Adam Rountree, Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations did not directly comment Monday on reports that the U.S. hacked U.N. and European Union internal communications, saying only that international treaties protect its offices and all diplomatic missions from interference, spying and eavesdropping.
The German magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday that documents it obtained from American leaker Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency secretly monitored the U.N.'s internal video conferencing system by decrypting it last year. In three weeks, Der Spiegel said, the NSA increased the number of decrypted communications at the U.N. from 12 to 458.
Der Spiegel also reported that the NSA installed bugs in the European Union's office building in downtown Washington and infiltrated the EU's computer network.
U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday that "the inviolability of diplomatic missions, including the United Nations and other international organizations, whose functions are protected by the relevant international conventions like the Vienna Convention, has been well-established international law."
Haq added, "Therefore, member-states are expected to act accordingly to protect the inviolability of diplomatic missions."
The 1961 Vienna Convention regulates diplomatic issues and status among nations and international organizations. Among other things, it says a host country cannot search diplomatic premises or seize its documents or property. It also says the host government must permit and protect free communication between the diplomats of the mission and their home country.
However, wiretapping and eavesdropping have been rampant for decades, most dramatically between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
- Obama administration decries judge's fracking...
- House Democrats cheer Clinton in first...
- Capsule full of space station junk makes...
- Trump launches broad attack on Clinton's record
- Dump Trump movement preparing fight at GOP...
- Islamic State militants push back in Syria,...
- South Pole rescue flight of 2 workers...
- British politicians make final appeals in EU...
- Immigration ruling called hurtful, a... 75
- Nearly 70 percent of Utahns say Donald... 62
- In need of help, Trump finds few... 35
- Love won't go to GOP national convention 33
- Democrats end 25-hour plus protest to... 30
- Trump, in Scotland, links Brexit vote... 26
- Video game 'Thoughts and Prayers' mocks... 26
- Utah GOP brings up father's bank... 25