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Der Spiegel says NSA bugged UN headquarters

Citing secret US documents obtained by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden,Der Spiegel said the files showed how the US systematically spied on other states and institutions too.

Written by Reuters | Berlin | Published: August 26, 2013 3:56:55 am

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

Citing secret US documents obtained by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden,Der Spiegel said the files showed how the US systematically spied on other states and institutions too. It said the EU and the UN’s nuclear watchdog,the International Atomic Energy Agency,were among those targeted by US intelligence agents.

In the summer of 2012,NSA experts succeeded in getting into the UN video conferencing system and cracking its coding system,according a document cited by Der Spiegel.

“The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!),” Der Spiegel quoted the 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 programme in more than 80 embassies and consulates worldwide called “Special Collection Service”.

“The surveillance is intensive and well organised and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists,” wrote Der Spiegel.

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