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NSA reportedly bugged European Union offices in Washington DC, the UN, and abroad

NSA reportedly bugged European Union offices in Washington DC, the UN, and abroad

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According to a "top secret" National Security Agency (NSA) document, the US bugged the offices of European Union member state offices in Washington and at the UN and gained access to computer networks used at those locations. The latest report revealing spy activities by the NSA comes from German news magazine Der Spiegel, which says it saw parts of documents in whistleblower Edward Snowden's possession. Snowden was also behind leaks that revealed the NSA's massive PRISM program, designed to spy on internet users, as well as documents that shed light on the British government's involvement in the program.

Europeans called out as a "target"

Today's leak, according to the Der Spiegel report, reveals that NSA efforts to spy on European Union representatives in the US granted access to conversations as well as emails and other documents stored on computers used at locations in Washington and the United Nations. Europeans were apparently specifically mentioned as a target in the source document, which is dated from September of 2010. The spying methods resemble those reportedly used by the British at the 2009 G20 Summit in London, which saw the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) tap into phones and computers used by heads of state. That surveillance campaign was uncovered by a separate Snowden leak earlier this month.

In addition to NSA efforts to listen in on EU representatives in the US, the agency is said to have spied on telecommunications at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels (pictured above), where the Council of the European Union sits. EU member states have offices at the building with internet connections and phone lines, and it's presumed that the NSA tapped into at least some of those communications. It's not clear if this information comes from the same document, but Der Spiegel reports that five years ago security officers at the Justus Lipsius building traced some missed calls to NSA offices at a NATO building in Brussels.