SA spied on by US agency

2014-05-18 10:33
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - South Africa’s diplomatic mission to the UN and its New York consulate offices have been spied upon by the US National Security Agency, reports the Sunday Times.

According to the newspaper, the 9th floor offices in Manhattan, New York were monitored with bugs and technology that lifts data from computer monitors.

This information reportedly came to light after Edward Snowden leaked a cache of top-secret documents last year that uncovered the massive interception of global communications by US and UK spy agencies.

One of those documents, containing a list of embassies, consulates and foreign missions targeted for eavesdropping, was published last week in a book by journalist Glenn Greenwald entitled No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State.

Spokesperson for the department of international relations and co-operation, Clayson Monyela, said the SA government was aware of the situation and that it was an “open secret” that countries spied on each other.

Among the spying revelations, it also emerged that the US spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder.

According to a report, the NSA kept more than 300 reports on Merkel in a special databank about scores of foreign heads of state.

The secret file about the surveillance of Merkel was part of a trove of documents obtained by former NSA systems analyst Snowden.

Other leaders listed in the databank include the heads of Peru, Somalia, Guatemala, Colombia and Belarus.

Another report said that US intelligence spied on former German chancellor Schroeder from 2002.

Schroeder, the Social Democrat chancellor who served from 1998 to 2005, appeared on a list of names of people and institutions put under surveillance by the NSA from 2002, at the start of his second mandate as German head of state.

At the time Germany was opposing intervention in Iraq.

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