The NSA hacked Al Jazeera

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveal that in 2006, the agency hacked into Al Jazeera's internal communications. 


Joe Kloc


Published Sep 2, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 7:37 am CDT

The National Security Agency spied on the Qatar-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera, reported Der Spiegel.

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According to the German magazine, documents taken from the NSA by former agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that in 2006, U.S. intelligence hacked into Al Jazeera’s “internal communications.”

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Apparently, the NSA’s Network Analysis Center gained access to the news outlet’s encrypted communications with “interesting targets.”

While Der Spiegel does not provide any specific reasoning behind the agency’s interest in Al Jazeera, it does suggest the hack was motivated by the al-Qaeda videos the agency has published over the years. Presumably, the “interesting targets” are the sources who passed these videos to the broadcasting network.

In the documents obtained by Snowden, dated March 26, 2006, the agency listed its infiltration of Al Jazeera as one of its “notable successes.”

No proof has yet surfaced that the NSA hacked into any other news organizations.

Photo by Paul Keller/Flickr

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*First Published: Sep 2, 2013, 12:41 pm CDT