zaterdag 22 april 2023

'It's over and NATO is finished'


De AIVD-Waarheden van Erik Akerboom 5

Erik Akerboom,  ik las het volgende op het Platform voor Securityprofessionals:

China is de grootste bedreiging voor de economische veiligheid in Nederland. Dat zei directeur-generaal van de Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD) Erik Akerboom op 17 april bij de presentatie van het jaarverslag over 2022. Het land jaagt op ‘unieke kennis’ zoals die van chipmachinemaker ASML. China hoort bij de landen die, net als bijvoorbeeld Rusland, ‘steeds meer macht en meer invloed zoeken.’ 

Voor mij was dit geen nieuws, want — in tegenstelling tot u — weet ik na meer dan een halve eeuw journalistieke ervaring dat nagenoeg alle landen aan industriële spionage doen. Sterker nog, als u even de moeite had genomen om Wikipedia te raadplegen dan had u ondermeer geweten dat: 

Economic and industrial espionage has a long history. Father Francois Xavier d'Entrecolles, who visited Jingdezhen, China in 1712 and later used this visit to reveal the manufacturing methods of Chinese porcelain to Europe, is sometimes considered to have conducted an early case of industrial espionage.

Historical accounts have been written of industrial espionage between Britain and France. Attributed to Britain's emergence as an ‘industrial creditor,’ the second decade of the 18th century saw the emergence of a large-scale state-sponsored effort to surreptitiously (in het  geheim. svh) take British industrial technology to France. Witnesses confirmed both the inveigling (verleiden. svh) of tradespersons abroad and the placing of apprentices in England. Protests by those such as ironworkers in Sheffield and steelworkers in Newcastle about skilled industrial workers being enticed abroad, led to the first English legislation aimed at preventing this method of economic and industrial espionage. This did not prevent Samuel Slater from bringing British textile technology to the United States in 1789. In order to catch up with technological advances of European powers, the US government in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries actively encouraged intellectual piracy.

American founding father and first U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton advocated rewarding those bringing ‘improvements and secrets of extraordinary value’ into the United States. This was instrumental in making the United States a haven for industrial spies.

Industrial Espionage as part of US foreign policy

According to an article from news website, ‘potentially sabotaging another country's hi-tech industries and their top companies has long been a sanctioned American strategy.’ The article was based on a leaked report issued from former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper's office that evaluated a theoretical scenario on how intelligence could be used to overcome a loss of the United States' technological and innovative edge.

Net als de meeste andere landen en zeker alle grootmachten ontkent Washington doorgaans dat ook de VS ‘intellectuele piraterij’ bedrijft.

Former CIA Director Stansfield Turner stated in 1991 ‘Nevertheless, as we increase emphasis on securing economic intelligence, we will have to spy on the more developed countries — our allies and friends with whom we compete economically — but to whom we turn first for political and military assistance in a crisis. This means that rather than instinctively reaching for human, on-site spying, the United States will want to look to those impersonal technical systems, primarily satellite photography and intercepts.’ 

Former CIA Director James Woolsey acknowledged in 2000 that the United States steals economic secrets from foreign firms and their governments ‘with espionage, with communications, with reconnaissance satellites.’ He also stated it is ‘not to provide secrets, technological secrets to American industry.’ He listed the three reasons as understanding whether sanctions are functioning for countries under sanction, monitoring dual-use technology that could be used to produce or develop weapons of mass destruction, and to spy on bribery to uphold the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In 2013 The United States was accused of spying on Brazilian oil company Petrobras. Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff stated that it was tantamount to industrial espionage and had no security justification.

In 2014 former US intelligence officer Edward Snowden stated that America's National Security Agency was engaged in industrial espionage and that they spied on German companies that compete with US firms. He also highlighted the fact the NSA uses mobile phone apps such as Angry Birds to gather personal data.

In September 2019, security firm Qi An Xin published a report linking the CIA to a series of attacks targeting Chinese aviation agencies between 2012 and 2017.

