The German news magazine Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that the NSA, already under fire for reported intelligence gathering on private phone calls and emails around the world, had also infiltrated the U.N. video-conferencing network to eavesdrop on diplomatic missions in New York.
U.N. Secretary General
The United States, as host country for the United Nations and its member delegations, is obliged by "well-established international law" to respect the privacy and sovereignty of national and multinational missions, Haq said.
"Member states are expected to act accordingly to protect the inviolability of diplomatic missions," Haq said.
Der Spiegel reported in its latest issue that its reporters had analyzed secret NSA documents leaked by fugitive intelligence contractor
The magazine laid out in detail how the NSA acquired floor plans and diagrams of the
Under the 1961 Vienna Convention and other international accords, Haq said, the United States is prohibited from conducting covert operations at the United Nations and its associated foreign missions.
The NSA used traditional wiretapping devices to intercept U.N. communications, Der Spiegel said. It also reported that the agency infiltrated the computer networks of foreign diplomatic missions in Washington, including the EU delegation headquarters, and copied computer hard drives.
The magazine referred to an "internal presentation" summing up an NSA objective to acquire "information superiority," not just in its counter-terrorism intelligence gathering, but also with programs aimed at drug trafficking, organized crime and "traditional espionage targeting foreign governments."