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November 17, 2013
Snowden cache reveals diplomats' hotel bookings being tracked by GCHQ
In a perhaps bizarre twist, British agents at GCHQ are slated to have bugged around 350 hotels around the world used by diplomats in order to get the inside track of what foreign governments are talking about behind closed doors.
Under the program dubbed ROYAL CONCIERGE, the program has been in operation since 2010. The program also monitors hotel-booking systems that allow the U.K. and U.S. governments to keep tabs on where diplomats are heading. The names of the hotels were not released, but documents seen by Der Spiegel said telephones, computers, and fax machines in hotel rooms were bugged and wiretap-enabled.
- Read more: Snowden cache reveals diplomats' hotel bookings being tracked by GCHQ (The Guardian)
Source: Der Spiegel
November 19, 2013
FISA court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time
The secret FISA court, which authorizes U.S. government surveillance actions, released on the instructions of U.S. intelligence community chief James Clapper a legal opinion that allowed the NSA to collect even more data on Americans, despite finding the agency exceeding its powers and capabilities.
Even though one of the FISA judges recounted a number of problems with the smaller NSA programs, wider scale programs were nonetheless approved. According to the documents, metadata -- the information around messages but not the messages themselves, did not enjoy Fourth Amendment protections
- Read more: FISA court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time (The Guardian)
Image: White House/Flickr
November 20, 2013
U.S. and U.K. struck secret deal with U.K. to monitor British citizen data
Fresh information suggested what the NSA was telling the Brits might not have been all it was letting on. According to the Snowden-leaked documents, the "Five Eyes" group of countries, including the two superpowers, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, may not have been as binding as first thought.
A 2005 secret draft directive said the NSA could spy on its allies without informing them -- though, it's not clear if it was ever enacted. A 2007 NSA memo provided, according to The Guardian, the "first explicit confirmation" that Brits were caught up in the U.S. surveillance dragnet.
- Read more: NSA's BFFs not necessarily immune to spying eyes (CNET)
Image via The Guardian
Source: The Guardian