NSA spied on European diplomats in DC, New York and Brussels, report says


A man sleeps in the main hall at the headquarters of the Council of the European Union on February 8, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. A new report by Der Spiegel says that the US spied on the European Council building, as well as EU diplomats in the United States.


Dan Kitwood

The United States spied on European Union offices and broke into private computer networks of EU officials in the US and Europe, according to a new report.

German magazine Der Spiegel claims that top secret documents from 2010 leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden show that the US bugged offices in Washington, New York and Brussels.

The NSA also tapped European Union private computer networks to read e-mails and listen to phone calls and meetings by government officials.

The NSA document refers to the European Union as "a target."

Der Spiegel said the documents show that the US had targeted telecommunications of the European Council - the body that groups European heads of state. The Europeans had apparently noticed that something was awry five years ago, tracing suspicious activity back to NSA offices within the NATO building in Brussels.

It is unclear if any steps were taken in the matter. There has been no reaction from Brussels yet.

More from GlobalPost: Snowden: Latin Americans roll out the red carpet

Edward Snowden fled the US in May and leaked documents to the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers about massive NSA spying programs.

Snowden is believed to be in a transit area of Moscow airport awaiting a decision on an asylum request to Ecuador.

The US has charged Snowden with espionage and has sought his extradition. Hong Kong, where Snowden first fled, is believed to have stalled the US request, allowing Snowden to transit to Russia.

Read the Der Spiegel report in the original German here.