Cyprus a Hub for Spying on
private, diplomatic and business
by Ralph Kratzer
Last week I read an article published in the well-known German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ) titled “The Island of Spies”.
What I first thought to be a joke, because it was about Americans coming to the island of Cyprus disguised as tourists in order not to be recognized as spies, was then latest reality in my thinking when I just came by chance to reading the following article published by the Famagusta Gazette:
Mideast, North African and European communications are largely controlled by British intelligence from the Ayios Nikolaos base – a listening station of the spying network ECHELON, according to several reports across the European media.
Private, diplomatic and business communications allegedly all come under surveillance.
According to reports, the British secret service has tapped into at least 14 undersea cables passing through Cyprus using passive optical splitters.
This allegedly enables the GCHQ to process tens of millions of e-mails, sms messages and phone calls on a daily basis to stay informed about practically any activity in the region.
The top secret base, which includes living quarters for British servicemen and their families, is located near the Green line, two miles east of the town of Famagusta and 15 kilometres north of Ayia Napa.
Last year the Times reported that the same British base was providing Syrian rebels with vital intelligence information.
The Joint Service Signal Unit (JSSU), formerly 9th Signal Regiment, is based at Ayios Nikolaos providing both the UK Armed Forces and the United Nations Forces with electronic warfare support and command and control systems.
Following Cyprus gaining independence in 1960, the UK retained two Sovereign Base Areas in Akrotiri and Dhekelia and an RAF Air Marshal was appointed as the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas.
Last week it was claimed that the United States is tapping telephones and monitoring communications networks from electronic surveillance facilities at the US embassy in Nicosia, where half of their roof terrace was used for monitoring operations.
According to reports published in Germany, the American Embassy on Metochiou & Ploutarchou Street in Nicosia also has a collection “shed” on the roof, which could house monitoring equipment.
The placement of suspicious rooftop ‘sheds’ in various countries has been attracting the attention of researchers and journalists for years.
The document was published by the German magazine Der Spiegel and is part of the revelations of Edward Snowdon, a former assistant to the U.S. Secret Service.
Source: Famagusta Gazette
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