NSA practices cannot be excused as ‘fighting terrorism’

The NSA has attacked key European institutions such as the EU parliament and banking system, using malware to find out all there is to know about other countries in a power game, Andy Mueller-Moguhn, founder of Buggedplannet.info, tells RT.

He says that in a world where so many communications go over the web we all have something to protect rather than something to hide, as proponents of mass surveillance often argue.

RT:No matter what precautions companies take or measures to protect the privacy of subscribers isn’t the agency [NSA] capable of bypassing all these routes?

Andy Mueller-Moguhn: I would say it like this; unfortunately in Germany we have a situation that the trustworthiness or our foreign and interior intelligence service watching their high level of cooperation with the NSA and GCHQ does not make them trustworthy at all.  If they can intercept the stuff, they might hand it over in a bargain to the Americans, which is not helpful.

So this means that what is to be done, is to ensure on whatever level in whatever country that encryption for the end user is becoming available like easy to use and as a standard tool, because you send your postal letters in an envelope so should you do with your emails.

RT:Let’s look at the situation from both sides. On the one hand we have the privacy of citizens that has of course to be respected, but on the other hand there are some companies who are fighting hard to protect their privacy. Doesn’t that give us a cause for concern, that they have something to hide, some skeletons in the closet as they say?

AMM: The point is that we have seen that installations of the United States National Security Agency, attacking also carriers in Europe, as we’ve seen with things that have nothing to do with terrorism or with fighting terrorism. They have a lot to do with power games or with knowing everything about other countries, about business, about embassies, about other country’s governments as we also see with the Brazilian presidential interception. 

AFP Photo / Jose Jordan

So obviously the thing that you have nothing to hide is totally wrong in the case that everybody has something to protect and in the days where everything, cultural, economic, political, things go over the internet and advance knowledge of a political decision, which can have for example an impact on stock rates, on currencies, on country’s reputations and so on. This is worth a lot of money and we have not really come to the bottom, we have seen a big part of this NSA approach, we have seen a lot of money, a lot of effort internationally to intercept all communications, but we have not yet come to the question, who is the customer, in the sense who are the guys ordering this, getting the product and using that.

That it is still a very interesting question where we come to monetary, political and other influences being taken with blackmailing, with greymailing, with advanced knowledge about what other people think, act and do.

RT:You mentioned an interesting point here saying that it’s not the point whether we have something to hide, but it’s what we have to protect. In that case what’s your take on the role of America as a global policeman? Does it have any moral authority to conduct global surveillance?

AMM: The point is that we have seen attacks, not passive interception but buggedplannet.info was subject to an attack in the sense that there was malware installed in the system, there were exploits used, the NSA literally took control over the network. This cannot be excused with fighting terrorism at all. This obviously was targeting the European parliament, it was targeting the European airspace control, it was targeting the SWIFT network or the banking network, so obviously there is no moral excuse here in terms of this being to do with fighting terrorism or ensuring security. This is about the global interest of the United States against other European and other peaceful acting countries and democratic organized entities.