Report: NSA Bugged UN Headquarters

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 25 2013 2:43 PM

Report: NSA Bugged United Nations Headquarters, Spied on European Union Diplomats

80692349
A view of the United Nations Headquarters

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

So much for the claims that the National Security Agency has been carrying out massive surveillance solely to prevent terrorist attacks. In the latest claims that will likely further complicate relations between Washington and its allies, Germany’s Der Spiegel, a weekly publication, says documents obtained by former contractor Edward Snowden showed the NSA bugged the United Nations’ New York headquarters. If confirmed, the spying would be illegal because the United States has a long-standing agreement with the United Nations regarding covert operations, notes Deutsche Welle. According to the German weekly, the NSA appears to have been able to access the video conferencing system used at the U.N. headquarters.

And it doesn't stop there. Der Spiegel says it has seen documents showing how the NSA also spied on European Union diplomats in New York. The U.N.’s Vienna-based nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency  was also targeted by U.S. spies, according to the Reuters report on the German story. Der Spiegel claims the NSA has eavesdropping programs in more than 80 embassies and consulates across the world. "The surveillance is intensive and well organised and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists," wrote Der Spiegel.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?