According to a report by German newspaper Der Spiegel the NSA bugged the New York Headquarters of the United Nations. The NSA is said to have hacked into the UN’s video conferencing system and coded communications. The documents referenced came from Edward Snowden raising questions about a possible connection to David Miranda’s trip to Germany.
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.
“The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!),” Der Spiegel quoted one document as saying, adding that within three weeks the number of decoded communications rose to 458 from 12.
The documents also exposed spying on the EU delegation in New York and a larger program called the “Special Collection Service.”
According to the documents, the NSA runs a bugging program in more than 80 embassies and consulates worldwide called “Special Collection Service”. “The surveillance is intensive and well organized and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists,” wrote Der Spiegel.
80 embassies? Does America have so many enemies?
And cue the “this has nothing to do with whistleblowing” crowd who would like us to believe that taking this paranoid posture on the world stage is completely irrelevant to the U.S. government seeing the need to spy on its own citizens.
The truth, of course, is you cannot run a massive global spying program that sees the world as a battlefield and then decide you are going to schizophrenically carve out an exception for 300 million people because they are Americans living in the United States. That is not how the world works, especially in the highly connected and interdependent internet age.
The NSA and the Surveillance State need a comprehensive and public review.