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The United States bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal  computer networks, according to secret documents cited in a German magazine on  Saturday, the latest in a series of exposures of alleged U.S. spy  programs.

Europen Union IT spied on by NSA

Der Spiegel cited from a September 2010 “top secret” document  of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) which it said fugitive former NSA  contractor Edward Snowden had taken with him and which the weekly’s journalists  had seen in part.

The document outlines how the NSA bugged offices and  spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the United Nations,  not only listening to conversations and phone calls but also gaining access to  documents and emails.

The document explicitly called the EU a  “target.”
A slew of Snowden’s disclosures in foreign media about U.S.  surveillance programs have ignited a political furor in the United States and  abroad over the balance between privacy rights and national security.

EU national governments headquarters known as Justus Lipsius Office

According to Der Spiegel, the NSA also targeted telecommunications at the  Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, home to the European Council that groups EU  national governments, by calling a remote maintenance unit.

Without  citing sources, the magazine reported that more than five years ago security  officers at the EU had noticed and traced several missed calls to NSA offices  within the NATO compound in Brussels.
Each EU member state has rooms in  Justus Lipsius with phone and Internet connections, which ministers can  use.
Reaction from senior EU officials was swift.

In Berlin, the president of the European Parliament said he was “deeply  worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU  offices” made in the report. Martin Schulz said if the reports were confirmed  “it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on  EU-U.S. relations.”
Green Party leaders in the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms and Daniel  Cohn-Bendit, called for an immediate investigation into the reports and  suggested that further negotiations on a trans-Atlantic trade treaty be put on  hold.
They also called for existing U.S.-EU agreements on the exchange of bank  transfer and passenger record information to be canceled.

Snowden, a  U.S. citizen, fled the United States to Hong Kong in May, a few weeks before  publication in the Guardian and the Washington Post of details he provided about  secret U.S. government surveillance of Internet and phone traffic.
Snowden, 30, has been holed up in a Moscow airport transit area since last  weekend. The leftist government of Ecuador is reviewing his request for asylum.

Der Spiegel

UM– USEKE

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