Newsfox Desk
Phone: + 43 - 1 - 811 40 - 319
Thu, 20.03.2003
pte20030320018 Computer/Telecommunications, Politics/Law
Pressbox Pressbox
Wire taps found in EU buildings
Source of phone surveillance devices unknown

Brussels (pte018/20.03.2003/11:41) - Electronic surveillance devices have been discovered in the buildings of the European Council , as reported by French daily Le Figaro.

According to Le Figaro, bugs were found in telephones in the offices of six delegations: France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Great Britain and Austria. Within the context of tense relations between certain European countries and the US, the French paper immediately accused US secret services of planting the devices.

Official EU Council speaker Dominique-Georges Marro however said the source of the tapping units remains unknown. "At this point it is impossible to say who planted the surveillance devices," said Marro.

"Our delegation office was also affected," speaker for the Austrian delegation Hans Georg Possanner told pressetext.europe, confirming the findings.

It seems the EU Council has known about the devices for some time, but refrained from making the discovery public so as not to endanger the investigation. About two weeks ago, members of the delegations issued a warning not to discuss confidential matters on the phone.

The taps were discovered due to an anomaly in the phone system. It is not clear how long they had been in place. According to Possanner they may have even been installed during the construction of the "Justus Lipsus" building.

The discovery is being examined by the EU, as well as the authorities in the delegations' countries.

Submitter: pressetext.europe
Contact: Newsfox Desk
Phone: + 43 - 1 - 811 40 - 319