File photo shows the sign outside the US National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Top secret documents have shown that the US National Security Agency targeted Franceâ„¢s Foreign Ministry for spying.
Documents seen by Germanyâ„¢s Der Spiegel weekly show that the US spy agency spied on the electronic communications of the French Foreign Ministry by breaking into the ministryâ„¢s computer network.
The internal documents also show NSA agents installed bugs in French diplomatic offices in Washington and at the United Nations in New York.
According to the Å“top secret” document, dated June 2010, the NSA infiltrated computers used by French diplomats to communicate with the French Foreign Ministry’s Paris headquarters through a virtual private network (VPN).
Franceâ„¢s Å“foreign policy objectives, especially the weapons trade” were of primary interest to the NSA, Spiegel reported.
Moreover, the German weekly said that the Qatari-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera had been another target of spying for the US governmentâ„¢s premier spy agency because the channel broadcast audio and video messages from al-Qaeda leaders for more than a decade.
Documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have shed light on the scope and scale of US spying practices across the globe.
The documents have blown the lid on several US spying programs like PRISM and GENIE.
Under PRISM, US technology companies hand over user data pertaining to all people around the world after they receive orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
GENIE is also a $652 million spying project under which US computer specialists infiltrate foreign networks in order to bring them under secret US control.
According to NSA budget documents obtained by the Washington Post, US spy agencies have also conducted 231 cyber attacks in 2011.
The latest revelations about the NSAâ„¢s spying on the French Foreign Ministry come as the Paris prosecutorâ„¢s office has launched a preliminary investigation into the NSAâ„¢s illegal access to personal email and phone communications of French citizens through its PRISM program.
The results of the preliminary investigation determine whether a formal investigation will be launched into the allegations that the NSA has violated data protection and privacy rules in France.
Republished from: Press TV