Report: NSA bugged EU offices, hacked computer networks

The U.S. bugged European Union embassies and hacked into internal computer networks, according to a report in a German magazine on Saturday, the latest disclosure from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

Der Spiegel said it had been shown a September 2010 classified document from Snowden detailing the NSA’s surveillance of EU offices in Washington, D.C. and at the United Nations.

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The document referred to the EU as a “target” and the report suggests that the surveillance included documents and emails. The report also claims NSA surveillance extended to Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, the office for the European Council.

If proven true, the documents would be the latest damaging disclosure for the NSA. Snowden, a former government contractor earlier this month released classified documents detailing the agency’s surveillance of phone and Internet data.

Those disclosures sparked a renewed debate on the proper balance between national security and civil liberties, with the Obama administration defending the surveillance programs as critical to protecting lives.

Snowden fled overseas to Hong Kong shortly after leaking the secret programs. He is facing espionage charges in the U.S. but has managed to evade an extradition request and is currently believed to be in the transit are of Moscow airport. He is seeking asylum in Ecuador.

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said if true, the latest report would have a “severe impact” on U.S.-EU relations, according to Reuters

“On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations,” he said in a statement, the news agency reported.