A list of the business leaders, US allies and charities the NSA has been spying on

The list of organizations spied on includes surprises like the World Health Organization.
The list of organizations spied on includes surprises like the World Health Organization.
Image: AP Photo/Aaron Favila
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The latest revelation from Edward Snowden’s haul of documents from his time at the US National Security Agency is a surprisingly varied list of targets that the NSA and its UK counterpart, GCHQ, spied on from 2008 to 2011. The Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel all ran their own articles on the data contained in the documents, so we thought we’d just put all the targets they mention in a list.

These targets do not appear to have simply been caught up in a broad dragnet, the Guardian says. Rather, each was specifically targeted, and given a unique identifier in the agency’s “target knowledge database.” In some cases, entire transcripts of communications were logged, including text message conversations.

This list is far from complete, and some of the elements are vague; the three publications name only a selection of the more than 1,000 targets that, according to the Times, are mentioned in the documents, whether for reasons of space or to avoid exposing certain sensitive information.


The targets, say the reports, are spread across 60 countries. They include some potential jihadists, extremists and militants, but are mostly just American and British allies, European corporations, UN bodies and non-profit aid organizations. The tapped communications came primarily from satellite transmissions but also apparently came from sources that may have included undersea fiber optic cables. Der Spiegel reports that these documents “appear to represent only a small cross-section” of a much larger pool of records.

The reports follow an earlier revelation from Snowden that the NSA had tapped the phones of 35 world leaders.

Businesses and their regulators

Joaquín Almunia, vice president of the European Commission, responsible for oversight of antitrust issues in Europe. He has fined US companies like Intel and Microsoft in the past and is in the midst of a three-year investigation of Google.

Total, the French oil and gas giant

Thales Group, a defense and logistics conglomerate part-owned by the French government


Public email address of the Israeli prime minister in 2009, at the time Ehud Olmert

An email account used to pass messages between Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak and chief of staff Yoni Koren

Two Israeli embassies

The Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


The German embassy in Rwanda

Country-wide communications links between Germany and Georgia as well as Germany and Turkey

“German government networks in Berlin”

Previously it was revealed that the NSA was tapping Angela Merkel’s cell phone calls, and the US has refused to guarantee to Germany it won’t spy on anyone but the prime minister.


Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the UN and African Union special representative for Darfur

Solomon Asamoah, deputy head of the Africa Finance Corporation

Aid groups

The World Health Organization (WHO)

Nicolas Imboden, executive director of the non-profit IDEAS centre in Geneva, which is “dedicated to help low-income countries integrating into the world trading system”

Taleban ministry of refugee affairs”

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)

Médecins du Monde, a medical relief organization that offers aid in war-torn regions

UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

Miscellaneous and notable

An “Estonian Skype security team”

“Israeli grey arms dealer”

A French ambassador

“Various entities in Beijing”