EU a priority in USA’s spy programme

Information concerning the European Union was one of the priorities of the USA’s spying programme, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel, which cites alleged documents provided by former National Security Agency (NSA) worker Edward Snowden.

The publication had access to NSA documents, dated April 2013, which established the EU’s foreign policy, external trade and economic stability as the main focuses of its surveillance.

The American agency allegedly created a 1 to 5 scale to classify subjects from most interesting to least relevant, respectively. These three themes received a number 3. Alternatively, topics like new technologies, energy security and nourishing were given a number 5.

Germany, France and Japan were considered to be the countries which the USA prioritised in its PRISM programme, followed by Italy and Spain.

In terms of Germany specifically, the programme also targeted its foreign policy and economic stability, as well as its financial risk, all classified as category 3 according to the documents analysed by the German publication. The country’s arms exports and international trade were considered as 4, while its cyber attacks were 5.