Israel's economic espionage in the United States

Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel's sizable armaments industry.

Israel was accused by the US government of selling US military technology and secrets to China.

In 2014 American counter-intelligence officials told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees that Israel's current espionage activities in America are ‘unrivaled.’

Use of computers and the Internet

Personal computers

Computers have become key in exercising industrial espionage due to the enormous amount of information they contain and the ease at which it can be copied and transmitted. The use of computers for espionage increased rapidly in the 1990s. Information has commonly been stolen by individuals posing as subsidiary workers, such as cleaners or repairmen, gaining access to unattended computers and copying information from them. Laptops were, and still are, a prime target, with those travelling abroad on business being warned not to leave them for any period of time. Perpetrators of espionage have been known to find many ways of conning unsuspecting individuals into parting, often only temporarily, from their possessions, enabling others to access and steal information. A ‘bag-op’ refers to the use of hotel staff to access data, such as through laptops, in hotel rooms. Information may be stolen in transit, in taxis, at airport baggage counters, baggage carousels, on trains and so on.

The Internet

The rise of the Internet and computer networks has expanded the range and detail of information available and the ease of access for the purpose of industrial espionage. This type of operation is generally identified as state backed or sponsored, because the ‘access to personal, financial or analytic resources’ identified exceed that which could be accessed by cybercriminals or individual hackers. Sensitive military or defense engineering or other industrial information may not have immediate monetary value to criminals, compared with, say, bank details. Analysis of cyberattacks suggests deep knowledge of networks, with targeted attacks, obtained by numerous individuals operating in a sustained organized way.

Opportunities for sabotage

The rising use of the internet has also extended opportunities for industrial espionage with the aim of sabotage. In the early 2000s, it was noticed that energy companies were increasingly coming under attack from hackers. Energy power systems, doing jobs like monitoring power grids or water flow, once isolated from the other computer networks, were now being connected to the internet, leaving them more vulnerable, having historically few built-in security features. The use of these methods of industrial espionage have increasingly become a concern for governments, due to potential attacks by terrorist groups or hostile foreign governments.


One of the means of perpetrators conducting industrial espionage is by exploiting vulnerabilities in computer software. Malware and spyware are ‘tool[s] for industrial espionage,’ in ‘transmitting digital copies of trade secrets, customer plans, future plans and contacts.’ Newer forms of malware include devices which surreptitiously switch on mobile phones camera and recording devices. In attempts to tackle such attacks on their intellectual property, companies are increasingly keeping important information off network, leaving an ‘air gap,’ with some companies building Faraday cages to shield from electromagnetic or cellphone transmissions. 

Welnu, Erik Akerboom, al deze informatie verzweeg u toen u trachtte Rusland en China te criminaliseren als een ernstige bedreiging van de Nederlandse veiligheid. Welke argumentatie heeft u om deze demonisering te rechtvaardigen in een toch al zo gespannen en daardoor gevaarlijke tijd? Ik stel deze vraag met enige nadruk omdat u ook over de volgende informatie beschikt:

Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme.

17 January 2014

Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the CIA, left the US in late May after leaking to the media details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence. Mr Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, faces espionage charges over his actions.

As the scandal widens, BBC News looks at the leaks that brought US spying activities to light.

US spy agency 'collects phone records'

The scandal broke in early June 2013 when the Guardian newspaper reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.

The paper published the secret court order directing telecommunications company Verizon to hand over all its telephone data to the NSA on an ‘ongoing daily basis.’

That report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and Guardian that the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, to track online communication in a surveillance programme known as Prism.

Britain's electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ was also accused of gathering information on the online companies via Prism.

Shortly afterwards, the Guardian revealed that ex-CIA systems analyst Edward Snowden was behind the leaks about the US and UK surveillance programmes.

He has been charged in the US with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence.

