EU could give police direct access to cloud data in wake of terror attacks | Technology | The Guardian

The European Union is seeking to make it easier for police and law enforcement agencies to retrieve electronic evidence from US tech firms, including directly from cloud storage.

Fuente: EU could give police direct access to cloud data in wake of terror attacks | Technology | The Guardian

Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy | Robby Mook | Opinion | The Guardian

We have to take action now to root out Russian and other foreign influences before they become too deeply enmeshed in our political ecosystem. First and foremost, leaders in the US and Europe must stop any attempt by the Trump administration to ease sanctions on Russia. It must be abundantly clear that attacking our elections through cyberspace will prompt a tough and proportional response.

Fuente: Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy | Robby Mook | Opinion | The Guardian

In Major Privacy Victory, Top EU Court Rules Against Mass Surveillance

The European Union’s top court has severely undermined the British government’s mass surveillance powers in a new ruling that could rein in police and spy agency investigations.In a judgment handed down in Luxembourg on Wednesday, the European Court of Justice declared that the “general and indiscriminate retention” of data about people’s communications and locations was inconsistent with privacy rights. The court stated that the “highly invasive” bulk storage of private data “exceeds the limits of what is strictly necessary and cannot be considered to be justified, within a democratic society.”

Fuente: In Major Privacy Victory, Top EU Court Rules Against Mass Surveillance

Europe’s Top Human Rights Court Will Consider Legality of Surveillance Exposed by Edward Snowden

Ten organizations – including Privacy International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International – are taking up the landmark case against the U.K. government in the European Court of Human Rights (pictured above). In a 115-page complaint released on Thursday, the groups allege that “blanket and indiscriminate” surveillance operations carried out by British spy agencies in collaboration with their U.S. counterparts violate privacy and freedom of expression rights.

Fuente: Europe’s Top Human Rights Court Will Consider Legality of Surveillance Exposed by Edward Snowden

La mitad de los ministros de telecomunicaciones europeos quiere que tus datos fluyan libremente

13 miembros de la UE, entre los que se encuentran Irlanda, Bélgica, Polonia, Suecia y Reino Unido se muestran partidarios de que los datos fluyan solo por territorio europeo

Fuente: La mitad de los ministros de telecomunicaciones europeos quiere que tus datos fluyan libremente

New Safe Harbor Data “Deal” May Be More Politicking Than Surveillance Reform

European privacy activists criticized a new Safe Harbor data agreement with the U.S. as a superficial political fix that fails to address NSA spying.

Fuente: New Safe Harbor Data “Deal” May Be More Politicking Than Surveillance Reform

El escándalo de espionaje pone en apuros al Gobierno de Merkel | Internacional | EL PAÍS

El escándalo de espionaje pone en apuros al Gobierno de Merkel | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

La colaboración entre los servicios secretos de Alemania y EE UU desata una tormenta política


La canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, en un acto en Berlín el 29 de abril. / JOHN MACDOUGALL (AFP)

El escándalo va creciendo hasta convertirse en una seria amenaza para la canciller Angela Merkel. Todo comenzó hace una semana, con la publicación de que los servicios secretos alemanes habían colaborado con sus colegas estadounidenses para espiar a algunas empresas y políticos. Pero el goteo de revelaciones ha ido subiendo la temperatura política en Alemania hasta que el jueves estalló una bomba de gran potencial destructivo para las relaciones de Berlín con sus socios europeos.

Según el Süddeutsche Zeitung, los estadounidenses se valieron de las instalaciones del BND —los servicios secretos alemanes— para espiar a altos funcionarios de instituciones tan relevantes como la Presidencia de la República Francesa, el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores francés o la Comisión Europea. Consultados por EL PAÍS, los portavoces del Gobierno ni confirman ni desmienten la información con el argumento de que no pueden interferir en una investigación parlamentaria.

La información, publicada también por las cadenas de televisión NDR y WDR, ha sacudido la política berlinesa. Ya no se trata solo de que los espías alemanes dieran alguna información aislada a la Agencia Nacional de Seguridadestadounidense, la famosa NSA. Las denuncias son ahora más graves. A la sospecha cada vez más fundada de queel ministro del Interior, Thomas de Maizière, mintió al Parlamento sobre el caso, se une la acusación de haber vulnerado la ley para pasar información sobre socios y teóricos amigos en un periodo indeterminado que podría ir de 2002 hasta 2013.

