U.S. Government Spied on U.N. Headquarters and Romantic Interests
Because Snowdengate hasn't revealed enough about the U.S. government's warrantless surveillance, reports surfaced Sunday claiming that the NSA penetrated the internal video conferencing system of the United Nations in the summer of 2012. Awkward.
Files obtained from infamous whistle-blower Edward Snowden and quoted in the German weekly Der Spiegel Sunday show that the National Security Agency infiltrated and bugged the system at the U.N.'s New York headquarters last summer, decoding as many as 458 communications within three weeks.
"The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!)," Der Spiegel quoted one agent as saying. Really.
Also revealed in Der Spiegel's report is a program dubbed "Special Collection Service," which involves spying on over 80 embassies and consulates across the world. Illegally.
"The surveillance is intensive and well organized and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists," Der Spiegel wrote.
This reports follow embarrassing revelations Friday regarding members of the NSA using their snooping powers to spy on lovers, in a program dubbed LOVEINT. According to the Wall Street Journal, LOVEINT violations only happened a "handful" of times, and often involved spying on a partner or spouse. The news has of course sparked a social media frenzy, with #NSApickuplines and #NSAlovepoems trending on Twitter. Here's a roundup of some of the best NSA LOVEINT tweets:
Meanwhile, it's been revealed that the whole reason Snowden was hauled up in Moscow airport's transit zone for over a month (with only one shirt and a copy of Crime and Punishment to keep him cozy), was that Cuba reportedly told officials not to let the ex-contractor on the plane, thanks to U.S. pressure. The whistleblower had left Hong Kong planning to fly to Havana via Moscow, but was kept in Sheremetyevo Airport for six weeks. He's now been granted a year's asylum in Russia.