UK spy agency 'taps fibre-optic cables’

The GCHQ scandal widened on 21 June when the Guardian reported that the UK spy agency was tapping fibre-optic cables that carry global communications and sharing vast amounts of data with the NSA, its US counterpart.

The paper revealed it had obtained documents from Edward Snowden showing that the GCHQ operation, codenamed Tempora, had been running for 18 months.

GCHQ was able to boast a larger collection of data than the US, tapping into 200 fibre-optic cables to give it the ability to monitor up to 600 million communications every day, according to the report.

The information from internet and phone use was allegedly stored for up to 30 days to be sifted and analyzed.

Although GCHQ did not break the law, the Guardian suggested that the existing legislation was being very broadly applied to allow such a large volume of data to be collected.

GCHQ and NSA eavesdropping on Italian phone calls and internet traffic was reported by the Italian weekly L'Espresso on 24 October. The revelations were sourced to Edward Snowden.

It is alleged that three undersea cables with terminals in Italy were targeted. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta called the allegations ‘inconceivable and unacceptable’ and said he wanted to establish the truth.

US 'hacks China networks'

After fleeing to Hong Kong, Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post that the NSA had led more than 61,000 hacking operations worldwide, including many in Hong Kong and mainland China.

He said targets in Hong Kong included the Chinese University, public officials and businesses.

‘We hack network backbones — like huge internet routers, basically — that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,’ Mr Snowden was quoted as saying.

EU offices ‘bugged'

Claims emerged on 29 June that the NSA had also spied on European Union offices in the US and Europe, according to Germany's Der Spiegel magazine.

De toenmalige president van het Europese Parlement Martin Schulz verklaarde desgevraagd: ‘I am deeply shocked because I think the United States should treat the European Union not like an enemy.’

The magazine said it had seen leaked NSA documents showing that the US had spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the 27-member bloc's UN office in New York.

The paper added that it had been shown the ‘top secret’ files by Edward Snowden.

One document dated September 2010 explicitly named the EU representation at the UN as a ‘location target,’ Der Spiegel wrote.

The files allegedly suggested that the NSA had also conducted an electronic eavesdropping operation in a building in Brussels, where the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council were located.

It is not known what information US spies might have obtained. But observers say details of European positions on trade and military matters could be useful to those involved in US-EU negotiations.

Merkel's phone calls ‘intercepted'

The German government summoned the US ambassador on 24 October — a very unusual step — after German media reported that the NSA had eavesdropped on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

The allegations dominated an EU summit, with Mrs Merkel demanding a full explanation and warning that trust between allies could be undermined. She discussed the matter by phone with US President Barack Obama. He assured her that her calls were not being monitored now and that it would not happen in future. But the White House did not deny bugging her phone in the past.

Past surveillance by the secret police — whether Nazi or communist — has made Germans very sensitive about privacy issues. Mrs Merkel grew up in the former East Germany, where the Stasi spied on millions of citizens.

France's President Francois Hollande meanwhile expressed alarm at reports that millions of French calls had been monitored by the US.

The Guardian later reported that the NSA had monitored the phones of 35 world leaders after being given their numbers by another US government official. Again, Edward Snowden was the source of the report.

Embassies 'under surveillance’

A total of 38 embassies and missions have been the ‘targets’ of US spying operations, according to a secret file leaked to the Guardian.

Countries targeted included France, Italy and Greece, as well as America's non-European allies such as Japan, South Korea and India, the paper reported on 1 July.

EU embassies and missions in New York and Washington were also said to be under surveillance.

The file allegedly detailed ‘an extraordinary range’ of spying methods used to intercept messages, including bugs, specialised antennae and wire taps.

The Guardian report also mentioned codenames of alleged operations against the French and Greek missions to the UN, as well as the Italian embassy in Washington.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that activities to protect national security were ‘not unusual’ in international relations.

Latin America ‘monitored'

US allies in Latin America were angered by revelations in Brazil's O Globo newspaper on 10 July that the NSA ran a continent-wide surveillance programme.

