Edward Snowden links Australian Installations to NSA

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Article Mirrored from Citizens Electoral Council

Five Eyes’ spy ring—pick the odd man out

America’s National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed the Australian installations that are part of the NSA’s global infrastructure for spying on the broad civilian population—at Pine Gap, Shoal Bay near Darwin, Geraldton, and HMAS Harman outside Canberra.

MikeCriss Blog - Pine Gap

MikeCriss Blog – Pine Gap (Photo credit: mikecrissflick)

More significant are Snowden’s telling observations on how the NSA functions within the intelligence-sharing alliance America has with the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, known as the “Five Eyes” alliance.

All four of those countries share the same head of state—Queen Elizabeth, who holds massive, undemocratic “reserve” powers over each of them, especially their military / intelligence structures.

(For instance, in 1977 South Australia’s Police Commissioner Harold Salisbury refused to disclose to the state’s Premier, Don Dunstan, the community-monitoring, i.e. spying, activities of the police force’s intelligence-gathering division called Special Branch, which was also the force’s liaison to ASIO. Salisbury insisted he was not accountable to the democratically-elected government, but only to the Queen and the wider intelligence community. Dunstan sacked Salisbury, and a subsequent Royal Commission found in Dunstan’s favour, but the fact remains that in this and other instances, the intelligence agencies regarded themselves as above the authority of the elected government, accountable only to the Crown.)

The 8 July Sydney Morning Herald reported the relevant parts of the latest Snowden revelations, which show that the most egregious incidents of spying on citizens occur in the UK:

Eye death

Eye death (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“Mr Snowden said that the other partners in the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance of the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand ‘sometimes go even further than the [National Security Agency] people themselves.’

“He highlighted the British Government Communications Headquarters ‘Tempora’ program as an example: ‘Tempora is the first “I save everything” approach (“full take”) in the intelligence world. It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. … Right now, the system is capable of saving three days’ worth of traffic, but that will be optimised. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it’s not just about connection metadata. “Full take” means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it.’

President Barack Obama signs the executive ord...

President Barack Obama signs the executive order establishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mr Snowden also argued that the ‘Five eyes’ partnerships are organised so that authorities in each country can ‘insulate their political leaders from the backlash’ when it became public ‘how grievously they’re violating global privacy’.”

Luxembourgian-registered NATO E-3 AWACS flying...

Luxembourgian-registered NATO E-3 AWACS flying with three American Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft in a NATO exercise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question must be asked, who is running this spy ring? Are the four British Commonwealth nations part of the NSA’s ring, or is the NSA part of the British Crown’s intelligence network? History shows that when it comes to secretive government and espionage, Britain is the master, and the U.S. is the apprentice.

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