EU Parliament "Shocked" At NSA "Bugging" Diplomatic Offices; Threatens Trade Talks

Tyler Durden's picture

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said he was "deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices" made in a report published Sunday by Der Spiegel. The latest round of NSA 'transparency' suggests U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic, leaving some EU lawmakers calling for concrete sanctions against Washington - calling for an immediate investigation into the claims and suggesting that recently launched negotiations on a trans-Atlantic trade treaty should be put on hold. "If the media reports are accurate, then this recalls the methods used by enemies during the Cold War," notes one German minister, adding that, "it is beyond comprehension that our friends in the United States see Europeans as enemies." Schulz concludes, "It would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations."

Via The NY Post,

Senior European officials expressed concern Sunday at reports that U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic, with some leftist lawmakers calling for concrete sanctions against Washington.

 

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said he was "deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices" made in a report published Sunday by German news weekly Der Spiegel.

 

The magazine said the surveillance was carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency, which has recently been the subject of leaks claiming it scanned vast amounts of foreign Internet traffic.

 

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Schulz said that if the allegations that the NSA bugged European Union offices were confirmed "it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations."

 

... called for an immediate investigation into the claims and suggested that recently launched negotiations on a trans-Atlantic trade treaty should 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.

 

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"If the media reports are accurate, then this recalls the methods used by enemies during the Cold War," German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. "It is beyond comprehension that our friends in the United States see Europeans as enemies."

 

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According to Der Spiegel, the NSA planted bugs in the EU's diplomatic offices in Washington and infiltrated the building's computer network. Similar measures were taken at the EU's mission to the United Nations in New York, the magazine said.

 

Der Spiegel didn't publish the alleged NSA documents it cited nor say how it obtained access to them. But one of the report's authors is Laura Poitras, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who interviewed Snowden while he was holed up in Hong Kong.

 

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The magazine also didn't specify how it learned of the NSA's alleged eavesdropping efforts at a key EU office in Brussels. There, the NSA used secure facilities at NATO headquarters nearby to dial into telephone maintenance systems that would have allowed it to intercept senior EU officials' calls and Internet traffic, the Spiegel report said.

 

Also Sunday, German federal prosecutors said they were examining whether the reported U.S. electronic surveillance programs broke German laws. In a statement, the Federal Prosecutors' Office said it was probing the claims so as to "achieve a reliable factual basis" before considering whether a formal investigation was warranted.

 

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