La líder alemana tiene ahora que decidir si cede a la presión y deja caer alguna cabeza. Podría ser la del presidente del BND, Gerhard Schindel. O incluso la del propio De Maizière, uno de sus hombres de confianza, que lo ha sido todo en los tres Gabinetes Merkel: primero jefe de la Cancillería, luego ministro de Defensa y en la última legislatura, titular de Interior.

Cover-up claims over revelation that Germany spied on EU partners for US | World news | The Guardian

Cover-up claims over revelation that Germany spied on EU partners for US | World news | The Guardian.

 The German secret service’s monitoring station in Bad Aibling, Bavaria.
The German secret service’s monitoring station in Bad Aibling, Bavaria. Photograph: Diether Endlicher/EPA

Germany has been spying and eavesdropping on its closest partners in the EU and passing the information to the US for more than a decade, a parliamentary inquiry in Berlin has found, triggering allegations of lying and cover-ups reaching to the very top of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration.

There was outrage in Germany two years ago over the revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden of US and British surveillance activities in Europe. The fresh disclosures are embarrassing for Berlin, which stands accused of hypocrisy in its protests about America spying on its allies.

“You don’t spy on your friends,” said Merkel when it was made known to her that her mobile phone was being monitored by the US National Security Agency (NSA). Since then, both sides have been embroiled in arguments about data privacy, with much talk among officials and diplomats of a collapse of German trust in the Americans.

But according to reports on a confidential Bundestag committee of inquiry into the NSA scandal, under a 2002 pact between German intelligence (BND) and theNSA, Berlin used its largest electronic eavesdropping facility in Bavaria to monitor email and telephone traffic at the Élysée Palace, the offices of the French president, and of key EU institutions in Brussels including the European commission.

Thomas de Maizière, the interior minister and a Merkel confidant, is in the firing line for allegedly lying about or covering up the German collaboration with the Americans. The minister has denied the allegations robustly and promised to answer before the parliamentary inquiry “the sooner the better”.

The best-selling tabloid Bildzeitung depicted de Maiziere as Pinocchio this week and accused him of “lying with impunity”. From 2005-9 he served as Merkel’s chief of staff, the post in Berlin that exercises authority over the BND. He is said to have been told of the spying activities in 2008.

German media reports are asserting that if De Maizière knew what was going on he has covered it up, and that if he did not know he was failing in his job while the BND ranged out of political control.

According to the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the public broadcasters WDR and NDR, citing information from the closed parliamentary inquiry, the BND’s biggest listening post at Bad Aibling in Bavaria “was abused for years for NSA spying on European states”.

Data privacy: the tide is turning in Europe – but is it too little, too late? | Technology | The Guardian

Data privacy: the tide is turning in Europe – but is it too little, too late? | Technology | The Guardian.

Simultaneous legal cases suggest that the need to assert the digital rights of citizens over corporations and governments is finally being addressed

Max Schrems
Cases such as Max Schrems’ lawsuit against Facebook are asserting fundamental rights of privacy and data protection. Photograph: Max Schrems/Europe-V-Facebook.or/PA

Amazon Dash – the company’s single purpose internet-connected ordering button – may soon be blackening our skies with drones delivering loo rolls and detergent. And so, the relentless march of technology – not to mention cheap labour, unthinking consumerism and scandalous environmental devastation – goes on.

But while more convenient ordering of washing powder might have captured the headlines of late, Europe has been in the midst of a technological step change; a pivot in the world of data privacy.

Several notable events at the end of March, in Luxembourg, London and Geneva, show a glimmer of hope that those frail, beaten rights – privacy and data protection – might yet see their true worth in the digital age.

A moment, first, in defence of privacy – reports of whose death are, I hope, greatly exaggerated.

Privacy is a right for all – not just the filthy rich

Many fall into the trap of seeing privacy in an overly atomistic, individualistic, selfish way; the preserve of the filthy rich. And it is, if we see it as separable from collective freedom, or as absolute over other rights – of freedom of expression, opinion and association; freedom to protest; freedom to resist. But this is not privacy’s ask.

Privacy is about having decisional power, control, over which acts and events of our lives are disclosed and to whom, free from the prying eyes of states, corporations and neighbours. Privacy affords us the freedom to develop ourselves in the world.

The crux of the issue with digital technology is that our ability to make decisions and to control our personal information – the links and traces of our lives – is all but lost. Mostly without our knowledge, and certainly without informed consent, nation states sweep our data alleging ‘national security’ interests, whether legitimate or not. Corporations sweep our data, because they have powerful economic incentives to do so – and, with the capitalist lurch, no reason not to.

