Madrid, 28 April 2022
Marquees occupied by Tsunami Democràtic | EFE
Fernando Grande-Marlaska assured in 2019 that the Government would end up finding out who was hiding behind the Tsunami Democràtic brand.
According to ‘El Confidencial’, the Government authorised the CNI to spy on 18 leaders of Tsunami Democràtic. One of those spied on is an engineer who has led Citizen Lab’s investigation into the alleged spying on Catalan independence, Elies Campo Cid, 39.
The investigation, led by this engineer into the spying on 65 pro-independence supporters, does not identify those responsible for the alleged espionage, but points to the CNI and other Spanish intelligence services. According to Elíes Campo’s audit, the bulk of the wiretapping of pro-independence supporters would have taken place in 2019 and 2020.
These dates coincide with the preparations and development of Tsunami Democràtic, the wave of street protests against the 1-O ruling that provoked street riots in the centre of Barcelona and the blockade of El Prat airport. The spying was related to these demonstrations and there would have been a prior and individualised authorisation by the Supreme Court.
Marlaska announced the investigation into the pro-independence movement
The Government’s authorisation for this espionage came through two channels: through the 2019 ‘Intelligence Directive’ and the then acting Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who the day after the demonstrations at Barcelona airport’s Terminal 1 said that he would end up finding out who was hiding behind the Tsunami Democràtic brand. “We have really effective intelligence and information services, and I have no doubt that we will end up finding out who is behind it,” he said.
Three days after these statements, Grande-Marlaska appeared to announce that progress had been made in the investigation and warned that the events would not go unpunished. “They have been carried out by minority groups, very organised, with command and strategy,” he said.
In addition to planning the protests, the precursors of Tsunami Democràtic devised a technological infrastructure that would allow the leadership of the ‘procés’ to communicate in real time with their followers in a secure way. The names of the creators of this infrastructure are: Jordi Baylina, who lives in Switzerland; Pau Escrich, an engineer from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona; and Elies Campo Cid, the author of the Citizen Lab report on espionage.
The three of them were in charge of programming the Tsunami Democràtic application and created a mass communication channel on ‘Telegram’ to secretly announce the different actions without the State Security Forces having time to anticipate or abort them.
According to ‘El Confidencial’ sources, the espionage system Pegasus was used in the case of Elíes Campos and 17 other people, all of them linked to the movement close to the CDR.
The Government disassociates the CNI from the rest of the wiretaps
The government disassociates the CNI from the rest of the eavesdropping on other pro-independence activists and the Minister of Defence, in her statements on Wednesday during the government control session, limited the scope and extent of the interventions carried out and justified that they were carried out at a very specific moment. “What does a state, a government, have to do when someone violates the Constitution, when someone declares independence, when someone cuts off public roads, when someone carries out public disorder, when someone is having relations with political leaders of a country that is invading Ukraine,” said the minister.