The EU Reacts (Angrily) to Allegations the NSA is Spying on Them Too

As more information comes out about the government’s sweeping surveillance programs, it appears that the NSA may not be only spying on Americans. Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine reported that the European Union’s diplomatic offices in DC and New York had been bugged by the NSA, that the EU’s Russian headquarters were wiretapped, and that the NSA broke into an EU computer network — which gave them access to droves of “internal e-mails and documents.” Needless to say, the EU is not happy about this. The Washington Post reports:

European leaders reacted with fury on Sunday to allegations in a German magazine that the United States had conducted a wide-ranging effort to monitor E.U. diplomatic offices and computer networks, with some saying that they expected such surveillance from enemies, not their closest economic partner.


[…] Underscoring the depth of the European anger over the allegations, some top officials said they would figure into the future of transatlantic trade talks that began in June.


“It is shocking that the United States take measures against their most important, their nearest allies, comparable to measures taken in the past by the KGB, by the secret service of the Soviet Union,” European Parliament President Martin Schulz told reporters in Brussels on Sunday.


“This is not the basis to build mutual trust, this is a contribution to build mutual mistrust,” he said, adding that he felt treated like an “enemy.” And he said it would strain the talks over sweeping away trade barriers between the United States and the European Union that are currently underway.




E.U. officials have asked for further information from U.S. officials in Washington and Brussels, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, Marlene Holzer, said Sunday.




Der Spiegel on Sunday separately reported that the NSA monitored 500 million e-mails, phone calls and text messages in Germany every month, more than any European peer.

At this point, it is difficult to tell where the EU’s investigation will lead. But needless to say, Der Spiegel‘s article has not done anything to help foreign relations.