Spying on the U.N.

2010-11-23

in Bombs and rockets, Geek stuff, Law, Politics, Security

In addition to describing many situations of allies spying on allies, Richard Aldrich’s GCHQ: The Uncensored Story Of Britain’s Most Secret Intelligence Agency also describes a number of alleged incidents of the United States and United Kingdom spying on the United Nations, particularly during the led-up to the Iraq War.

Aldrich describes how the NSA and GCHQ used the UNSCOM weapons inspectors in Iraq as “short-range collectors” of signals intelligence (SIGINT). He also describes the bugging of the U.N. headquarters in Iraq during that period, the bugging of the U.N. Secretariat (including Secretary General Annan’s office), and espionage conducted against non-permanent members of the Security Council before the vote that would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Aldrich claims that “listening in on the UN was routine” and that “in 1945 the United States had pressed for the UN headquarters to be in New York precisely in order to make eavesdropping easier”.

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. December 5, 2010 at 8:49 pm

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continued his assault on U.S. government officials, calling for President Obama to resign if it is proven that he approved of spying on UN officials by U.S. diplomats.

Assange told El Pais, “The whole chain of command who was aware of this order, and approved it, must resign if the US is to be seen to be a credible nation that obeys the rule of law. The order is so serious it may well have been put to the president for approval.”

Assange has also called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resign her post.

The State Department directive sent in July 2009 asked diplomats to collect basic contact information about U.N. officials, including Internet passwords, credit card numbers and frequent flyer numbers.

WikiLeaks documents reveal that the CIA was behind the State Department’s directive to gather information on U.N. officials.

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