As its mission is to bring important news and information to the public, the non-profit media organization Wikileaks published in November 2010 a report accusing American diplomats of spying on top UN officials and foreign diplomats. Wikileaks’s website released more than 250,000 classified State Department documents.
According to those documents, which were also published by major newspapers such as The New York Times, France’s Le Monde, The Guardian in Britain, German magazine Der Spiegel and others, the order came from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July 2009. It asked to collect biographic and biometric information on UN top staff and high ranked foreign representatives. Additional data such as credit card, frequent flyer numbers, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, passwords and other confidential data were also requested to be pulled together.
The United Nations declined to comment on the report. Farhan Haq, acting Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, affirmed that “the United Nations is not in a position to comment on the authenticity of the document purporting to request information gathering activities on UN officials and activities. The UN is by its very nature a transparent organization that makes a great deal of information about its activities available to the public and members states.”