President Barack Obama has signed an order curtailing National Security Agency eavesdropping of United Nations diplomats in New York City, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Obama signed the order in the aftermath of a growing body of international leaders calling for accountability into U.S. spying practices, in particular on its allies.
The official did not address past surveillance of the world body. Such programs are highly classified, although some details have been leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
According to the first official, the president’s aides have said in briefings that the White House no longer wanted to conduct certain monitoring of U.N. targets. The official said that the decision was made within the last few weeks.
U.S. officials also told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that allegations of spying in France and Spain can be explained by the fact that those countries gathered intelligence themselves and then shared it with the National Security Agency for security purposes.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.