UN says US spying violates international laws

The United Nation says that spying by the US National Security Agency on UN officials is a violation of well-established international laws.

“We’re aware of the reports and we intend to be in touch with the relevant authorities on this,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters on Monday.

Germany’s weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that NSA experts managed to gain access to the UN video conferencing system in 2012, citing secret US documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The UN spokesman also said that “the inviolability of diplomatic missions, including the United Nations and other international organizations, whose functions are protected by the relevant international conventions like the Vienna Convention, has been well-established international law.”

According to the documents revealed by Snowden, the NSA bugging operations – dubbed “Special Collection Service” – target over 80 embassies and consulates worldwide.

“The surveillance is intensive and well organized and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists,” Der Spiegel wrote.

Der Spiegel previously reported that documents it obtained from Snowden show the NSA bugged the offices of EU officials in Washington and New York. It also bugged EU building in Brussels, Belgium.

Snowden is wanted by the US for leaking classified information about NSA’s sweeping telephone and electronic surveillance programs around the world.


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