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Dhaka Tribune

38 embassies spied by NSA

Update : 01 Jul 2013, 04:12 PM

US intelligence services are closely monitoring as many as 38 embassies as well as the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington, a report by The Guardian newspaper revealed on Sunday.

The Guardian quoted the report as describing these embassies as “targets,” further revealing that the document includes a host of spying techniques ranging from bugs in electronic communications gear to taps into cables to collection of transmissions with specialised antennae.

The list of embassies include, other than many Middle Eastern countries and some nations which are ideological opponents of the US, the EU missions, French, Italian and Greek embassies, and embassies of many American allies such as India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey.

The document also reveals a bugging method, which is under a code name “Dropmire”, which, according to a 2007 document, is "implanted on the Cryptofax at the EU embassy, DC" – an apparent reference to a bug placed in a commercially available encrypted fax machine used at the mission. The NSA documents noted the machine is used to send cables back to foreign affairs ministries in European capitals.

The Guardian reports that it appears from the documents that the aim of the bugging exercise against the EU embassy is to “gather inside knowledge of policy disagreements on global issues and other rifts between member states.”

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