So what can be done to reclaim this systematic erosion; to reinstate rights over the long echo of our digital whispers and wanderings? In Europe, there are some rumblings of resistance. They are the rumblings of citizens, of regulators, of courts. And they are starting to find their voice.

Leave Facebook if you don't want to be snooped on, warns EU | Technology | The Guardian

Leave Facebook if you don’t want to be snooped on, warns EU | Technology | The Guardian.

European Commission admits Safe Harbour framework cannot ensure privacy of EU citizens’ data when sent to the US by American internet firms

European flags at the EC
The Safe Harbour Framework that is meant to protect the data of EU citizens when sent to the US by American technology firms including Facebook are not adequate the European Commission has admitted. Photograph: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

The European Commission has warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from US security services, finding that current Safe Harbour legislation does not protect citizen’s data.

The comments were made by EC attorney Bernhard Schima in a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems, looking at whether the data of EU citizens should be considered safe if sent to the US in a post-Snowden revelation landscape.

“You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one,” Schima told attorney general Yves Bot in a hearing of the case at the European court of justice in Luxembourg.

When asked directly, the commission could not confirm to the court that the Safe Harbour rules provide adequate protection of EU citizens’ data as it currently stands.

The US no longer qualifies

The case, dubbed “the Facebook data privacy case”, concerns the current Safe Harbour framework, which covers the transmission of EU citizens’ data across the Atlantic to the US. Without the framework, it is against EU law to transmit private data outside of the EU. The case collects complaints lodged against Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Microsoft-owned Skype and Yahoo.

Schrems maintains that companies operating inside the EU should not be allowed to transfer data to the US under Safe Harbour protections – which state that US data protection rules are adequate if information is passed by companies on a “self-certify” basis – because the US no longer qualifies for such a status.

The case argues that the US government’s Prism data collection programme, revealed by Edward Snowden in the NSA files, which sees EU citizens’ data held by US companies passed on to US intelligence agencies, breaches the EU’s Data Protection Directive “adequacy” standard for privacy protection, meaning that the Safe Harbour framework no longer applies.

Operation Socialist: How GCHQ Spies Hacked Belgium’s Largest Telco

Operation Socialist: How GCHQ Spies Hacked Belgium’s Largest Telco.


When the incoming emails stopped arriving, it seemed innocuous at first. But it would eventually become clear that this was no routine technical problem. Inside a row of gray office buildings in Brussels, a major hacking attack was in progress. And the perpetrators were British government spies.

It was in the summer of 2012 that the anomalies were initially detected by employees at Belgium’s largest telecommunications provider, Belgacom. But it wasn’t until a year later, in June 2013, that the company’s security experts were able to figure out what was going on. The computer systems of Belgacom had been infected with a highly sophisticated malware, and it was disguising itself as legitimate Microsoft software while quietly stealing data.

Last year, documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed that British surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters was behind the attack, codenamed Operation Socialist. And in November, The Intercept revealed that the malware found on Belgacom’s systems was one of the most advanced spy tools ever identified by security researchers, who named it “Regin.”

The full story about GCHQ’s infiltration of Belgacom, however, has never been told. Key details about the attack have remained shrouded in mystery—and the scope of the attack unclear.

Now, in partnership with Dutch and Belgian newspapers NRC Handelsbladand De StandaardThe Intercept has pieced together the first full reconstruction of events that took place before, during, and after the secret GCHQ hacking operation.

Based on new documents from the Snowden archive and interviews with sources familiar with the malware investigation at Belgacom’s networks,The Intercept and its partners have established that the attack on Belgacom was more aggressive and far-reaching than previously thought. It occurred in stages between 2010 and 2011, each time penetrating deeper into Belgacom’s systems, eventually compromising the very core of the company’s networks.

Tech groups warn over US online snooping –

Tech groups warn over US online snooping –

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit look on as US President Barack Obama waves to invited guests in front of Berlin's landmark the Brandenburg Gate near the US embassy on June 19, 2013. US President Barack Obama walks in John F. Kennedy's footsteps on his first visit to Berlin as US president, but encounters a more powerful and sceptical Germany in talks on trade and secret surveillance practices. AFP PHOTO / POOL / MICHAEL KAPPELER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images)©AFP

Leaders at two top tech security firms have warned that American businesses are being hurt by concerns about US online surveillance in Europe and the growing “Balkanisation” of the internet in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures.

