BERLIN – The U.S. National Security Agency broke the encryption securing the United Nations’ internal videoconferencing at its New York headquarters, the German newsweekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday, citing secret NSA documents.
The move provided the agency with “a dramatic improvement of data from video teleconferences and the ability to decrypt this data traffic,” the magazine quoted an NSA document as saying.
It said the NSA broke the encryption in the summer of 2012, and within nearly three weeks had bumped up the number of decrypted communications from 12 to 458.
The NSA, on one occasion, also allegedly caught the Chinese secret services eavesdropping on the U.N. in 2011, it added.
Der Spiegel also claims the NSA kept tabs on the European Union after it moved into new offices in New York last September. Earlier reports in Der Spiegel and Britain’s the Guardian newspaper had detailed alleged widespread covert surveillance by the NSA of EU offices, including diplomatic missions in Washington and at the United Nations, as well as at the bloc’s Brussels headquarters.