Monday, November 29, 2010

WikiLeaks 'surprised' by scale of US espionage

cnn.com

(CNN) -- WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower website sitting on a giant trove of U.S. diplomatic cables, didn't expect the papers to reveal as much espionage as they apparently do, a spokesman said Monday.

"I was surprised at (the) extent of the spying," Kristinn Hrafnsson told CNN.

The leaked papers include what seems to be an order from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to American diplomats to engage in intelligence-gathering.

Clinton directed her envoys at embassies around the world to collect information ranging from basic biographical data on diplomats to their frequent flyer and credit card numbers, and even "biometric information on ranking North Korean diplomats."

Typical biometric information includes fingerprints, signatures, and iris recognition data.

The cable, simply signed 'CLINTON', is classified S/NF - or 'Secret/No Foreign' - and was sent to 33 embassies and the U.N. mission offices in New York, Vienna, and Rome.

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