Snowden document: US spied on foreign leaders for 2009 climate meeting

The National Security Agency monitored foreign governments’ communications before United Nations climate negotiations in 2009, a new document leaked by Edward Snowden shows.

The Huffington Post published the document Wednesday night in conjunction with a Danish newspaper.

The document suggests that the NSA planned to spy on leaders and negotiators before and during the conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. 

Signals intelligence would play “a significant role,” according to the document, in keeping “our negotiators as well informed as possible” during the two-week meeting. The Huffington Post notes signals intelligence encompasses both emails and phone calls. 

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“Analysts here at NSA, as well as our Second Party partners, will continue to provide policymakers with unique, timely, and valuable insights into key countries' preparations and goals for the conference, as well as deliberations within countries on climate change policies and negotiating strategies,” the document reads.

Second Party partners are foreign agencies from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom that share intelligence with the United States.

President Obama and other world leaders attended the meeting. Delegates were convening to discuss how to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

"[L]eaders and negotiating teams from around the world will undoubtedly be engaging in intense last-minute policy formulating; at the same time, they will be holding sidebar discussions with their counterparts -- details of which are of great interest to our policymakers," the document reads. 

Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among those would have likely been briefed about the information collected, the document also notes. 

The document is just one of the latest leaks by former NSA contractor Snowden, who has been living in Russia since last August. U.S. intelligence officials stressed to congressional panels on Wednesday that his leaks have caused enormous damage to national security.