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This is getting frigging ridiculous.  According to the German magazine, Der Spiegel, the NSA spied on internal videoconferences at the United Nations and on European Union embassies in 2012.

The article is in German, so I am just going to mention some of the main points from the article.

According to Der Spiegel, documents provided by Snowden have revealed that the NSA spied on both the U.N. headquarters in New York and on E.U. embassies as recently as 2012.

While spying on E.U. embassies may not be illegal, it is downright stupid to spy on allies in such a manner and it does incredible damage to our standing throughout the world and, especially, to our standing in allied nations.

The NSA even acknowledged that it could be incredibly damaging to our standing.  In an internal memo they stated that "the existence of listening stations in U.S. consulates and embassies in host member nations should be kept secret at all costs.  If they were to be exposed, it would do severe damage to U.S. relations with the host nations."

Hey NSA, if you don't want to severely damage relations with our allies and other friendly nations, then maybe you just shouldn't be doing the kind of things that will do exactly that!

As for the spying at the United Nations, it is just downright illegal, as we have a no-spy agreement with the United Nations.  Furthermore, we are the main host nation of the United Nations and have a moral responsibility not to abuse the trust given us in such a manner.

The irony is that, when spying on the U.N., we discovered that the Chinese were also spying on the U.N.  Do we really want to be seen as being in the same rogue-statish league as the Chinese??!

Someone needs to put these NSA guys on a tight leash a.s.a.p.  We are supposed to be better than this.  

5:32 AM PT: Deutsche Welle now has an article in English out that is based on the Spiegel article:

"The UN headquarters were being wiretapped by American intelligence agency NSA, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel. If confirmed, it would be against a long-standing agreement between the US and the UN."

Originally posted to Lawrence on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Policy Zone.

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