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NSA using Austrian networks

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NSA using Austrian networks
Photo: APA
12:05 CEST+02:00
The U.S. intelligence gathering body the National Security Agency (NSA) may have used Austrian networks "to map the internet", including those of Telecom Austria (TA) and the University of Vienna.

According to a report in Der Standard, which cites documents leaked by former US intelligence employee, Edward Snowden, Austrian telecommunications networks may also have been used by the US intelligence service for espionage activities.

Through the use of the spy program "Treasure Map", the NSA is attempting to fend off cyber espionage and computer attacks on any device connected to the internet, in any place and at any time.

For this the NSA has the data lines of Telecom Austria and Vienna University in their sights.

However speakers from both institutions told Der Standard they had found no suspicious devices or data traffic.

Documents released by the NSA, which referred to the use of telecommunications network, TA, appeared in the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Monday.

According to TA spokesman Peter Schiefer, the NSA might use their data lines to screen the entire network.

Vienna University Main Entrance APA-FOTO: GEORG HOCHMUTH

A Vienna University network, part of the scientific ACOnet and internet switching node Vienna Internet exchange (ViX), were also explicitly mentioned in the secret service documents.

The node used by the University's Central Information Service (ZID) was mentioned as a possible listening post in Austria shortly after the NSA surveillance scandal broke.

Over 100 companies, including Facebook, have set up their own technology.

Michaela Bociurko from the Central Information Service says however that the University of Vienna has no evidence "of a secret service misusing their equipment" for their purposes.

Back in July it was revealed that the NSA had targeted an employee of the University of Salzburg.

The internet address of a server operated by the man was found in the source code of the NSA surveillance program "XKeyscore", with the user and network administrators of an anonymization network "gateway" being spied upon.

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