NSA Bugging of EU Offices Leaves Officials "Deeply Worried," "Shocked"


they buggin
Reason 24/7

The German Der Spiegel reported this weekend that the NSA's surveillance operations extended to bugging offices of the European Union.

From the AP:

Senior European officials expressed concern Sunday at reports that U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic, with some leftist lawmakers calling for concrete sanctions against Washington.

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said he was "deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices" made in a report published Sunday by German news weekly Der Spiegel.

Schulz said if true the surveillance would have a "severe impact" on EU-US relations, while other Europeans compared the allegations to Cold War behavior. Former members of the East German Stasi have expressed awe at the NSA's surveillance programs.

Just two weeks ago the EU's justice commissioner said she was satisfied the NSA's collection of telephone metadata was mainly an American issue after meeting with U.S. officials, who assured her only potential terrorists were being targeted in NSA surveillance operations.

Officials at the EU have known about the U.S.'s ability to spy on Europeans since at least 2011, but didn't want to hurt relations with America.

Follow these stories and more at Reason 24/7 and don't forget you can e-mail stories to us at 24_7@reason.com and tweet us at @reason247.

NEXT: U.S. Intelligence Bugged EU Offices in Europe, America

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well, we are assured this is only a “so-called” scandal. Maybe those folks just haven’t heard that yet.

  2. The EU is pissed because it has not yet consolidated enough power in Europe so they can build their own spy network. They still have to rely on the individual countries spy networks

    1. And now they are at a disadvantage because the guy they thought would give them time to catch up is spying on them. Heh.

  3. Did we already explain to them that Obama just wouldn’t do something like that?

  4. Spying on the EU is what the NSA is supposed to do.

    1. Bingo. It’s telling that spying on a foreign power is seen as more shocking than spying on an ordinary citizen.

    2. Is EU a hostile government or a terrorist organisation ?

      1. If I lived in Europe I would say both. As an American I would say neither. The EU does not seem to be that concerned about ruling over Americans, it seems committed to expanding its power using whatever means available to rule over Europeans.

        1. Exactly. Big Brother getting spied on by Bigger Brother.

        2. If you use offshore services, having the US’s tentacles everywhere is not a good thing

      2. The EU is a foreign government. All governments spy as much as possible on all other governments. Israel is always spying on us, for example.

        1. And we on them, as well. That’s how it works, no shocker. This is much more clearly authority actually given to the Federal government than their spying on us.

          1. My only issue with it is that I’m not sure spying within the US is compatible with either the law governing the IC or with the 4th Amendment in general.

            1. But that constitution is so old and outdated. It can’t possibly mean what it says, so we’ll just make shit up.

              1. Th USC doesn’t specifically mention that the NSA couldn’t spy on everyone!

                1. The Constitution also “doesn’t specifically mention” that pigs can’t fly. What’s your point?

                  1. That since it isn’t prohibited it’s mandatory that the Government do it.

                2. Actually, I think it says that the NSA can and should spy on everyone. It’s somewhere in the Commerce Clause, I believe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            2. I’m unsure as well, but I *am* sure that US spying on US citizens without probable cause is incompatible with the constitution.

        2. “Israel is always spying on us, for example.”

          And that’s supposed to be a good thing ? So breaking american law on the american soil is just… ok.

          What about “mind your own business” policy.

          1. It’s almost like I agreed with you hours ago…

    3. If they are surprised, then they are just stupid.

      Back in 1991 Stansfield Turner wrote the future, post-Cold War mission of the US intelligence community required it “to adapt themselves to serve economic and industrial aspects of national security” with particular regard to it competitors in Europe and Japan. Stansfield Turner was Director of Central Intelligence, 1977-81.


      This has been going on for a long time and only the clueless have been unaware of it.

      The only thing Snowden has done is provide documentary evidence of the existence of specific programs.

      1. BTW, I don’t mean for that comment to detract from what Snowden has done. His disclosures have educated many of the clueless majority.

  5. The AP article didn’t have links, but I think this is the original they are referring to that broke the news. Apparently there is also more to come on Monday.

    The documents also indicate the US intelligence service was responsible for an electronic eavesdropping operation in Brussels. SPIEGEL also reported that Germany has been a significant target of the NSA’s global surveillance program, with some 500 million communication connections being monitored every month. The documents show that the NSA is more active in Germany than in any other country in the European Union.

    And about that:

    SPIEGEL has learned that the German Federal Prosecutors’ Office is looking into allegations that a US intelligence agency has conducted massive spying against German citizens. A first formal complaint has already been lodged in one city.

  6. Senior European officials expressed concern Sunday at reports that U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic, with some leftist lawmakers calling for concrete sanctions against Washington.

    As the NSA has stated it is only monitoring terrorist communications which means that there are terrorists within the EU government.

  7. People are fucking morons. *EVERYWHERE* that has a networked computer is bugged by the NSA. What the fuck is so hard to understand about that?

  8. Could the EU have been handed a better gift?

    Now here is a rallying cry to unite all of Europe under one banner.

