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Secretary of State Kerry has had a long hot summer and fall

cleaning up after the NSA's massive and embarrassing spying

on allies. For the past few days he has been in Europe, where

documents have come to light showing that in a one month

period, conversations of 70 million French and 1.8 million

Dutch were recorded.

 

 

Snowden Exposes NSA Christmas Holiday Loophole! (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

 

"Whistleblower Snowden gave the impression in his first revelations that everything and everyone is being followed everywhere. That is not the case. ... for those who are committed to privacy, there is something remarkable in the graphs. On December 24 and December 31, the NSA tapped not one person in the Netherlands. Apparently, most spies are at home over Christmas and New Year's Eve. That would be the best time to call friends in Pakistan."

 

By Michael Persson

 

Translated By Marion Pini

 

October 22, 2013

 

The Netherlands - de Volkskrant Original Article (Dutch)

'I demand that the present government protest spying against me - like I never did!' -- Former President Calderon

LA JORNADA, MEXICO

 

BBC NEWS VIDEO, U.K.: Secretary Kerry Tells French on NSA: it's 'Complicated', Oct. 21, 00:00:59RealVideo

They were known for months, but today the French were finally woke up startled at the surveillance figures of the U.S. National Security Agency. Dutch political parties also reacted to the figures. But the number of wiretapped Dutch still seems relatively moderate.

 

France was probably on holiday, but in late July, German weekly Der Spiegel published a graph that showed how often the NSA eavesdropped on the French between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013. If you add the daily bar charts, it came to about 70 million calls. Exactly the same number that now, three months later, have caused such a diplomatic fuss: Paris has called the U.S. ambassador to the carpet.

 

Boundless Informant

 

The numbers come from documents relating to NSA program Boundless Informant leaked by Edward Snowden. These show a snapshot of a month's work by the intelligence service. Der Spiegel had focused on Germany in their article, where the Americans tapped six times as many calls. The magazine added some other countries for comparison.

Posted By Worldmeets.US

 

The Netherlands also figured in the report by Der Spiegel. Here, 1.8 million calls were tapped during the same period. This is mainly about metadata - so who called whom and when. This way, networks can be constructed around persons considered suspicious by the Americans (if you include location data, you can have them dispatched via drone). Whether they were filtered based on key words is not clear. Monitoring the Internet traffic, which the NSA did do in Germany in that month, did not occur in France or the Netherlands.

 

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One hundred thousand Dutch followed

 

How bad is this? If one uses six phone calls per day as a baseline, 1.8 million phone calls in thirty days amounts to 100,000 Dutch people being followed. That is a huge number of course, but strangely enough, it's less than one might have imagined. Whistleblower Snowden gave the impression in his first revelations in June that everything and everyone is being followed everywhere. That is not the case.

 

http://worldmeets.us/images/NSA-wiretapping-france-dutch_graphic.png

Boundless Informant graphic shows NSA wiretappers

were oddly quiescent over Christmas and New Year's

 

As for those who are committed to privacy, there is something remarkable in the graphs. On December 24 and December 31, the NSA tapped not one person in the Netherlands. Apparently, most spies are at home over Christmas and New Year's Eve. That would be the best time to call friends in Pakistan.

 

According to French newspaper Le Monde, the radio silence around the holidays last year was (partly) due to adjustments in the system.

 

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Posted By Worldmeets.US Oct. 22, 2013, 07:24am