en bijstand en opsporing door burgers (informanten en infiltranten). In dit themanummer wordt daarnaast aandacht besteed aan het fenomeen exfiltratie, ofwel meewerkende criminele getuige.

Inhoudsopgave:
Voorwoord
Wie belt er nou nog? De veranderende opbrengst van de telefoontap – G. Odinot en D. de Jong
Mogelijkheden en beperkingen van de internettap – J.J. Oerlemans
Opsporingsbevoegdheden en privacy; een internationale vergelijking – J.B.J. van der Leij
Undercoveroperaties: een noodzaakelijk kwaad? Heden, verleden en toekomst van een omstreden opsporingsmiddel – E.W. Kruisbergen en D. de Jong
De exfiltratie van verdachte en veroordeelde criminelen; over de onmisbaarheid van een effectieve regeling voor coöperatieve criminele getuigen – C. Fijnaut
Summaries

Organisatie: WODC
Plaats uitgave: Den Haag

Document te vinden bij

Voorwoord te vinden bij

Summaries at

 

Het gebruik van de telefoon- en internettap in de opsporing

De minister van Justitie heeft tijdens een Algemeen Overleg over tapstatistieken toegezegd een onderzoek te laten verrichten naar de effectiviteit van telefoon- en internettaps (TK 2009-2010, 30 517, nr. 16).
Dit rapport heeft als doel inzicht te bieden in het feitelijk gebruik van de telefoon- en internettap bij opsporing van strafbare feiten. In het onderzoek wordt uitgegaan van een getrapte vraagstelling:
Hoe wordt in Nederland gebruikgemaakt van de telefoon- en internettap tijdens het opsporingsproces?
Hoe wordt in enkele andere West-Europese landen (Engeland en Wales, Duitsland en Zweden) met dit opsporingsmiddel omgegaan?
Kunnen (grote) verschillen tussen deze landen in het gebruik van dit opsporingsmiddel worden verklaard?
Deze vraagstelling is uitgewerkt in verschillende onderzoeksvragen, die zich samen laten vatten als: hoe vaak, waarom en wanneer wordt de telefoon- en internettap ingezet, voor hoe lang wordt een tap aangesloten en wat voor een informatie levert het dan op?

Inhoudsopgave:
Voorwoord
Afkortingen
Samenvatting
Inleiding
De telefoon- en internetmarkt
Regulering van tappen in Nederland
Wat is een tap en hoe komt deze tot stand?
De tapstatistieken in Nederland
De telefoontap in de praktijk
De internettap in de praktijk
Alternatieven voor de tap
Het gebruik van de tap in Engeland en Wales
Het gebruik van de tap in Zweden
Het gebruik van de tap in Duitsland
Slotbeschouwing

Auteur(s): Odinot, G., Jong, D. de, Leij, J.B.J. van der, Poot, C.J. de, Straalen, E.K. van
Organisatie: WODC
Plaats uitgave: Den Haag

Document te vinden bij

Samenvatting te vinden bij

Summary at