Japan seeks confirmation of Snowden revelations on tapping embassies
TOKYO, July 1 (RAPSI) - The Japanese government has requested official confirmation from the US authorities that the Japanese embassy was among the 38 diplomatic missions tapped by the National Security Agency, the Kyodo News agency reported Monday.
As reported by The Guardian, the document, dated September 2010, lists 38 embassies and diplomatic missions designated as NSA "targets". The list includes not only countries which have tense relations with the United States, but Washington's allies as well. The special service has reportedly spied on the missions of the European Union, France, Italy, Greece, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey. However, the document does not mention other Western European countries such as the UK or Germany.
"We have requested confirmation of this information through diplomatic channels," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, commenting on The Guardian's information.
The NSA was reportedly intercepting communications from the EU mission in Washington and New York, and hacked into their computer networks, the German magazine Spiegel wrote last Saturday, also citing Snowden's revelations. EU governments have expressed concerns over the news and demanded explanations form Washington. The United States has expressed readiness to discuss the outrageous revelations through diplomatic channels.
National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has dominated international headlines this month after claiming responsibility for leaking top-secret documents to The Guardian, detailing the capacity of the NSA to access the systems of major US companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple. Google, Facebook, and Apple have all denied providing direct or backdoor access to their servers.
After the initial leak, Snowden went on to expose various other types of intelligence, including claims to The Guardian that the NSA had intercepted communications from Medvedev's delegation during the 2009 G20 summit in London, as well as claims during an interview with the South China Morning Post that the United States had been hacking into Chinese computers for years.
On June 14, the US authorities filed a criminal complaint advancing three charges, each carrying a punishment of up to 10 years in prison. He has been charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and the willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person, according to a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors.