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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 4:28pm
Edward Snowden

Snowden tells of '5 eyes' spy network, as second video from Hong Kong interview released

US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada have deep intelligence connection that goes beyond sharing data, whistle-blower says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 2:18pm

Deep co-operation in intelligence-gathering went beyond sharing information between national security agencies, whistle-blower Edward Snowden said, as a second video from an earlier interview emerged on Monday.

The United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were collaborating on "Five Eyes", a major monitoring programme to strengthen the sharing of surveillance information across their borders, he told a German newspaper.

Snowden revealed more information about government cyberspying and covert surveillance in an interview with security software and encryption expert Jacob Appelbaum, published by German news magazine Der Spiegel on Sunday.

He also claimed the US National Security Agency worked with Israel on the Stuxnet worm, which was used in a cyberattack on an Iranian nuclear facility.

Intelligence agencies aided one another on persons of interest on a "don't ask" basis of mutual understanding, he said.

On Monday, a second video of Snowden was released by the Guardian, part of an interview that was conducted on June 6 in a hotel room in Hong Kong. In it, the whistle-blower said the US would accuse him of aiding the enemies after he leaked information about the National Security Agency's surveillance programme.

"The government is going to launch an investigation... they are going to say I've committed grave crimes, violated the Espionage Act," Snowden said in the video, predicting US response to his revelations.

Video: Edward Snowden tells the Guardian: "The US government will say I aided our enemies"

In the Der Spiegel interview, Snowden was asked what major programmes were active today and how international partners aided the NSA. He replied: "The partners in the 'Five Eyes' sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves." He cited the Tempora programme headed by Britain's Government Communication Headquarters as an example, saying it "sucks" all kinds of information.

The revelations have brought a legal challenge by privacy advocates in London against British intelligence-gathering from Prism, run by the NSA.

The court action also attempts to slap an injunction on Tempora, which according to The Guardian newspaper, collects millions of phone records, e-mails and Skype conversations from deep-sea internet cables relaying traffic in and out of the country.

John Bassett, a senior fellow at the Royal United Service Institute, an intelligence and security think tank, told the BBC that British government funding on issues of cybersecurity had gone on "existing programmes … designed to get a really strong grip on global situational awareness".

He hinted that the threats Britain faced in particular required the penetration of other countries' computer systems.

Appelbaum said he spoke to Snowden two months ago, before he revealed himself to be the source of one of the biggest leaks in US intelligence history, and before Snowden broke cover in Hong Kong.

At the time, the German internet expert was approached by documentary-maker Laura Poitras to determine the former intelligence analyst's claim he was working for the NSA. The journalists did not know they were speaking to Snowden, with whom they were communicating by encrypted e-mails.

According to Der Spiegel, Appelbaum came to the attention of American authorities after his involvement in the disclosure of WikiLeaks information.

Charles Mok, a lawmaker representing the information technology sector, said he did not know what to make of the new revelations.

"With it getting more and more internationalised it seems like different alliances, different conspiracies certainly would have the effect of different people in countries being aware [of what is going on]," he said.

"What they have been trying to do is get as much information as possible … but on the other hand more countries [are] involved in sharing information. If we are a target, we are one of the hundreds of targets."

A spokesman for the Australian Department of Defence said: "Australian agencies operate in strict accordance with Australian law."

The British consulate in Hong Kong said: "We do not comment on security or intelligence."

The US Department of Justice, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and Canadian Security Intelligence Service could not be reached for comment.



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John Adams
A visiting US colleague who is a software expert recalls a business call to a US phone manufacturer 5 years ago.
The phone company said that as part of their phone design protocol they were required by the US govt to make every phone set they made to be capable of being invisibly tapped by the NSA (and, presumably also by the FBI) .
The same colleague, although the first US resident whom I have personally spoken to who supports Snowden, reckoned Snowden's chances of living more than another 5 years before being eliminated by the CIA was zero, regardless of what country he eventually adopts for asylum.
All it needs is a simple traffic 'accident' to be staged when Snowden is not paying attention.
Snowden sure is a brave man and has put his life on the line for what he believes in.
But then again, so did Paul Revere
All internet and cell phones are public. None of it is confidential. No story here.
why such a big issue has been made about this spying matter and why snowden is making fool of himself and destroying his life by revealing the US spying information, when the truth is almost all the countries are spying on each other, just there is no evidence.
hard times !
These Five Eyes shared gathered information and collaborate with each other on cyberspying is now well-known and our beloved Hong Kong is said to be monitored by Australia which is responsible for the cyber-spying /monitoring of South China and India plus south-east Asia (maybe Taiwan as well).The equipment and fund needed for the monitoring /cyberspying are provided by the NSA of America while Australia's men were trained by it too.This can be named ,'An Unholy Alliance of the Anglo-Saxons' maybe !
hard times !
As predicted by whistle-blower,Mr.Snowden who is still stranded in the transit zone of a Moscow airport waiting for a safe haven to go, Obama administration has been demonizing him since his revelations since last month.He was described as a spy, a traitor, a 29-year-old hacker and ...This former Booz Allen Hamilton employee is a smart guy with excellent ability of analysis besides his rich knowledge of computer science.His 'revolt' was due to his disgust at the intrusions of privacy enjoyed by his countrymen according to their Constitution (the 4th Amendent). His revelations to the public of the world is of utmost importance indeed !
hard times !
are your bank records and phone calls to your mistress (if any) also public ? May I ask ?
hard times !
agree with John Adams,in the coming years, our whistle-blower might be killed in an 'accident' when he is not paying attention in the streets no matter which country he finally adopts to be his asylum.It may be the so-called,' masterpiece;' of the CIAs or FBIs as they used to commit against any targets !
hard times !
now the intention of Snowden's relevations of the top-secrets of the NSA of America was known to the public of the world (especially those netizens)----he just cannot live in a country where his private life and personal feelings are monitored by his government.That explains why he had to come to Hong Kong to disclose all the secrets through his interviews with The Guardian reporter here in Mira Hotel and later at Sheraton Hotel to a reporter of South China Morning Post.Snowden well knew that he would be charged with 'espionage' and 'leaking national secrets' but not 'treason'.He claimed that he still loved his country but disappointed at Obama administration which has not fulfilled his election campaign pledges:closing the prison camp on Cuba Island and ...
Do you mind if I check your emails?
"All it needs is a simple traffic 'accident' to be staged when Snowden is not paying attention."
Yes, like Michael Hastings.


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