PRISM: NSA allegedly spying on EU politicians

Edward Snowden papers show agency bugged embassies and missions.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has allegedly been spying on diplomats and politicians from around the globe using wire tapping and phone bugging techniques.

The revelations, which come from the classified documents detailing the NSA's PRISM interception programme, show up to 38 embassies and missions were considered "targets", the Guardian claims.

We cannot accept this kind of behaviour between partners and allies.

According to the list, which dates from 2012, EU missions were targeted, as well as French, Italian and Greek embassies and Japanese, Mexican, South Korean, Indian and Turkish diplomatic outposts.

The documents, which were delivered to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and made public on 7 June, show the codename for the bugging operation at the EU mission to the UN was "Perdido" Spanish for "lost".

Allegedly, the operation included the collection of data transmitted by bugs placed inside communication devices, and the apparent copying of one computer's entire hard drive.

Another set of operations, which this time targeted the EU delegation to the US in Washington, included the targeting of the embassy's staff, via bugging and interception of transmissions using specialised antennae.

The revelations have drawn further condemnation from member states of the European Union, which had hit out after it was discovered PRISM had been used to spy on European citizens' data.

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister, said America's behaviour was "reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war".

French President Franois Hollande said the revelations could threaten the planned trade pact between the US and EU, discussions for which are supposed to start on 8 July.

"We cannot accept this kind of behaviour between partners and allies," Hollande added. "We ask that it immediately stop."

Vivian Reding, the European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, said: "Partners do not spy on each other. We cannot negotiate over a big transatlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators."

Elmar Brok, head of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, sounded a similar note, asking "how should we still negotiate if we must fear that our negotiating position is being listened to beforehand?"

The European Commission is awaiting confirmation as to the accuracy of the reports from both Washington DC and the US delegation in Brussels before deciding what action to take, according to a spokesperson.

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Recommended

TechUK panel slams "woeful" gov response to digital IDs
identity and access management (IAM)

TechUK panel slams "woeful" gov response to digital IDs

4 Sep 2020
The Ritz suffers data breach after hackers pose as staff
data breaches

The Ritz suffers data breach after hackers pose as staff

17 Aug 2020
NSA warns smartphone users of ‘large scale data tracking’
privacy

NSA warns smartphone users of ‘large scale data tracking’

5 Aug 2020
Russia hacked Liam Fox's personal email to steal trade documents
phishing

Russia hacked Liam Fox's personal email to steal trade documents

4 Aug 2020

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
Windows Server flaw sparks emergency US gov warning
vulnerability

Windows Server flaw sparks emergency US gov warning

21 Sep 2020