Category Archives: Uncategorized

Will Western Sahara be protected from EU-Morocco trade deal?

A recent decision in the European Council may enable Morocco to export goods from the occupied Western Sahara to the EU. The decision will be put to the vote in the European Parliament, which is likely to happen in the autumn. Read more in Swedish on the web site of Tidskriften Västsahara. For a background on how Western Sahara’s natural resources are plundered, see for example a broadcast in English on Democracy Now.

Protests against Ramstein base in Germany

Ramstein Air Base is a United States Air Force base is southwestern Germany. It is also headquarter of NATO Allied Air Command. Former US colonel and diplomat Ann Wright took an active part in this year’s protest week Stop Air Base Ramstein. In a recent interview, she said:

The issue of what goes on in Ramstein, being a coordinating center for the assassination of peoples in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Niger, Yemen,… all coming through Germany, should make the German Government think.

One present estimate is that 7,715-11,067 people, of which 252-345 children, have been killed in US drone strikes and other covert actions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. But the German government pretends to not know what is going on, even when a German citizen is killed in a drone attack in Pakistan.

“It is simply murder,” says Björn Schiffbauer, of the Institute for International Law at the University of Cologne. He argues that Air Force personnel used in the drone attacks could be prosecuted as war criminals by German prosecutors in the city of Zweibrücken, who have authority for the region.

But that has not happened, according to an article in Spiegel.

Also other European countries are involved. A proposed site in Italy would “act as a back-up system to the Ramstein site to avoid single point of failure.” Swedish and Norwegian satelite stations are believed to assist.

For more information about the protests and to sign a petition (in German), see Stopp Air Base Ramstein.

Prominent whistleblowers and journalists defend Julian Assange

Peter van Buren wrote yesterday:

This weekend I joined a number of people for an online vigil in support of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. Some have asked why I did it: after all, Assange is at best an imperfect figure. But supporting Assange transcends just him, because the battle over his prosecution is about something greater: the future of free speech and a free press. Even if you think Assange doesn’t matter, those things do.

Read about the support for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks from Suzie Dawson, Daniel Ellsberg, Chris Hedges, Craig Murray, Ray McGovern, William Binney, Cian Westmoreland and others. If you want to help Accoun support whistleblowers, you are welcome to contact us.

Will there ever be justice for the Belgacom hack?

The Intercept recently wrote about how UK spies hacked a European ally and got away with it. However, the UK’s sigint agency GCHQ were obviously not hacking Belgacom on their own. Information is also available that the Swedish sigint agency FRA participated in similar type of activity. Both GCHQ and FRA are believed to participate in what is sometimes called the “European bazaar“, said to be run by the NSA in the USA to spy on EU citizens.

According to Swedish Television’s Uppdrag Granskning (link to content in Swedish), it appears that FRA participates in Quantum, which means NSA’s secret hacking programs, at least in April 2013. Note the timing with the Belgacom hack. In the summer of 2013 European investigators were looking into this unprecedented breach of Belgium’s telecommunications infrastructure. Ryan Gallagher writes more on his blog about how the NSA’s goal was to transition activities, that may be illegal in the UK, to the Swedish partner.

Changing of European laws to allow mass surveillance “for our security” has obviously also opened the door for critical infrastructure to be undermined.

FraLaw

Illustration by Carlos Latuff, available on Wikimedia Commons