Edward Snowden about Dutch intelligence services: 'They really sort of do what we tell them'

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[Interviewer:] How does the American intell world look at the Dutch services? What reputation do they have?

[Edward Snowden, whistle-blower and former NSA employee:] European intelligence services have a very good relationship with US intelligence services as a general rule. The Dutch relationship as sort as the surveillance kings of Europe, are obviously quite comfortable and quite close to the NSA. However the reputation of the Dutch services, in the working level - the actual intelligence agencies and other people there - they don't have the same respect that other services might get. For example, the French intelligence services are extraordinarily sophisticated - they were the only services that CIA officers operating in Europe actually fear, in counter intelligence terms like that, they are very aggressive and they are very good. The Dutch services in comparison are seen more as subordinate; they sort of work for the American services. They aren't seen as having independent policies on their own. They really sort of do what we tell them and then we share things in return with them. US intelligence services don't value the Dutch for their capabilities, they value them for their access, they value them for their geography, they value them for the fact that they have cables and satellites, sort of a vantage point that enables them to spy on their neighbors and others in the region in a unique way. And by taking advantage of that, the NSA can use their capabilities to a greater advantage relative to if they did not have that partnership.

[Interviewer:] They never complain? They are loyal allies?

[Edward Snowden:] Right. In general yeah. [...]

[Interviewer:] How would you characterize the steps the Dutch government is currently taken?

[Edward Snowden:] I think in many ways they are being pressured by offices such as the foreign affairs division in the National Security Agency and other partners in Europe, to join sort of this five eyes method of operation. Five eyes in the sort of unholy alliance: the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to create sort of a surveillance superstate that shares all of its information.

[Interviewer:] How does that pressure work?

[Edward Snowden:] They'll go: we no longer share this information with you unless you can increase your domestic production, unless you can provide more information of value to us. I think this is actually a very good question to ask of the people debating this law. Have the AIVD and the MIVD had any communication or any coordination with the National Security Agency, as to what authorities they should request, how they should be used, and if they intend or are willing to share the product of this new surveillance system with the National Security Agency and other foreign intelligence agencies. Are they intending or have they considered methods in which they can share the private information collected in The Netherlands with people in foreign countries.

[Interviewer:] You're basically saying, the NSA has it's own division to at least pressure these countries?

[Edward Snowden:] Right, but they don't publicly admit that.

source: Interview Edward Snowden in Russia by Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal; Transcript from video; nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2014570-snowden-aivd-en-mivd-zijn-ondergeschikt-aan-de-vs.html; Nieuwsuur; 21 January 2015