Iceland was amongst many countries the US National Security Agency (NSA) was authorized to conduct spying operations against, documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal.
The Washington Post reports that the US had no-spying agreements with four countries – Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – as a part of a group known as “The Five Eyes”.
However, a 2010 legal certification – amongst the many documents leaked by Snowden – show that the NSA listed a total of some 193 countries who could be spied upon, Iceland amongst them.
While this does not necessarily mean that the NSA did, in fact, spy on all 193 of these countries, the civil liberties implications are troubling to some.
“These documents show both the potential scope of the government’s surveillance activities and the exceedingly modest role the court plays in overseeing them,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, about the documents.
As many are probably aware, when Edward Snowden first went on the run from US authorities, he named Iceland among other countries as a possible destination for asylum. In fact, some Icelandic politicians called for granting him asylum. However, it soon became clear that if Snowden arrived in Iceland, he would likely be arrested immediately.
The 2010 legal certifcation giving the NSA sweeping spying powers.
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