A new US National Security Agency document published by the Washington Post shows that South Africa was one of the countries authorised for surveillance.
“This exhibit lists the 193 foreign governments as well as foreign factions, political organisations, and other entities that were part of a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” the Washington Post reported.
“These are the entities about which the NSA may conduct surveillance, for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence.”
The certification also let the agency gather intelligence about entities such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, European Union, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the report said.
It further stressed that the NSA did not necessarily target nearly all countries, but had authorisation to do so.
Sapa-AFP reported that the US has a no-spying arrangement with four countries – Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, quoting Washington Post.
The certification also let the agency gather intelligence about entities including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“These documents show both the potential scope of the government’s surveillance activities and the exceedingly modest role the court plays in overseeing them,” Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union who had the documents described to him, told the Post.
Last month Vodacom’s parent company, Vodafone, published a “Disclosure Report” which said that, while in many of the 29 countries in which it operates government agencies need legal notices to tap into customers’ communications, there are some instances where this is not the case.