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Why did NSA spy on UN? Not to counter terrorism, secret documents show.

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Michael Probst/AP/File

(Read caption) A protester holds a makeshift video camera outside the US Army's 'Dagger Complex' near Griesheim, Germany, on July 20. The massively secured property is run by the US military and supposed to be used by the US National Security Agency.

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The National Security Agency (NSA) has bugged United Nations and European Union internal communications, according to secret documents obtained by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and disclosed by the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

The story, published Sunday, charges that the NSA “infiltrated the Europeans’ internal computer network between New York and Washington, used US embassies abroad to intercept communications, and eavesdropped on video conferences of UN diplomats.” Among the UN activities targeted by the NSA, Der Spiegel says, was the UN’s Vienna-based nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The report also asserts that there are “secret eavesdropping posts in 80 US embassies and consulates around the world,” which the NSA operates along with the Central Intelligence Agency. The program is referred to as the “Special Collection Service.”


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