According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, the Americans have tapped the United Nations’ internal videoconferencing system. Meanwhile, the NSA has admitted a few analysts used its systems to spy on their love interests.


The NSA successfully cracked the encryption guarding the United Nations’ internal videoconferencing system, according to documents seen by Germany’s Der Spiegel.

The publication  reported on Sunday that the encryption’s bypassing took place in the summer of 2012, and that within three weeks the NSA had boosted the number of such decrypted communications from 12 to 458.

According to the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, on one occasion when the Americans were breaking into UN communications, they discovered the Chinese had tried to do the same. The UN headquarters are sited in New York. Spying on the United Nations is illegal under international law.

Der Spiegel‘s report also followed on from earlier revelations about the NSA bugging EU institutions, explaining that the U.S. agency gained access to the virtual private network (VPN) used by the EU’s embassies in America.

It also claimed that the U.S. maintains a monitoring program called the “Special Collection Service” in over 80 embassies and consulates around the world, often without the knowledge of the host country.

In separate revelations on the weekend, the NSA admitted some agents had used the agency’s facilities to spy on their love interests. This allegedly only happened on a handful of occasions, but often enough to inspire the term “LOVEINT”. The Guardian reported that, in one case, an analyst had spied on his former spouse.

UPDATE (5am PT, Monday 26 August): Der Spiegel has now published an extensive English version of its scoop.

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  1. the truth that mystics espouse, that all is connected, becomes rather interesting when it manifests into observable and tech-enabled 3D reality

    1. In order for this to be remotely acceptable, every person who uses NSA surveilled technology would need to have the same view of the NSA and their activities and intimate life as the NSA has. You can’t have one group taking immensely intrusive, one-way power over others and then claim it is some sort of positive, shared spiritual experience.

      (Note: My other reply for some reason didn’t show up under this one, so I’m reposting)

      1.           gwjvan Sunday, August 25, 2013

        gwjvan – I think you’re reading into that prior comment a little too much.

  2. I like Silicon Valley and (most of) the people living there. Their openness and how easy it is to start something big there from a business perspectives.

    But seriously: Let’s kick these spooks out of Europe together with all of our politicians that allowed foreign services to bug the shit out of our fine Europe (or looked away and thus indirectly allowed them to do it).

    By US standards this would probably be an act of terrorism of a foreign nation bugs them, so why is it none if they do mass surveillance Europe?

    I bet 1000 EUR (that’s like 2m USD) the Konrad Adenauer plane of Mr. Merkel (it was upgraded by Northrop Grumman in 2012 or 2013 with defensive and surveillance stuff) is bugged, too.

    1. Ian Betteridge Josh Sunday, August 25, 2013

      What, when the German BND is using NSA tech…


      And sharing data with the NSA…


      While the German government is busy creating its own spyware?


      Seriously, there isn’t an intelligence service of any major country which won’t be trying to do exactly the same thing to the UN and every International body it can. That’s the point of intelligence services: To find out what foreign bodies and nationals are doing, so you can exploit that information for your own national interest. Spies, in other words, spy. That’s what we pay them for.

      The big issue for most people is when they are spying on their own nationals: That’s when things start to get dangerous and disturbing.

    2. Doppelkupplungsgetriebe Josh Sunday, August 25, 2013

      You loose all credibility as soon as you show how poor you are at math…

  3. Cheating spouses of NSA employees should take notice.

  4. NSA agents are free to do what they like when they want to do it. That’s been well established.

    1. Arthur Dovokinov Dean Sunday, August 25, 2013

      Dean, are you NSA dog? Good doggie. Now go to your master and lick his balls. He is free to do what he like when they want, you said that. He is willing that you licked his balls.

      1. Dude.. he was obviously being cynical… chill out

    2. Arthur Dovokinov Dean Sunday, August 25, 2013

      Also, I’m willing to know who the f*ck are NSA to do whatever they want. They are not masters of this world, they are not tyrants. They are nobody. Nothing. Let they rot in hell.

      1. well, they are authorized by the PATRIOT Act. americans have to speak with their vote.

        1. Or the Americans can do exactly what they did the last time they suffered tyrrany. Incite a rebellion and fix their broken government.

    3. Not only NSA agents but NSA contractors and low level network administrators ! This is the point Snowden was making and the point everyone is missing, by instead getting up in arms about spying issues and foreign countries. It is a free-for-all for US. Govt sponsored hackers. My point is that a database as NSA imagines they can build, is subject to hacking and abuse far in excess of any benefit if it actually worked to stop terrorism. Congressional oversight does not assure me. Intelligence committees are briefed, but everyday handling of your identities and freedom of speech are done by private contractors with corporate clients whose growing power over us is more frightening than terrorism. Obama says “a whole range of safeguards involved, and federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout,” Somehow I doubt any of these Govt. officials have even the slightest clue what the corporate hackers are capable of for profit.

  5. United Nations should move it’s HQ to Switzerland. Americans won’t learn to behave unless they get slapped back hard. I think this is now the fourth big spy case exposed when americans have spied on UN HQ. I think by now the americans have proven to the whole world that they can not be trusted. They lie and cheat and spy every chance they get. They have consistently taught us to not trust them and that they will not change their ways. Draw the conclusions and close the UN NY HQ offices. It is time for UN to slap back.

    1. Frankly this sort of talk is the problem. Modern America is a product of Europe. The definitive “dog returning to its vomit”. It’s not “America” or “Americans” that is the problem. It is the culture of distrust that will continue to persist until the rest of the world is fed up with these antics.

    2. John I’m an American,…and truly sorrowed to inform you i agree with most of what you said,..however you should know that not all Americans would resort to such measures,…there are still a lot of good people here,..its mostly the pigs in power here that believe they have the right to do whatever they want to get the upper hand..the majority of Americans are hard working honest people that would never agree to such a practice..but have no doubt,..the people here have had just about enough of these type things…….

    3. really? Switzerland? There’s a nation of spies and clockmakers for you.

    4. The UN should not be in the US, for SO MANY reasons. It could also be argued effectively the US should not be in the UN….
      No argument here!

  6. Aquele q vc Conhece Sunday, August 25, 2013

    it would be nice to nome the software UN uses for comunication. I bet it is from microsoft

  7. EVERY country has these types of programs. The USA just had a leaker, named Snowden. ALL countries do this type of monitoring, and some are better at it…

  8. These revalations just keep getting more outrageous and are severely damaging the US’s reputation. I wrote an article asking the question,”Is Eric Snowden a Patriot or Traitor?” You can see it at http://www.puremalarkey.com

  9. It’s worse than Watergate.

  10. Drar NSA,

    Once you discover who I am tell me. Recent name: Alexander Llew (ProtoBytes) Wykel after probable forced sex change opp.


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