Snowden: The UK Is Collecting Everything

'Even the Queen's selfies to the pool boy get logged'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2013 3:54 PM CDT
Snowden: The UK Is Collecting Everything
A banner supporting Edward Snowden is displayed at Central, Hong Kong's business district, June 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

A new Edward Snowden interview hit today, and it's making big waves—especially overseas, thanks to allegations that the NSA is working hand-in-glove with allies around the globe. The interview was conducted anonymously back before Snowden revealed his identity, with Snowden emailing security expert and sort-of WikiLeaks ally Jacob Appelbaum. It was published today in Der Spiegel . Here are the highlights:

  • On the Broadest Spying Yet: The UK has a system called TEMPORA, which is the first "full take" Internet buffer that collects and stores all Internet traffic that passes through the UK on a three-day basis, he says. "That's not metadata. 'Full take' means it doesn't miss anything. … Even the Queen's selfies to the pool boy get logged." The program was previously reported by the Guardian.
  • On Other Foreign Partners: "We're in bed together with the Germans the same as with most other Western countries. For example, we tip them off when someone we want is flying through their airports … and they hand them over to us. They don't ask to justify how we know something, and vice versa."
  • On Stuxnet: Snowden confirms what Iran has long alleged and many others had long suspected: That the NSA and Israel co-created the super-virus.
  • On Metadata: "The NSA wants to be at the point where at least all of the metadata is permanently stored. In most cases, content isn't as valuable as metadata because you can ... re-fetch content based on the metadata."
  • On the NSA's targets: "They're just owned. … The target's machine doesn't belong to them anymore, it belongs to the US government."
  • On the cause for overreach: "When it is made to appear as though not knowing everything about everyone is an existential crisis, then you feel that bending the rules is okay."

Germany today rushed to spin Snowden's reference to it, with Angela Merkel's government saying that any cooperation with the US was subject to stringent "legal framework," Reuters reports. "In the fight against terrorist threats, we can only protect the population if we cooperate with others," a Merkel spokesman said, even as opposition leaders hammered Merkel over the alleged cooperation. For the full interview, click here. (Read more Edward Snowden stories.)

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