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Appeared on: Sunday, June 30, 2013
NSA Was Spying on European Union Offices: report

The National Security Administration (NSA) has been also conducted spying against EU facilities, a German magazine on Saturday.

According to SPIEGEL information, the US placed bugs in the EU representation in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. Cyber attacks were also perpetrated against Brussels in New York and Washington, the magazine added.

SPIEGEL claims its obtained a September 2010 "top secret" U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) document, which shows that NSA not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions.

The document suggests that in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the EU representation's computer network was also infiltrated. In this way, the Americans were able to access discussions in EU rooms as well as emails and internal documents on computers.

For weeks now, new details about Prism and other surveillance programs have been emerging that had been compiled by whistleblower Snowden. The Washington Post has posted online NSA slides that bring more light on the PRISM data-collection program.

Details have also emerged that the British intelligence service GCHQ operates a similar program under the name Tempora with which global telephone and Internet connections are monitored.

The documents also indicate the US intelligence service was responsible for an electronic eavesdropping operation in Brussels. Five years ago, EU security experts noticed several telephone calls that were apparently targeting the remote maintenance system in the Justus Lipsius Building where the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council is located. The calls were made to numbers that were very close to the one used for the remote administration of the building's telephone system.

Security officials managed to track the calls, which were originated from a building complex separated from the rest of the NATO headquarters that is used by NSA experts, SPIEGEL reported.

The National Intelligence did not comment on the Der Spiegel story.

The European Union demands that the United States explain a report.

"The European Union is aware of the press reports, alleging that EU prem ises have been under surveillance," said the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission. "As soon as we saw these reports, the European External Action Service made contact with the US authorities in both Washington DC and Brussels to seek urgent clarification of the veracity of and facts surrounding these allegations. The US authorities have told us they are checking on the accuracy of the information released yesterday and will come back to us as soon as possible. While this is clearly a matter for concern, we will make no further comments at this stage, until we have more clarity on the matter."

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