EU-UK-GCHQ: DATA SURVEILLANCE: Belgacom downplays UK hacking allegations at EU hearing

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"Belgian telecommunications firm Belgacom has played down revelations it was hacked by British intelligence..."

"Why would Belgacom internal systems be a target for a state? We’re talking about a massive, sophisticated attack," Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie in 't Veld, who chaired the hearing, said. Claude Moraes, a British centre-left MEP, noted: "You have allegations of the UK spying on Belgian telephone systems which were part of the infrastructure of the European Union … I think that's quite an unusual allegation and of course it can't just stand, it has to be investigated."

MEPs also criticised the UK for declining to send a speaker.."

See the full text: Belgacom downplays UK hacking allegations at EU hearing (euobserver, link)

And see: European Parliament press release: Belgacom hacking case: MEPs regret UK intelligence service absence at EP hearing (pdf)

Also see full text: UK Permanent Representative in Brussels turning down invitation and leaving an empty chair at the hearing: Letter to LIBE Committee (pdf):

"The activities of intelligence services are equally the sole responsibility of each Member State and fall outside the competences of the Union. For that reason, and with respect, the UK must decline your invitation for the Director of GCHQ to attend your Hearing. Further, it is my Government’s consistent policy not to comment on intelligence matters." [and see US response below]

And see original report: Belgacom Attack: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm - A cyber attack on Belgacom raised considerable attention last week. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and seen by SPIEGEL indicate that Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency was responsible for the attack. (Spiegel Online, link)

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