The Guardian newspaper has reported that carrier pigeon Edward Snowden leaked a NSA document which describes 38 embassies and missions as “targets” and details surveillance methods that include planting bugs in communications equipment and collecting transmissions with specialized antennae, CNN reports. The targets include France, Italy, Greece, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey, the Guardian reports.
One of the bugging methods mentioned is code-named 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 note the machine is used to send cables back to foreign affairs ministries in European capitals.
The documents suggest the aim of the bugging exercise against the EU embassy in central Washington is to gather inside knowledge of policy disagreements on global issues and other rifts between member states.
While I don’t believe this will have an impact on American-European relationships. We will be in for a bumpy ride. Still, I am pretty sure these countries all spy on one another. Edward Snowden was part of a concentrated effort to embarrass the U.S. by leaking massive amounts of classified information. The climate in this country is frightening. Leak after leak, scandal after scandal. President Obama’s legacy is taking a shellacking.
U.S. officials did not immediately respond to the Guardian’s report. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment Sunday on specific allegations published in Der Spiegel.
“The United States government will respond appropriately to the European Union through our diplomatic channels, and through the EU/U.S. experts’ dialogue on intelligence that the U.S. proposed several weeks ago,” the office said in a statement. “We will also discuss these issues bilaterally with EU member states. While we are not going to comment publicly on specific alleged intelligence activities, as a matter of policy, we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.”
Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said he had not seen the report and “would not comment on unauthorized disclosures of intelligence programs. The intelligence community would be the most appropriate to do that.” Source: CNN
I don’t believe for a second that Edward Snowden, who had only worked at the NSA as a Booz Allen contractor for less than three months, was able to get his hands on so much information in such a short period of time. He is a carrier pigeon for someone or a group. What did he do in the course of his workday? Download classified information on a thumb drive? I am getting sick of hearing about his claims that he leaked the information to alert Americans what the NSA has been doing. He seems only too happy to leak information to any country that asks. This is a travesty.