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3 November 2013

GCHQ Advises Netherlands Spies on TEMPORA

Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2013 19:15:57 +0100
Subject: update
From: xxxxx
To: cryptome[at]

On November 1st, the Guardian published the article "GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance" that unmasks "close technical and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies" [0]. The topic is the Tempora program (=wiretapping fibre-optic cables that carry internet traffic [1]), and GCHQ providing advice to the Netherlands for setting up such a program:

"GCHQ also maintains strong relations with the two main Dutch intelligence agencies, the external MIVD and the internal security service, the AIVD.

'Both agencies are small, by UK standards, but are technically competent and highly motivated,' British officials reported. Once again, GCHQ was on hand in 2008 for help in dealing with legal constraints. 'The AIVD have just completed a review of how they intend to tackle the challenges posed by the internet ­ GCHQ has provided input and advice to this report,' the country assessment said. 'The Dutch have some legislative issues that they need to work through before their legal environment would allow them to operate in the way that GCHQ does. We are providing legal advice on how we have tackled some of these issues to Dutch lawyers.'"

Obviously said "legislative issues" include the Dutch WIV 2002 Article 27 (=SIGINT selection) restriction to non-cablebound communications  [2]. The WIV 2002 is currently in its final phase of an official review by a
temporary committee (Dessens Committee) that exists between February 1st 2013 until January 1st 2014. It is expected that changes to the WIV 2002 will be proposed, and that the legal power of SIGINT selection will be extended to also cover cablebound communications.

Dutch readers are referred to Bits of Freedom [3].