Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Spying on their allies again

The Intercept has a major new story about the US's intelligence relationship with Turkey, and how the US monitors the Kurds for the Turkish government, even helping them target hit squads. But at the same time as they're spying for the Turks, they're also spying on them:

The degree to which the NSA surveils its partner is made clear in the National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF), a document establishing U.S. intelligence priorities. Updated and presented to the president every six months, the NIPF shows a country’s “standing” from the perspective of the U.S. In the April 2013 edition, Turkey is listed as one of the countries most frequently targeted by Washington for surveillance, with U.S. intelligence services tasked with collecting data in 19 different areas of interest.

The document places Turkey at the level of Venezuela—and even ahead of Cuba—in terms of U.S. interest in intelligence collection. Information about the “leadership intention” of the Turkish government is given the second-highest priority rating, and information about the military and its infrastructure, foreign policy goals, and energy security are given the third-highest priority rating. The same framework also lists the PKK as an intelligence target, but it is given a much lower priority ranking.

They hack Turkish government computers, they intercept mobile phone calls from the US embassy, they infect computers with spyware and trojans. And they share all the results with their "Five Eyes" partners, including New Zealand. So, through the US, we're effectively spying on Turkey as well, a country we have good and peaceful relations with.

This is likely to have diplomatic fallout, and further alienate Turkey from the US. Another example of how spies undermine friendships and poison international relations.