Countries that cooperate with the NSA

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

July 28, 2014

If you have ever wondered which counties are in cahoots with the NSA in its mission to spy on everybody everywhere all the time, this slide, stolen by wistleblower Edward Snowden and published by journalist Glen Greenwald, is pretty informative.


As redditer goldman_ct wrily observed,

  • Second parties means : Ethnic white english speaking protestant alliance. Basically the former british empire but under a new leadership.
  • Third means : work closely but don’t trust.
  • Countries not listed means targets.

Israel is under a special category. More trusted than the average ally, much more aggressive than most enemies.

ileg_dh insightfully added,

Second Party means they work closely and share a lot, and almost never spy on them. Third Party means they work with them but also spy on them regularly. All countries not listed are targets and almost never partners.

The NSA benefits from third party relationships because partner national security organisations will spy on their own citizens and their neighbours for the NSA – places the NSA cannot legally reach. In return, partner countries receive high tech toys, and the more willing they are to break the rules, the more they are rewarded. According to the Foreign Affairs Directorate blog,

NSA might be willing to share advanced technologies in return for that partner’s willingness to do something politically risky.’

Particularly worrying is the fact that it seems spy organizations cooperate with the NSA without their government’s knowledge or permission,

In many of our foreign partners’ capitals, few senior officials outside of the defence-intelligence apparatuses are witting to any SIGINT connection to the USA/NSA.’

Interestingly, the only European counties not on the list are Iceland, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland and Monaco, which means these are probably good countries for VPN providers to be based.