Snowden Document: NSA Spied On Al Jazeera Communications

Al Jazeera's newsroom in Doha, Qatar. Zoom
DPA

Al Jazeera's newsroom in Doha, Qatar.

Arab news broadcaster Al Jazeera was spied on by the National Security Agency, according to documents seen by SPIEGEL. The US intelligence agency hacked into protected communication, a feat that was considered a particular success.

It makes sense that America's National Security Agency (NSA) would be interested in the Arab news broadcaster Al Jazeera. The Qatar-based channel has been broadcasting audio and video messages from al-Qaida leaders for more than a decade.

The United States intelligence agency was so interested, in fact, that it hacked into Al Jazeera's internal communications system, according to documents from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden that have been seen by SPIEGEL.

One such document, dated March 23, 2006, reveals that the NSA's Network Analysis Center managed to access and read communication by "interesting targets" that was specially protected by the news organization. The information also shows that the NSA officials were not satisfied with Al Jazeera's language analysis.

In addition to cracking the airline reservation services for Russian airline Aeroflot, accessing "Al Jazeera broadcasting internal communication" was listed as a "notable success," the document shows. The NSA said these selected targets had "high potential as sources of intelligence."

The encrypted information was forwarded to the responsible NSA departments for further analysis, according to the document, which did not reveal to what extent the intelligence agency spied on journalists or managers of the media company, or whether the surveillance is ongoing.

Previous documents seen by SPIEGEL have not specified that the media were spied on by the NSA. But as more information emerges, the massive scope of the organization's international surveillance of telephone and Internet communication continues to grow.

SPIEGEL/kla

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1. You!!
davidroberts634 08/31/2013
Have followed you for some time and what I see I like!!
2. Can you blame them?
neotechni 08/31/2013
al jazeera is a known terrorist front.
3. optional
cdestache 09/01/2013
NSA and Snowden's stuff already became uninterested news event like typical daily sunsets, perhaps it's still excited stuff in beautiful Moscow(?) So the world now knew NSA is spying on every thing on surface of planet earth, thanks to low-level techies like Snowden, who had access to NSA's low-budget-graded computer servers for managing or maintenance tasks, it'll come up with newer high-tech stuff that's more difficult to track like "mobile" or "cloud" things catching up with Facebook or Linkedin's technologies... rather than just simply "data mining" or snooping groups of people or nations, why not accessing the "cloud" to deal with troubled individuals around the world(?) Facebook currently wants to "face" users, it's newer interesting stuff. The U.S. has about 459 sattellites orbiting the earth, Russia has 110, China has 105, and many people carrying GSM/CDMA phones around the globe still "believe" it is a "secret" personal movement(?) Supercomputing centers in the U.S. are concentrated in Energy and Environment Developments, even Walmart's computing center in a little town somewhere in Arkansas has more real-time computing power than U.S. Dept. of Defense's computing capability. Prism or so-called program must have been a fruitful product from years ago's technologies as many of its original computer software and hardware developers might have been retired in nursing homes already, it's time to move on to newer exciting stuff.
4. Finally!
satanschumer 09/01/2013
Okay, now this is who we pay the NSA to spy on - not us.
5. optional
spon-facebook-10000617983 09/01/2013
republicans and their endless fake media reports
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