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US assures UN it won’t spy on its communications

October 31, 2013, 14:32 UTC+3
UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky: U.S. authorities have given assurance that the United Nations communications are not, and will not be monitored
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Archive AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Archive AP Photo/Kin Cheung

UNITED NATIONS, October 31 (Itar-Tass) - The U.S. authorities have assured the UN Secretariat that American intelligence is not and will not be spying on the organization's communications, UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky told journalists on Wednesday.

“Back in August when these reports (about spying by U.S. intelligence services) first surfaced, we said we would be in touch with the corresponding authorities,” he said. “And I can tell you that we were indeed in touch with the U.S. authorities. I understand that the U.S. authorities have given assurance that the United Nations communications are not, and will not be monitored,” Nesirky noted.

He would not elaborate on whether spying had taken place and declined to answer related questions.

“The inviolability of diplomatic missions, including the United Nations, has been well established in international law, and therefore all member states are expected to act accordingly,” Nesirky stressed.

The German magazine Der Spiegel reported in August that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) got access to the UN communications channels, in particular, internal videoconferences. Der Spiegel reported that documents it obtained from U.S. leaker Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency secretly monitored the UN’s internal video conferencing system by decrypting it last year. According to the publication, the headquarters of the word body was a priority target for the U.S. intelligence surveillance.

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