“You can feel this Balkanisation starting. It’s going to impact a lot of companies that are trying to do business globally,” said Kevin Mandia, chief operating officer at FireEye and founder of Mandiant, in an onstage interview at a Vanity Fair event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

European anger over the extent of the US National Security Agency’s online snooping “is starting to cause challenges in the ability for American companies to do business abroad”, said John Hering, co-founder and executive chairman of Lookout, a mobile security firm which raised $150m in venture funding this summer.

“The internet is becoming more closed, not open.”

Mr Hering told attendees at the New Establishment summit that this Balkanisation was already taking its toll on US tech companies, including Lookout.

“We are inherently global businesses,” he said. “We are starting to see infringement in our ability to operate freely because of this.”

The tech chiefs’ comments come amid a growing struggle between European regulators and Silicon Valley companies over issues ranging from privacy to taxation.

Yet the US security services have been unapologetic for their online eavesdropping programmes as cyber attacks continue to rise.

Speaking at the same event, General Keith Alexander, former NSA director and former commander of US cyber command, again condemned the leaks by Mr Snowden, a former NSA contractor, for risking American security and benefiting Russia.

“What’s being hurt here? We are – our best government intelligence capabilities and our companies,” General Alexander said.

General Alexander defended the NSA’s record of using the data it collects to prevent terrorism, which he insisted had appropriate oversight from American judges and lawmakers.

However, he warned that critical elements of the US national infrastructure remained at risk of cyber attacks from states such as North Korea and Iran.

In depth

US Security State

US security state

Analysis of revelations about the extent of the surveillance state in the US

Further reading

Despite recent hacker intrusions into the networks of US banks such as JPMorgan Chase, General Alexander said he was confident these companies would “take care of it”.

It was revealed on Wednesday that Fidelity was among the 13 financial institutions hacked by what is believed to be the same group that targeted JPMorgan Chase, in one of the largest thefts of consumer data on record.

General Alexander said he was more concerned about cyber attacks on utilities such as power companies.

“When I look at the financial institutions, they do more to protect our cyber credentials than any other industry, JPMorgan included,” he said. “I would be more worried about losing power . . . than I would be about our bank accounts being driven to zero.”


EEUU accedió a los datos del BCE por medio de Verizon: sigue el escándalo por el espionaje de la NSA –

EEUU accedió a los datos del BCE por medio de Verizon: sigue el escándalo por el espionaje de la NSA –

  • La NSA obligó a Verizon a remitir los metadatos recabados en el BCE
  • La institución no manda documentos confidenciales a través de la red
BCE reflejo

Reflejo del símbolo del euro en la sede del BCE. Foto: Bloomberg
Los tentáculos de la NSA, agencia de espionaje estadounidense, podrían haber llegado al corazón financiero europeo. Según los últimos documentos revelados por Edward Snowden, EEUU habría tenido acceso a la red de correo electrónico del Banco Central Europeo (BCE) a través de la empresa Verizon, quien se encarga de parte de la infraestructura tecnológica de la entidad.

La semana pasada, el gobierno federal Alemania ya canceló todos sus contratos con Verizon ante las sospechas de que colaboró con la NSA, sospechas que ahora se extienden al BCE, quien trabaja con esta operadora desde el año 2004, según publica el diario alemán Süddeustche Zeitung.

De hecho, Verizon Alemania fue contratada expresamente para ofrecer Internet especialmente protegido contra hackers. Ahora, los documentos a los que ha tenido acceso el diario alemán muestran que la NSA obligó a Verizon a pasar todos los metadatos al servicio de inteligencia de EEUU. Estos metadatos incluían quién había contactado con quién, cuándo y desde dónde.

Tras conocerse el asunto, diversos políticos alemanes han pedido públicamente que el BCE, cuya sede están en Frankfurt, siga los pasos de Berlín y corte cualquier relación con la empresa estadounidense. El banco, por su parte, aseguró al Süddeutsche Zeitung que había una sospecha general sobre la seguridad de la infraestructura digital de la institución que dirige la política monetaria de toda la Eurozona.

“Asumimos que no existe una forma segura de comunicación en Internet y por eso no enviamos documentos confidenciales a través de la red”, explicó el BCE en un comunicado. Así, los documentos sensibles nunca son enviados por correo electrónicos y solo en algunos casos se hace de forma encriptada.

Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers | World news |

Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers | World news |

Whistleblower tells Council of Europe NSA deliberately snooped on groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International




Edward Snowden speaks via video link with members of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg.

Edward Snowden speaks via video link with members of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters


The US has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organisations, Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe’s top human rights body.

