Extraordinary Popular Delusions

"Men… think in herds … they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

Tag: belgacom

Fourth European Parliament hearing on surveillance: special whistleblower edition

Monday’s fourth #EPInquiry hearing was relatively well-reported, largely because Edward Snowden supplied a statement, delivered to the inquiry by the Government Accountability Project’s Jesselyn Radack.

Audio of the full hearing is available here, thanks to Henrik Alexandersson, who has also posted the audio of the previous three hearings.

The speakers were Marc Rotenberg (EPIC), Catherine Crump (ACLU), Thomas Drake (NSA whistleblower), J. Kirk Wiebe (NSA whistleblower), Annie Machon (MI5 whistleblower), Jesselyn Radack (Government Accountability Project) and John Devitt (Transparency International). Video of the following presentations has been made available by the Government Accountability Project:

Jesselyn Radack

Thomas Drake

J. Kirk Wiebe

The next hearing is tomorrow, Thursday 3rd October and one of the subjects up for discussion will be GCHQ’s aggressive actions against the Belgian national telecoms company, Belgacom – whose clients include the European Parliament. Unfortunately, GCHQ’s director has declined the opportunity to justify himself in front of the Committee.

Missed my posts on the first three #EPInquiry hearings? Find them here (one, two, three).

Update (3/9)

Full video of the hearing is now available:

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European Parliament holds third surveillance hearing

Unlike previous hearings (one, two), I’ve been able to follow this one as it proceeded (and even, eventually, found a machine that will relay the European Parliament’s  livestream properly). This storified account of the hearing will be updated throughout the day.

[View the story “#EPInquiry hearing three” on Storify]

It is worth noting that the full-day hearing concludes with an acknowledgement that responses given by members of the EU-US Transatlantic group of experts on data protection and the speakers from EuroPol and SWIFT were unsatisfactory – those relate to the first two sessions recounted at that storify link. Caspar Bowden’s presentation in the fifth session is well worth your time too.

The next #EPInquiry hearing is scheduled for Monday 30 October and will include another set of interviews with representatives from US civil society (I think the ACLU this time around) and a second session on whistleblower protections. The hearing after that, on  Thursday 3 October will look into GCHQ’s compromise of the mobile network Belgian national telecoms company, Belgacom, which coincidentally provides services to EU institutions. UK representatives have been invited to this hearing, although it remains to be seen whether any will turn up.

Update (2/10)

GCHQ have declined the opportunity to justify their actions at the fifth #EPInquiry hearing tomorrow.