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NSA spying station in Austria?
September 23, 2014, 9:58 pm

The Vienna International Centre hosts the UN's third headquarters and is venue for many diplomatic talks [Xinhua]

The Vienna International Centre hosts the UN’s third headquarters and is venue for many diplomatic talks [Xinhua]

European Union member states have called on the EU Parliament to adopt legislation on new data protection as soon as next year.

The new regulations proposed by the member states in March 2014 include protecting the data of European citizens from espionage, illegal transfer to intelligence services, and illicit use of their information by business.

The new legislation has been seen as a necessary step in the wake of revelations leaked to media in June 2013 by CIA whistle-blower Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) global espionage and communication monitoring scheme, known as Prism.

The legislation also appeared to take on greater significance following reports from Austrian media, which published a number of photographs claiming they proved that the Washington-based NSA was operating a secret listening post a short distance from the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

The photos depict a listening post atop a skyscraper in the Austrian capital Vienna, located next door to the VIC which is considered the third United Nations headquarters after New York and Geneva, and regularly hosts meetings.

While not immediately independently verified, the Austrian media reports have alleged that an air-conditioned hut atop the building picks up transmissions from ‘bugs’ installed in the VIC.

Listening posts and their stealth implications have affected relations between US and European allies.

In November last year, the German government called in the British ambassador to explain a story published in The Independent claiming that London had a “top secret listening post” operated from the roof of the British embassy in Berlin.

The story was based on information leaked to the daily by Snowden.

While the newspaper said that the US closed down its spying base atop its embassy in Berlin, the British continued with their covert operation.

Source: Agencies

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