U.N. warns U.S. against spying on diplomats

Aug. 26, 2013 at 6:22 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The United Nations warned the United States to respect diplomatic missions on U.S. soil after a German magazine's assertion of National Security Agency spying.

German news magazine Der Spiegel reported the NSA, criticized for alleged intelligence gathering on private telephone calls and emails around the world, has also infiltrated the United Nations' video-conferencing network to eavesdrop on diplomatic missions in New York City, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

U.N. officials are "aware of the reports and intent to be in touch with relevant authorities," U.N. spokesman Fahran Haq said Monday.

"Member states are expected to act accordingly to protect the inviobility of diplomatic missions," Haq added.

The magazine detailed how the NSA acquired floor plans and diagrams of the European Union's new diplomatic mission at the United Nations in 2012 and said its reporters analyzed NSA documents disclosed by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that disclosed how the NSA gained access to the U.N. telecommunications system, the Tribune said.

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