NSA Spied On European Union Offices, Computer Networks [Report]

The National Security Agency (NSA) allegedly bugged European Union (EU) offices and hacked into EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents a German magazine claims to have obtained.

The magazine, Der Spiegel, cited a September 2010 “top secret” document belonging to the NSA, which it claimed was taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The document apparently shows how the NSA was able to bug offices and spy on the EU’s internal computer networks in Washington, D.C., and at the United Nations. The agency apparently listened in on phone calls and read the EU’s documents and emails.

The alleged NSA document calls the EU a “target.” This is the third document allegedly leaked by Snowden, who is said to be in Russia, hiding from extradition by the United States. Snowden has been charged with espionage in relation to his first leaks about the NSA’s surveillance programs on Americans.

Der Spiegel added that the NSA targeted telecommunications at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels. It is home to the European Council that groups EU national governments. Every EU member state has an office in Justus Lipsius with phone and internet connections for ministers’ use.

Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, released a statement about the alleged NSA spying on the EU. Schulz announced, “On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification with regard to these allegations.”

He later added on Twitter, “If allegations of bugging of #EU offices by US prove to be true would have severe impact on our relationship.” He wasn’t alone in his surprise and apparent outrage. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn stated:

“If these reports are true, it’s disgusting. The United States would be better off monitoring its secret services rather than its allies. We must get a guarantee from the very highest level now that this stops immediately.”

So far, the United States has not released a statement about the new claims of NSA spying. Meanwhile, whistle blower Edward Snowden is believed to be in the transit lounge of Moscow’s airport, because he lacks a proper visa and passport to travel.

[Image via futureatlas.com]