Edward Snowden's spying revelations04 november 2013, 13:39
Below are the main spying revelations leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the US National Security Agency (NSA). The disclosures, which began in June, have revealed US surveillance on a global scale, straining Washington's ties with key allies.
SPYING VIA INTERNET COMPANIES
- The Washington Post and The Guardian have reported that the NSA and the FBI had access to servers of nine major Internet companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google and Facebook to monitor the web traffic of people outside the United States under a secret intelligence programme, codenamed "PRISM".
Later the Post revealed that the NSA has tapped into key communications links from Yahoo and Google data centres around the world. Under the programme, dubbed MUSCULAR and operated jointly with NSA's British counterpart GCHQ, it can collect data at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, including from Americans.
An illustration picture shows the logos of Google and Yahoo connected with LAN cables in a Berlin office. ©Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski
ANGELA MERKEL'S PHONE TAPPED
- Germany has received information that US intelligence may have spied on the mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called President Barack Obama to complain. News of the eavesdropping suspicion and the stern German protest came first from Spiegel Online, which said ongoing research by the news weekly had tipped the German government off to the potential surveillance.
A mobile phone simulating a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and computer with a series of numbers is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration taken in Frankfurt. ©Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
EAVESDROPPING ON LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD
- British newspaper The Guardian has said that the NSA has listened in on the phone calls of 35 world leaders. According to different reports they include the leaders of France, Mexico, Brazil.
A protester against the practices of U.S. security agenices sits in the audience as U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Deputy Attorney General James Cole and General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (not pictured) testify at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. ©Reuters/Jason Reed
SPYING ON THE EUROPEAN UNION
- The German weekly Der Spiegel, again basing itself on confidential documents provided by Snowden, has reported that the NSA kept tabs on the EU's headquarters in Brussels and its diplomatic mission in Washington and at the United Nations.
Activists from the Internet Party of Ukraine smash a pumpkin with headphones as they stage a demonstration in front of the U.S. embassy in Kiev. ©Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko
SNOOPING ON THE VATICAN
- US secret services allegedly eavesdropped on cardinals before the conclave in March to elect a new pope, Italian weekly magazine Panorama has claimed, accusing the United States of listening in on telephone calls to and from the Vatican, including the accommodation housing cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he was elected Pope Francis.
- The Guardian has said that London snooped on delegates to meetings of the Group of 20 during two gatherings in 2009 in Britain, including on then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. ©Reuters/Grigory Dukor
US SPYING EXTENDS TO CHINA
- In an article published in the Hong Kong daily the South China Morning Post, Snowden said the US government had hacked Chinese mobile phone companies to gather millions of text messages.
It said US spies had also hacked the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing -- home to one of six "network backbones" that route all of mainland China's Internet traffic -- and the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet, which operates one of the Asia-Pacific region's largest fibre-optic networks.
A demonstrator from the pro-China "Caring Hong Kong Power" group protests over claims from former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency (NSA) hacked computers in the Chinese territory, outside the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong.©Reuters/Bobby Yip
Demonstrators from the pro-China "Caring Hong Kong Power" group protest over claims from former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency (NSA) hacked computers in the Chinese territory, outside the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong. ©Reuters/Bobby Yip