The United States was spying on the Greek embassy in Washington and the Greek mission at the United Nations, according to the latest National Security Agency documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian.
The British newspaper reports that the documents list 38 embassies and missions that the NSA was spying on, including the European Union’s representation in Washington and New York.
The eavesdropping of the Greek UN mission was known as “Powell” and the operation against its embassy was referred to as “Klondyke.”
There was no official response from the Greek government on Monday morning.
German magazine Der Spiegel also quoted from a document that Snowden had taken with him.
The document outlines how the NSA bugged offices and spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the United Nations, not only listening to conversations and phone calls but also gaining access to documents and emails.
The document explicitly called the EU a “target.”
A spokesman for the Office of the US Director of National Intelligence had no comment on the Der Spiegel story.
Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said that if the report was correct, it would have a «severe impact» on relations between the EU and the United States.
“On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations,» he said in an emailed statement.
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told Der Spiegel: “If these reports are true, it’s disgusting.
“The United States would be better off monitoring its secret services rather than its allies. We must get a guarantee from the very highest level now that this stops immediately.”
Snowden’s disclosures in foreign media about U.S. surveillance programs have ignited a political furor in the United States and abroad over the balance between privacy rights and national security.
According to Der Spiegel, the NSA also targeted telecommunications at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, home to the European Council, the collective of EU national governments.
Without citing sources, the magazine reported that more than five years ago security officers at the EU had noticed several missed calls and traced them to NSA offices within the NATO compound in Brussels.
Each EU member state has rooms in Justus Lipsius with phone and internet connections, which ministers can use.
[Kathimerini English Edition & Reuters]