3 April 2014
The exchange of information between Dutch intelligence services and the United States National Security Agency (NSA) is no longer taking place entirely outside the public eye. After a graph published in German news magazine Der Spiegel in August 2013 initially seemed to suggest that the NSA had intercepted 1.8 million records of metadata from Dutch phone calls in the period of December 2012 to January 2013, it became clear this February that Dutch intelligence services had gathered these records themselves, and had subsequently shared them with the NSA. This information consisted of metadata records gathered in the context of anti-terrorism and military operations abroad.
A substantial share of Dutch intelligence efforts is directed towards Somalia, and millions of Somali phone calls have been intercepted from both the Dutch town of Burum and Dutch navy ship HMS Rotterdam. The Netherlands has been collecting this information in order to support the Dutch contribution to the navy missions combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden. The (meta)data is shared with the NSA (who do not have access to Somali telephone traffic) and in return the US has provided the Netherlands with technical support needed to intercept local telephone traffic from the HMS Rotterdam. (more…)