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An activist from the Internet Party of Ukraine participates during a rally supporting Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), in front of U.S. embassy, in Kiev June 27, 2013. Former U.S. spy agency contractor Snowden was
This is certainly going to help the U.S. as it tries to work with the UN Security Council to find a response to the situation in Syria.
Aug 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has bugged the United Nations' New York headquarters, Germany's Der Spiegel weekly said on Sunday in a report on U.S. spying that could further strain relations between Washington and its allies.

Citing secret U.S. documents obtained by fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, Der Spiegel said the files showed how the United States systematically spied on other states and institutions.[...]

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.

Yay, indeed.

The files also show that the NSA spied on the European Union's legation in New York, and included "plans of the EU mission, its IT infrastructure and servers." In addition, the NSA monitored the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The documents also detail bugging programs in more than 80 embassies and consulates called "Special Collection Service." Der Spiegel writes of the program that the "surveillance is intensive and well organised and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists."

It's a game. "Let's see if we can hack into UN video conferences!" "Why?" "To see if we can." And they do it. They do it because they can and because they keep getting the money do it. And if they expand their programs, they can keep asking for more money to do it and do more. And because no one is keeping tabs, they can cry "terrorism" and freak out the appropriators enough to get that money. Whether it has anything to do with terrorism or not.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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