The Dutch agencies are regarded as ‘subordinate’ Snowden, who worked for both the NSA and CIA, said in the interview. ‘The Dutch work for the Americans. They do what they are told,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘They are not valued in terms of their capacities but for the access they offer. The NSA uses this.’
The Dutch parliament is currently working on new legislation to give more powers to the security services and politicians need to be alert to the consequences, Snowden said.
The NSA, he claims, has pressured the Netherlands to pass the new laws via a special division set up to expand legal mass surveillance opportunities. The NSA denies such a service exists.
MPs will discuss the new plans, which give the security services access to internet cables, in the coming weeks. ‘This is a way of getting access to all the communications used by the modern Dutch citizen, from smartphone to website visits to emails,’ Snowden said.
The whistleblower said he did not trust the privacy guarantees offered by homes affairs minister Ronald Plasterk and defence minister Jeanine Hennis.
‘We know the Dutch security services do not always keep strictly to the law such as when it comes to listening in on lawyers,’ he said.