US Intelligence also spied on Foreign Missions on American Soil
New Guardian revelations about U.S. spying indicate that at least 38 embassies or foreign missions were subjected to espionage on US soil.
The British paper cites information obtained from documents from 2007 and 2010 which were provided by Edward Snowden. The missions that were spied on correspond mainly to European Commission offices in Washington and representation of the EU in the UN and embassies of traditional allies such as France, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Japan, India, South Korea and Turkey.
These revelations have confirmed the information published this weekend by the German magazine Der Spiegel on U.S. spying activities on its European allies – particularly Germany – and the headquarters of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, which has caused a bitter reaction in Berlin, Paris and Brussels.
According to The Guardian, the documents to which the newspaper had access reveal special efforts to spy on EU countries like France, Italy and Greece. The paper describes in particular how the U.S. secret services have performed their tasks of control over European offices in Washington and New York.
One system, known by the name of Dropmire consisted of implanting a device in encrypted fax machines on the premises of European representations in Washington.
A document from the National Security Agency (NSA) dating from 2010 states that the fax is used to send cables to the European foreign ministries in different European capitals. And it suggests that the objective is to intercept those communications with information on global issues and other differences between the US and its partners of the European Union.
Other systems used to spy include the use of powerful antennas to intercept communications at a distance. The London-based paper emphasizes that it is unclear whether these espionage activities have been carried out exclusively by the NSA or some have been executed by the CIA or the FBI or by combined actions between these agencies.
Kerry says spying is normal
The Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, has avoided direct explanation to the media about the scandal revealed recently by Edward Snowden, but has made clear that, in his view, the collection of information on other countries is “not unusual” in many states of the world.
The chief U.S. diplomat has met with the European Union Representative for Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton. At the meeting, held in the tiny sultanate of Brunei, the head of European diplomacy showed Kerry her indignation and that of many countries of the Union for the scope of the scandal. “Lady Ashton has spoken with me today and we have agreed to keep in touch.’ll try to find out what has happened and will communicate our conclusions.”
In any case, Kerry said that “all countries with an interest in international relations conducted numerous activities in order to protect its national security, including, getting all kinds of information that could help defend it.”
Both diplomats have visited Brunei as guests of the meeting of finance ministers known as ASEAN, the association that brings together the countries of Southeast Asia.
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Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 19 years and almost every form of news media. He attended Montclair State University's School of Broadcasting and also obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Luis speaks English, Spanish Portuguese and Italian.