US spied on UN: German weekly

Berlin, Aug 26 (IANS) US intelligence agency tapped the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, a German weekly reported Sunday.

Citing secret documents, the German magazine Der Spiegel said that by analysing the documents from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden it found American National Security Agency penetrated UN’s internal video conference system and cracked its encryption last summer, Xinhua reported.

This led to “a dramatic improvement of data on video conferencing and the ability to decrypt that data” for NSA, according to the documents. Within three weeks, the number of decrypted communications had risen from 12 to 458.

The magazine also claimed that the US intelligence agency spied on the European Union mission after it moved to its new embassy in New York September last year.

The new embassy’s plans, as well as its IT infrastructure and server, were among Snowden’s copies of the NSA documents.

According to the documents analysed by the weekly, NSA also ran a monitoring programme including more than 80 embassies and consulates worldwide. The programme was called “Special Collection Service” and operated without the knowledge of the host country.

NSA documents urged to keep the existence of the programme as a secret at all costs, as “relations with the host country would be seriously damaged”, if it was leaked, Der Spiegel reported.

IANS 2013-08-26 07:32:09

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