Latest Leak Showing US Spying On EU Embassies Not That Surprising

from the is-this-a-surprise dept

Over the weekend there were a few more "Snowden" leaks released, starting off with evidence that the US intelligence community (possibly involving the NSA, CIA and FBI) had been bugging a whole bunch of EU officials, including in their US embassies, but also in Europe as well.
There is the reasonable and expected outrage from EU officials who really don't like the idea that their own allies are spying on all their calls, emails, faxes, etc. I can see how this may be quite awkward from a diplomatic standpoint, but of the various leaks to date, this one seems the least interesting. This kind of thing is exactly what intelligence agencies do. They spy on each other's government officials. Bugging embassies is a tradition that goes back quite a few decades. I'd actually be more surprised if we found out that the US wasn't bugging those communications.

Of course, that doesn't make things comfortable for the US, who will now certainly have to explain itself to a large number of allies.
The eavesdropping on the EU delegation to the US, on K Street in Washington, involved three different operations targeted on the embassy's 90 staff. Two were electronic implants and one involved the use of antennas to collect transmissions.

[....] The operation against the French mission to the UN had the covername "Blackfoot" and the one against its embassy in Washington was "Wabash". The Italian embassy in Washington was known to the NSA as both "Bruneau" and "Hemlock".

The eavesdropping of the Greek UN mission was known as "Powell" and the operation against its embassy was referred to as "Klondyke".
This kind of stuff just confirms more typical intelligence agency activities. The original leaks about surveillance specifically on the public remains a much bigger concern, though I do wonder if revealing spying on allies may lead to some chillier reactions to various agreements like the upcoming TAFTA negotiations.
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Filed Under: allies, cia, diplomatic problems, ed snowden, espionage, eu embassies, leaks, nsa, nsa surveillance, surveillance

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  1. icon
    McFortner (profile), 1 Jul 2013 @ 3:02pm

    Just sayin'

    Dear Europe,

    We know what you did last summer.


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