The paper cited leaked documents showing that, at least until 2002, the NSA ran the operation from a base in Brasilia, seizing web traffic and details of phone calls from around the region.

US agents apparently joined forces with Brazilian telecoms firms to snoop on oil and energy firms, foreign visitors to Brazil, and major players in Mexico's drug wars.

Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile all demanded answers from the US.

But the revelations on Latin America kept coming, and in September more specific claims emerged that emails and phone calls of the presidents of Mexico and Brazil had been intercepted.

Also, the US had been spying on Brazil's state-owned oil firm Petrobras.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a state visit to the US in the most high-profile diplomatic move since the scandal hit.

US spying ‘errors'

Documents leaked to the Washington Post in mid-August suggested the NSA breaks US privacy laws hundreds of times every year.

The papers revealed that US citizens were inadvertently snooped on for reasons including typing mistakes and errors in the system.

In one instance in 2008, a ‘large number’ of calls placed from Washington DC were intercepted after an error in a computer program entered ‘202’ — the telephone area code for Washington DC — into a data query instead of ’20,’ the country code for Egypt.

Later in August, the Washington Post reported that US spy agencies had a "black budget" for secret operations of almost $53bn in 2013.

SMS messages 'collected and stored’

In January 2014, the Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 News reported that the US had collected and stored almost 200 million text messages per day across the globe.

A National Security Agency (NSA) program is said to have extracted and stored data from the SMS messages to gather location information, contacts and financial data.

The documents also revealed that GCHQ had used the NSA database to search for information on people in the UK.

The programme, Dishfire, analyses SMS messages to extract information including contacts from missed call alerts, the location from roaming and travel alerts, financial information from bank alerts and payments and names from electronic business cards, according to the report.

Through the vast database, which was in use at least as late as 2012, the NSA gained information on those who were not specifically targeted or under suspicion, the report says.

The revelations came on the eve of an expected announcement by President Obama of a response to recommendations by a US panel on ways to change US electronic surveillance programmes. 

Ook al deze informatie verzweeg u toen u China en Rusland demoniseerde. Waarom? Ik bedoel: waarom is datgene dat NAVO-bondgenoot de VS routinematig al decennialang doet, ineens een bedreiging voor Nederland zodra China en Rusland hetzelfde doen? En trouwens uw dienst ook. Erik Akerboom, u wist tevens dat al op 22 oktober 2013 het volgende bekend was:

VS: alle landen spioneren

Auteur: ANP Nieuws

De Verenigde Staten hebben laconiek gereageerd op de Franse klachten over Amerikaanse spionagepraktijken.

‘Alle landen voeren spionageoperaties uit,' meldde het Witte Huis maandag.

De Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken John Kerry, maandag in Parijs, liet zich op een zelfde manier uit. Hij liet weten dat hij geen commentaar kan geven op Amerikaanse inlichtingenoperaties, maar zei wel dat ‘veel landen activiteiten ontplooien om hun burgers de wereld te beschermen.’

De Franse krant Le Monde meldde maandag dat de Amerikanen in een maand 70,3 miljoen Franse telefoontjes en miljoenen sms-berichten hebben onderschept. Ze zouden daarbij niet alleen terreurverdachten op het oog hebben gehad, maar ook politici en zakenmensen.

De Franse regering noemde de spionagepraktijken ‘onacceptabel' en riep de Amerikaanse ambassadeur op het matje. 

Erik Akerboom, in haar laatste werk The Life of the Mind (1978), dat postuum verscheen, formuleerde de van origine joods-Duitse filosofe Hannah Arendt het aldus: ‘Het is een treurige waarheid dat het meeste kwaad wordt gedaan door mensen die niet kunnen kiezen tussen goed of kwaad.’

Daarom mijn vraag aan u: waarom gooit u olie op het vuur, nu een wereldoorlog dreigt tussen het Westen enerzijds en anderzijds het ‘opkomende China’ en de rest van Azië? In afwachting van uw antwoord:

Stan van Houcke




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