US intelligence services spying on EU missions in New York and Washington
According to reports, the US spying operation, PRISM, is not limited to gathering information of European civilians but also EU bodies.
The revelations, published in German newspaper Der Spiegel, suggest that the US have been bugging buildings housing European Union officials and have been collecting data on EU missions in both New York and Washington.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Lady Ashton, has called for “urgent clarification” from the US government over claims found within documents that have been leaked. The “top secret” documents – dated 2007 and 2010 – detail how EU buildings were specifically targeted in order to collect data. Should the reports be found to be true, transatlantic negotiations relating to the EU-USA trade talks could suffer.
The 2007 document, detailing an operation codenamed “Dropmire”, targeted the European Union’s institute building in Washington DC, placing bugs on the internal computer networks to gain access to EU communications.
A second operation, dated 2010 and codenamed “Perdido”, targeted the EU’s mission to the UN through multiple means of electronic listening devices and through targeting specific computers to access and copy their content.
The Green Party within the European Parliament has called for trade negotiations due to take place next week to be put on hold in order to allow for a review of the claims found within the leaked documents. Both the French president, Francois Hollande, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, have expressed their anger over the spying claims.
Discussing the consequences of the claims, Viviane Reding – EU justice commissioner – was quoted: “We cannot negotiate over a big transatlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators. The American authorities should eliminate any such doubt swiftly.”