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Der Spiegel: Snowden docs reveal U.S. intelligence operations against U.N., E.U.

Der Spiegel: Snowden docs reveal U.S. intelligence operations against U.N., E.U.

Snowden leaks go to heart of U.S. intelligence operations, not just “privacy”

The National Security Agency secretly monitored the headquarters of the United Nations and gained access to its internal video conferencing system, according to German magazine Der Spiegel, citing documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

From Reuters:

The U.S. National Security Agency has bugged the United Nations’ New York headquarters, Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly said on Sunday in a report on U.S. spying that could further strain relations between Washington and its allies.

Citing secret U.S. documents obtained by fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, Der Spiegel said the files showed how the United States systematically spied on other states and institutions.

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.

Der Spiegel has previously published reports that cited NSA documents obtained by Edward Snowden it had seen.  In an article co-bylined by Laura Poitras earlier this month, the outlet reported that German intelligence sends intercepted data to the NSA, after it published similar claims made in an interview with the NSA leaker weeks earlier.

On Friday, The Independent published a report in which it revealed that the UK runs an internet monitoring station in the Middle East as part of its counter-terrorism surveillance activities.  The article noted that, while it would not reveal the location of this station, the information is contained in Snowden’s leaked NSA documents. It did not, however, cite Snowden as the actual source.

The Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald responded by publishing a denial from Edward Snowden that he was the source of  the information leaked to The Independent. Snowden went on to accuse the UK government of leaking the information itself.

I have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent. The journalists I have worked with have, at my request, been judicious and careful in ensuring that the only things disclosed are what the public should know but that does not place any person in danger. People at all levels of society up to and including the President of the United States have recognized the contribution of these careful disclosures to a necessary public debate, and we are proud of this record.

“It appears that the UK government is now seeking to create an appearance that the Guardian and Washington Post’s disclosures are harmful, and they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information to The Independent and attributing it to others. The UK government should explain the reasoning behind this decision to disclose information that, were it released by a private citizen, they would argue is a criminal act.”

Greenwald indicated in that article that very few could be the source of The Independent’s report, saying, “the class of people who qualify is very small, and includes, most prominently and obviously, the UK government itself.”

While the surveillance of the UN building is alleged to have occurred in the US, this latest leak of information appears more focused on targets with a foreign intelligence operations purpose.  This seems to conflict with prior claims that the purpose of reporting Snowden’s leaks was to reveal privacy violations that infringed on the civil liberties of Americans.


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I’d be upset if we weren’t spying on them.

hes lost control of the data OR he wasn’t the patriot everyone hoped.
I am still not sure on him so with holding judgment.

    healthguyfsu in reply to dmacleo. | August 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Hoping somewhat foolishly that he has to do some of this to placate Russia…after all, they have a huge interest in news like this coming out.

    mzk in reply to dmacleo. | August 26, 2013 at 4:29 am

    He’s only a patriot if you think of yourself as a citizen of the world, as he does.

Well, in a week the papers will be concerned with that international story of critical importance: the Obamas’ new puppy.

Summer of 2012? Gee, that wasn’t when those nasty Republicans were in the White House…
You mean to say our igNobel Prize winning leader was behind this?

Obviously Bush personally set up the surveillance and Obama just found out about it from reading the papers this week. /sarc

    Thank you for using a sarcasm tag. Although given the subject matter it should be obvious to anybody reading it that the Obamassaiah can’t blame Bush forever when their bad acts come to light.

Read the article in the indy with a keen eye… I don’t think the person(s) writing ever saw anything. Nothing, Nada. Zip. Zilch.

They just reported what they were told to report.

BannedbytheGuardian | August 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm


I think we knew this.

Try another one on for size.

The 4th Circuit has already told the NY Times that their reporter, James Risen must testify in the case Eric Holder is holding against an ex-CIA operative named Sterling … who “leaked.”

Except now we know how Holder found out. Using N.S.A.

Besides the fact that the 4th Circuit (judges be damned!) … Says “in a criminal trial” the reporter MUST testify.

I wonder what can of worms opens …

China is looking for a million cockroaches that got away. (No kidding.)

What is truly amazing (and wonderful) is how fast Greenwald is able to counter propaganda. Don’t forget what Cameron is doing is trying to enable the propaganda machinery to cancel out the truth.

Remember, too, that Glenn Greenwald carries a law degree. He got it from NYU-LAW in 1994.

So he’s not naive.

The newspapers shouldn’t belong to governments! What keeps us free is being informed of the hanky panky most politicians are up to. And, they don’t fight fair.

The WAG THE DOG story, ahead, where the USA attacks syria … does have precedent in that movie. That was done to show “the penis story of Bill Clinton” … being combated by a fake war story.

Let’s hope Obama dithers away from the WAG THE DOG option.

    To my knowledge, the movie was intended as just another tired attack upon Republicans (GBI, Iraq). It just happened to come out when Clinton made it close to true. The Left is unsatirizable, because there is no unbiased press to stop it from doing anything at all.

The fact is that most of the secret information Snowden, Greenwald, and cronies have released compromises foreign sources and methods and has NOTHING to do with the privacy of American citizens.

They are spies, not whistle-blowers. The fact that their stolen secrets have brought out the need for closer oversight of NSA and other agencies does NOT make them “patriots” by any stretch of imagination.

Of course we spy on the UN, the G-20, our allies and foes around the world and in fact any nation which can directly affect either our national interests directly or indirectly through their effect on regional security. And they spy on us to the full extent of their capability. Who is dumb enough they thought we did not?

But these revelations give too much detail, and can help those who wish us ill evade our spying.

Greenwald hates America, is a serial liar and poseur, and a tax cheat. He’s no friend to freedom in any respect, and never has been.

The scariest thing to me is that the NSA gives such liberal access to people of Snowden’s ilk.

A couple of points, If the independent hasn’t alleged that Snowden is the lean, then why is Snowden implicated in this revelation. why not just lead, “UK unveils spy station for emails in the Middle East”:?

And if we really have secret access to the UN, while the hell are we getting our asses handed to us all the time there. You would think that such a super power with that kind of information would mean that we could run circles around everyone diplomatically, or perhaps maybe the UN is about pointless as everything thinks it is now that there is only one super power there.