Today the German news magazine Der Spiegel has released more information based on NSA revelation by Edward Snowden that the US has been systematically spying on UN governments and delegations.
Der Spiegel said the European Union and the U.N.’s Vienna-based nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), were among those targeted by U.S. intelligence agents.
In the summer of 2012, NSA experts succeeded in getting into the U.N. video conferencing system and cracking its coding system, according one of the documents cited by Der Spiegel.
“The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!),” Der Spiegel quoted one document as saying, adding that within three weeks the number of decoded communications rose to 458 from 12.
According to the documents, the NSA runs a bugging program in more than 80 embassies and consulates worldwide called “Special Collection Service”. “The surveillance is intensive and well organized and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists,” wrote Der Spiegel. [My italics-MS]
The ‘war on terrorism’ is being increasingly seen as a cover for the government to violate the norms of behavior. It will be interesting to see how those governments that are allies and clients of the US explain to their own people that the US treats them the same way as it does its perceived enemies.