Issues & Challenges of Intelligence Accountability in Democratic Societies Geneva, 10-12 December 2007 Intelligence Cooperation: Dimensions, Activities and Actors

Thorsten Wetzling Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva Issues Aims to provide a differentiated view on a complex subject to illustrate actors and activities for one selected dimension of intelligence liaison: i.e. European counter-terrorism intelligence cooperation If time permits, to elaborate on promising and less promising means to establish democratic control for concerted intelligence activity Ways to classify intelligence cooperation: - topic: counter-terrorism, economic, espionage, peacekeeping, etc. - location : regional, global, sub-regional - structure/ time: institutionalised or ad hoc - membership: bilateral, multilateral, supranational - authorship: exchange of nationally owned intelligence products // joint production of intelligence - scope: based on either reciprocity or availability, but: can also entail other trading options: intel vs. goods/ access rights Example: European Counter-terrorism intelligence cooperation Caveats Source Types academic articles  reports by investigative journalists reports of parliamentary assemblies and national oversight committees reports by national executives annual reports by national intelligence services publications by or on former intelligence agents reports or press-releases by European organizations National judicial investigations / proceedings internet sources from a wide range of civil-society institutions Actors /organisations: national intelligence and security services (foreign, domestic and military intelligence services); the Club of Bern (CdB); the Middle European Conference (MEC); the Counter Terrorist Group (CTG); the Bureau de Liaison (also known as BDL network); the G-6; for the European Union: Situation Centre (SITCEN), the Satellite Centre (SATCEN) as well as the Intelligence Division (INTDIV) within the EU Military Staff; coordinating bodies: the European Council’s Security Committee, the Terrorism Working Group (TWG), the Working Party on Terrorism (COTER), the Standing Committee on Internal 1

Security (COSI), the Article 36 Committee (CATS) as well as the no longer operational EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. Activities: Q: Based on the intelligence cycle – where does counter-terrorism cooperation come into play? A: It is practiced (with different degrees of intensity) at each individual step of the intelligence cycle. (a) Planning and direction: Bilateral/multilateral dimension: -- installing means for secure communication -- establishment of security standards -- procedural rules on security clearance -- organisation of liaison officer exchanges/ training -- investment in joint technological equipment supranational dimension: -- EU High Rep. formulates framework of important goals and targets. SITCEN then chooses priority objectives which are summarised in the so-called “Watch-list” (b) Collection Refers mostly to the sharing of information Distinction between “raw” and ‘processed” information sharing Bilateral/multilateral dimension: • Ad hoc: historic and recent examples • More institutionalised: shared missions, “varifocal model” (ex. Dutch AIVD) Supranational dimension: • Proposal to grant intelligence services access to VISA Information service • SITCEN gathers information on the items of its Watchlist (c) Processing Obviously, little is publicly known about content of shared / jointly collected material. However, processed information is being shared and fed into national or jointly operated databases (some of which require further decryption efforts) (d) Analysis, production and dissemination Intelligence reports from the CdB and CTG, SitCen are regularly submitted to national and CFSP decision makers in the EU EUROPOL produces Analytical Work Files on terrorist threat scenarios available to all contributing members.

Dimensions: 2

Dimension Bilateral Multilateral EU-level

Depth *** ** *

Activities on the cycle all all limited

Intelligence functions all limited limited

Intelligence sources all all only OSIT, IMINT

Risks: many intelligence cooperation practices serve the interests of democratic states Sometimes it is not the activity, e.g. the actual sharing of information, but the international isation of such practices, i.e. the acting beyond the scope of national intelligence laws that renders it problematic. This can – and has – created windows of opportunities that are then no longer compatible with standards of democratic governance and basic human rights norms • As per the former, one can point to the possibility of avoiding accountability (in fact it opens several different pathways) • As per the later, the sharing of intelligence can certainly jeopardise the right to privacy Unfortunately, intelligence laws in Europe are often “far more rigorous concerning agencies’ activities within its own national borders. […] the collection of intelligence abroad is not regulated with the same stringency […] this area is all too often poorly legislated.” question of accountability for intelligence cooperation is inherently complex: Who seeks what kind of accountability for what kind of cooperation from what kind of actors?


who seeks - national parliaments / international parliamentary bodies -Judicial inquiries / judicial review - Independent investigators on behalf of parliament / government - Executive control

what kind of accountability -Time dimension: Ex ante? (ex. MPs would hold government to account for positions they will take in EU negotiations); ongoing (ex. Immediate access to government files / intel. premises for accountholders); ex post fact -Scope dimension: effectiveness of intelligence governance , policy administration, legality -Obligation dimension: vertical, horizontal, diagonal accountability relationships differ with respect to their assertiveness (monitoring vs. scrutiny) for what kind of cooperation from what kind of actors geographical dimension: sub-regional, Private / public intelligence agencies regional, global Membership National executives EU CFSP decisiondimension: bilateral, multilateral, makers, re: EU intelligence (limited) supranational International users of covertly obtained Depth: ex. Exchange of raw or intelligence in the pursuit of collective processed data, joint training, operation security (UN) voluntary or coerced cooperation National accountability for international intelligence cooperation practices International accountability for international intelligence cooperation practices National parliamentary accountability for bilateral intelligence cooperation practices (case 1) Germany’s parliamentary inquiries into rendition and the bilateral exchange of information with US intelligence on Iraq in 2003 (case 2) The United Kingdom’s ISC inquiry on rendition International accountability for bilateral intelligence cooperation (case 3) The European Parliament’s TDIP committee rendition investigation (case 4) PACE ’s Legal Affairs and Human Rights committee investigation


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