Giving evidence via a videolink from Moscow, Snowden said the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberately snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

He told council members: “The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organisations … including domestically within the borders of the United States.” Snowden did not reveal which groups the NSA had bugged.

The assembly asked Snowden if the US spied on the “highly sensitive and confidential communications” of major rights bodies such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, as well as on similar smaller regional and national groups. He replied: “The answer is, without question, yes. Absolutely.”

Snowden, meanwhile, dismissed NSA claims that he had swiped as many as 1.7m documents from the agency’s servers in an interview with Vanity Fair. He described the number released by investigators as “simply a scare number based on an intentionally crude metric: everything that I ever digitally interacted with in my career.”

He added: “Look at the language officials use in sworn testimony about these records: ‘could have,’ ‘may have,’ ‘potentially.’ They’re prevaricating. Every single one of those officials knows I don’t have 1.7m files, but what are they going to say? What senior official is going to go in front of Congress and say, ‘We have no idea what he has, because the NSA‘s auditing of systems holding hundreds of millions of Americans’ data is so negligent that any high-school dropout can walk out the door with it’?”

In live testimony to the Council of Europe, Snowden also gave a forensic account of how the NSA‘s powerful surveillance programs violate the EU’s privacy laws. He said programs such as XKeyscore, revealed by the Guardian last July, use sophisticated data mining techniques to screen “trillions” of private communications.

“This technology represents the most significant new threat to civil liberties in modern times,” he declared.

Internet governance too US-centric, says European commission | Technology | The Guardian

Internet governance too US-centric, says European commission | Technology | The Guardian.

Commission says NSA revelations call into question US role in internet governance, which should be more global
Neelie Kroes

Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for digital affairs. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

The mass surveillance carried out by the US National Security Agencymeans that governance of the internet has to be made more international and less dominated by America, the European Union‘s executive has declared.

Setting out proposals on how the world wide web should function and be regulated, the European commission called for a shift away from the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which is subject to US law, is contracted by the US administration and is empowered to supervise how digital traffic operates.

“Recent revelations of large-scale surveillance have called into question the stewardship of the US when it comes to internet governance,” said the commission.

“Given the US-centric model of internet governance currently in place, it is necessary to broker a smooth transition to a more global model while at the same time protecting the underlying values of open multi-stakeholder governance …

La Eurocámara quiere oír a Snowden | Internacional | EL PAÍS

La Eurocámara quiere oír a Snowden | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

Manifestantes con una imagen de Edward Snowden durante una protesta en Berlín. / AFP

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Edward Snowden, el hombre que ha puesto en aprietos a Estados Unidos al destapar su potente red de espionaje, tendrá pronto la oportunidad de explicarse ante el mundo. El Parlamento Europeo ha extendido al exanalista estadounidense la primera invitación que realiza una institución pública para escuchar sus motivaciones, así como los detalles que pueda aportar sobre los programas de vigilancia masiva aplicados por la NSA (la agencia de seguridad nacional, por sus siglas en inglés), para la que trabajaba. Lo más probable es que Snowden acepte el ofrecimiento, aunque queda por concretar el formato, explican fuentes parlamentarias.

Los eurodiputados han aprobado este jueves por abrumadora mayoría en la Comisión de Libertades pedir a Snowden que se dirija a la Eurocámara. Pero una de las claves para ese apoyo reside en el tipo de comparecencia. El Partido Popular Europeo, inicialmente reticente a ofrecer a Snowden una ventana para trasladar su mensaje, accedió a darle voz en forma de “videoconferencia interactiva”. Es decir, si el exanalista habla en directo y los eurodiputados tienen la oportunidad de repreguntar.

Se trata de una cuestión delicada. Los abogados de Snowden ya habían mostrado la predisposición de su cliente a someterse a las preguntas de la Eurocámara, pero no en directo. El exanalista, escondido en algún lugar de Rusia desde que este país le concedió asilo temporal tras su huida de Estados Unidos, teme ser localizado si se conecta en directo por videoconferencia y prefiere no correr ese riesgo.

Snowden testificará ante el Parlamento Europeo por videoconferencia – Pú

Snowden testificará ante el Parlamento Europeo por videoconferencia – Pú

La comisión de Libertades Civiles del Parlamento Europeo, que efectúa una investigación sobre el ciberespionaje de Estados Unidos a instituciones y ciudadanos europeos, aprobó este jueves por una amplia mayoría invitar formalmente al extécnico de la CIA Edward Snowden a testificar por videoconferencia.

