The European Union has ordered a worldwide security sweep of all its premises following reports US intelligence has bugged its offices in Washington, Brussels and the United Nations.
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EU's Executive Commission, "has instructed the competent commission services to proceed to a comprehensive ad hoc security sweep and check" in light of the most recent spying allegations leveled at the US, spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen told reporters.
The sweep follows a report by German weekly Der Spiegel, based on revelations by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, that the National Security Agency [NSA] bugged EU offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks.
Ahrenkilde said allegations of US spying were “disturbing” and demanded “full clarification.”
"Clarity and transparency is what we expect from our partners and allies and this is what we expect from the United States," she continued.
Ahrenkilde added that commission premises are “regularly swept and communications networks are checked against spying and eavesdropping.”
However, a spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief who oversees EU offices abroad, said the EU diplomatic missions in Washington, DC, and New York had moved premises since 2010 – the year the reported spying took place – and had subsequently changed over to “completely new security systems,” European Voice reports.
The spokesman added the spying allegations were “news to us.”