NSA caught spying on Al Jazeera, a CNN-like news network of the Arab world


US National Security Agency (NSA) employees and the agency in general has been accused multiple times of misusing power, which makes it difficult to put trust in this system. But when more information begins to enter the public domain on these practices, you have to wonder, does the NSA not limit itself on what it should or should not do?

According to a report from Spiegel Online, the National Security Agency spied on Arab news broadcaster, Al Jazeera. Apparently, the NSA hacked directly into Al Jazeera’s internal communication systems, which is dubbed as a source of potentially high-level intelligence. Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor now on the run, provided the documents from where Spiegel Online got its information.

Furthermore, the report claims the NSA accessed and read communications from “interesting” targets that were protected by Al Jazeera (as they were news sources). However, despite gaining access to important files, the agency was in no way satisfied with the language analysis of Al Jazeera.

Will there be backlash regarding this in the United States? Probably not, seeing as everything seems to be OK as long as it is done to foreigners. And some may argue Al Jazeera is a legitimate target for the NSA, as it has a lot of sources in the Arab world that feed it news stories. However, the NSA getting caught spying on news broadcast houses in other countries could lead to some serious implications around the world if the agency is not careful.

The U.S. government must get this Spynet-like system under control before the whole thing gets out of hand. Or if this is what “under control” is then I hate to see what out of control is like. With great power comes great responsibility says Spiderman’s uncle — the NSA should have this quote placed on every door.

[via Spiegel Online, image via Studio Briefing]

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