The United Nations has confirmed that it is planning to “contact” the United States about the revelation that the NSA bugged its New York headquarters and conducted intensive surveillance of its internal operations.
The reports, which came out over the weekend, showed NSA surveillance operations involving scores of US embassies targeting the UN, EU, IAEA and other international agencies.
Of particular note was the “Special Collection Service,” which managed to break into the encrypted internal video communications system of the United Nations and was intercepting conversations en masse.
UN officials say that it is a well established part of the 1961 Vienna Convention that the United Nations’ functions aren’t supposed to be subjected to surveillance operations. The US has been fond of citing the convention in demanding diplomatic immunity for its spies abroad when they are arrested, since many of them are snuck into other countries as “embassy personnel.”