Los eurodiputados aprobaron por 36 votos a favor y 2 en contra la invitación a Snowden con el formato de videoconferencia en directo para que los europarlamentarios puedan hacer preguntas, una condición que el Partido Popular Europeo ha exigido para dar su luz verde a la invitación.

No existe todavía fecha concreta para la comparecencia por vídeo de Snowden, que podría declinar la invitación por miedo a que las autoridades puedan rastrear su localización exacta gracias a la señal en directo. Según el formato inicialmente previsto, cada grupo político del Parlamento Europeo podrá remitir dos preguntas al extécnico de la CIA.

La Eurocámara ha decidido seguir adelante con la invitación pese a que antes del receso navideño el congresista estadounidense Mike Rogers la criticó duramente durante su visita a Bruselas. “Prefiero guardarme para mí lo que pienso exactamente. Me preocupa enormemente, pues no creo que esta persona tenga dignidad para participar en esta Cámara y no creo que esta invitación forme parte del diálogo constructivo”, entre la Unión Europea (UE) y Estados Unidos, denunció el republicano.

El informe preliminar de la comisión de investigación hecha en el Parlamento Europeo (el ponente es el laborista británico Claude Moraes) pide la suspensión del acuerdo bilateral Safe Harbour, que gestiona la transferencia para las empresas de la UE y EEUU de datos de consumidores. El borrador pide una investigación más amplia sobre los presuntos abusos que Estados Unidos habría cometido a través de los acuerdos transatlánticos antiterroristas, como el acuerdo de rastreo de datos financieros, conocido como Swift.

EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron el móvil del comisario europeo Joaquín Almunia | Internacional | EL PAÍS

EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron el móvil del comisario europeo Joaquín Almunia | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


Joaquín Almunia, en Bruselas, este miércoles 18 de diciembre de 2103. / OLIVIER HOSLET (EFE)

El espionaje de Estados Unidos y Reino Unido ha llegado hasta la cúpula de la Comisión Europea. La NSA (agencia de seguridad norteamericana, por sus siglas en inglés) espió al vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea Joaquín Almunia -hoy responsable de Competencia- en el periodo 2008-2009, según han explicado a este diario fuentes comunitarias. La vigilancia se produjo a través de su teléfono móvil en un momento en que Almunia ocupaba la cartera de Economía y Asuntos Monetarios en el Ejecutivo de la UE.

El político socialista es el primer alto cargo de las instituciones europeas del que se tiene constancia de un espionaje directo. Tras conocerse las escuchas a la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, y a otros dirigentes europeos, los periodistas preguntaron a la Comisión Europea si alguno de sus miembros había sido espiado. Hasta ahora la respuesta había sido negativa.

La interceptación de llamadas y mensajes de móvil se produjo a finales de 2008 y principios de 2009, aseguran esas fuentes. Además de la NSA, en el espionaje participaron también los servicios de inteligencia británicos, GCHQ, que han participado de muchas de las operaciones de Washington y han realizado otras en solitario. Alemania ya pidió explicaciones a las autoridades británicas al descubrirse que la embajada de Reino Unido en Alemania contaba con un dispositivo para interceptar las comunicaciones en pleno centro de Berlín.

Las nuevas revelaciones sobre el vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea debilitan el principal argumento que ha empleado Washington cada vez que sus socios europeos han exigido explicaciones por la vigilancia masiva orquestada por la Administración estadounidense: el principal objetivo de las pesquisas es la lucha contra el terrorismo.

Edward Snowden: MEPs vote to invite ex-NSA contractor to testify | World news |

Edward Snowden: MEPs vote to invite ex-NSA contractor to testify | World news |

Opposition from conservatives fails to derail vote on inviting Snowden to hearing, which could take place as early as January



Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden. As there are some concerns that a live linkup could allow the NSA to pinpoint his location, his answers may have to be pre-recorded. Photograph: Sunshinepress/Getty Images


The European parliament has voted to formally invite Edward Snowden to give testimony on NSA spying, despite opposition from conservative MEPs. If the US whistleblower provides answers to the questions compiled by parliamentarians in time, a hearing via video link could take place in early January.

It had looked on Wednesday as if European conservatives were trying to kick the hearing into the long grass. The European People’s party (EPP), the alliance of centre-right parties, had raised a number of concerns about inviting Snowden for a hearing, noting that it could endanger the transatlantic trade agreement with the US.

But on Thursday morning, the leaders of the main political groupings in the European parliament voted to invite Snowden. In the coming weeks, questions will be compiled and then forwarded to the former NSA contractor’s lawyer, with roughly two questions coming from each political group.