CPP condemns US cellphone and online surveillance in Philippines

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
May 24, 2014

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the US government and its security, defense and intelligence apparatus for conducting cellphone surveillance in the Philippines where the US collects all text messages and metadata in an outright case of interventionism in violation of Philippine national sovereignty and in all-out contempt of Filipino privacy rights and local laws.

"The CPP calls on the Filipino people to unite and denounce US spying in the Philippines and demand the revelation of all details of US spy operations in the country. The Filipino people must stand firm and demand an immediate end to US spying operations."



"The Filipino people must hold the Aquino regime responsible for allowing the US intelligence agencies to conduct its spy operations in the Philippines. It is an act of national treachery for the Aquino regime to allow or fail to act against wholesale US online and cellphone surveillance which have victimized the Filipino people.

"Every Filipino is a victim of US cellphone surveillance," said the CPP. "At the scale and extent to which the US carried out its data collection, it is highly likely that every text message being sent by every Filipino has ended up not only in the inbox at the other end of the conversation, but in the massive inbox of the US NSA, in outright violation of every Filipino's privacy rights."

In a report published in the online publication The Intercept, it was revealed that the NSA has already put in place its MYSTIC data collection program which gathers text messages content and metadata (time, location and other data related to the text message). It pointed to an entry in the 2013 budget proposal of the US intelligence community that seeks allocations to "sustain MYSTIC capabilities to provide comprehensive metadata access and content against targeted communications in [], Kenya, Caribbean, Mexico and the Philippines."

"It is apparent that the MYSTIC program has been put into place with the consent and cooperation of the local telecommunications companies as indicated by its capability at real-time surveillance," pointed out the CPP. The same budget entry state that the MYSTIC program offers "real-time, complete access to the additional target country's GSM network(s) and provides for retrospective tasking and near-real-time access/delivery of metadata".

The CPP has long denounced US intelligence operations in the Philippines as indicated by the setting up of an office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) within the PNP national headquarters in order to conduct surveillance operations in the country.

The CPP pointed out further "that in having set up its spy apparatus in the Philippines, the US government is capable of gathering valuable political intelligence which it can use to effectively intervene, influence and ensure a favorable outcome of Philippine elections."

The CPP cited an article published last May 8 by the French newspaper Le Monde which revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had conducted spying operations against Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sec. Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The Le Monde article was based on documents held by Edward Snowden, a former contractual employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA), who left his former employer to protest the electronic surveillance methods which violate the privacy rights of every single internet user.

"By collecting information on both Binay and Roxas, as well as all other government officials and politicians, the US is out to take hold of every and all pieces of information it can use to make the Philippine government pliable to US policy," added the CPP. Binay and Roxas are among the politicians believed to be gunning for the Philippine presidency in 2016.

"Neither Binay nor Roxas found anything wrong with the US spy agencies listening to all their phone conversations and collecting all their text messages," said the CPP. "This is either a testimony of the colonial, mendicant and pro-US mindset of Filipino politicians or to the fact that they have already been bagged by the US using the collected intelligence information."