    1. Except for Airstrip One which already has CCTV cameras all over the place.

  9. Serves the dumb fucks right for worshipping this asshole and begging us to elect him president.

    Remember when he was going to make America beloved once again around the world? How’s that working out for everyone?

    1. The left is still defending him and the right is still defending the massive “security” state.

      1. It’s a win-win for bipartisanship.

    2. Exactly.

    3. Good thing cowboy unilateralism has been replaced by diplomatic multilateralism that respects all countries.

  10. You know who else spied on the Germans and was celebrated by the Germans themselves?

    1. JFK?

      1. Ich bin ein Berliner.

        1. You don’t *look* like a jelly doughnut.

          1. True. I have heard that John uses Jelly Donut Cologne to pick up fat chicks. To be fair, it does smell a lot better than the embalming fluid Sarc uses to attract those dried up corpses he prefers.

      2. Ha! Though I’m pretty sure East Germany didn’t celebrate him.

    2. Krampus?

    3. Santa Klaus?

    4. Cliff Allister McLane?

    5. David Hasselhoff?

    6. Ronald Reagan?

    7. Col.Lederhosen?

  11. “U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic”

    So that’s where Obama has been getting his ideas to promote a “robust economy.”

  12. My 7 year old is heading off to camp soon, and the camp sent a questionnaire out to us in the mail.

    We gave it to him to fill out.

    He looked at it for a while, and then declared, “I don’t want to fill this out. Why does the camp need all this personal information? This violates my privacy.”

    They really do pick up the weirdest stuff just by osmosis.

    1. You must be so proud!

    2. I’m conflicted on whether I should have children and indoctrinate them with a deep and unyielding hatred of the state, or whether I should not have children in order to deny the state the purity of my noble essence.

      1. I’ve already made that choice: No noble essence for you!

        Now I just have to decide which of my nieces and nephews (if any) are entitled to receive my considerable wealth when I die.

    3. Your son is more intelligent than most of the adults I talk to nowadays.

    4. So, what’s the upshot, Fluffy?

      Is your son blowing off camp?

      Did he fill in a bunch of nonsense to see if the system would just mindlessness take it?

      Or what?

      1. *mindlessly* ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. Sex: Yes
        Age: Yes
        Ethnicity: All of the above.

      3. He was just being lazy.

        The questions were things like “What snacks do you like?” and “What games do you like to play?” – just the camp trying to be nice.

        But out of sheer laziness he didn’t want to fill it out, and he knew he needed to give us a reason…and it was just funny to me that his dodge of the day was “privacy”.

        But I guess it’s all over the news all the time now, and kids just pick up more from that than I realized, I guess.

        You should hear him talk about copyright law. Based on his YouTube video remixing experience he believes that the entire world should be considered “creative commons”. He went to a birthday party / barbecue the other day and there was a big bucket full of super-soakers to play with. He came home and told me how the party had featured “creative commons water guns”.

  13. Oceania has always been in a Cold War with Eurasia.

    1. Or should that be Obamceania?

      1. If you have to ask, it’s off to a Federally supervised Re-Education camp for you.

        1. I detect profound disrespect to his Oneness and denounce Warren.

          Ministry of Love Room 101 is too good for him!

      2. No, Obamceania has always been at aid with Middleastia.

  14. I don’t understand how anyone could be surprised that governments spy on each other, yet nobody’s surprised to learn that the US is spying on its own citizens to “prevent acts of terrorism” or whatever bullshit excuse they choose to use today.

    1. anon| 6.30.13 @ 4:14PM |#
      “I don’t understand how *anyone* could be surprised…”
      Pretty sure “anyone” is surprised, acting otherwise and making all sorts of excuses about, uh, let’s see………

  15. So, our European friends, is Obama everything you wanted him to be when you gave him the Nobel Prize?

    Anyway, Europeans will likely just exhaust themselves in the usual finger wagging and proclamations of European moral and cultural superiority. Actually doing something, like giving Snowden asylum or stopping their own governments on spying on them, won’t happen.

  16. You know this E.U./NSA thing is ‘bad optics’ for the regime if MSNBC buries it. Just checked their page, it’s buried.

  17. I bet these idiots want their Nobel peace prize back now, don’t they?

    Man, nothing makes for a better reality check than watching leftists do exactly what they accuse everyone else of doing, and go far further at it. We may live in a time where the work camps and the reeducation centers no longer are needed for the leftists to accomplish their mission – that’s what the IRS and access to, or lack of access to, government controlled healthcare are now for – of keeping the serfs in line. Soft tyranny is much easier to peddle, because the sheep are far less likely to rebel when the shit going on is not in their face.

    1. AlexInCT| 6.30.13 @ 7:03PM |#
      “I bet these idiots want their Nobel peace prize back now, don’t they?”

      I doubt it. They seem to be immune to shame.

  18. bet these idiots want their Nobel peace prize back now, don’t they?

    You’re assuming they disagree with what Obama is doing. He is TEAM BLUE afterall.

  19. NSA Motto: “A friend is just an enemy we haven’t made yet”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.