EU to construct new top-secret bunker – media

Leaders’ telephones, watches and listening to aids can be banned from the supposedly spy-proof dugout

The European Union is spending €8 million ($8.1 million) to construct a safe bunker in Brussels the place leaders can meet in secrecy, EUobserver reported on Friday. The chamber can be insulated towards digital interference, and all devices can be banned from getting into, with the information web site claiming that such measures are vital towards “Russian or different eavesdroppers.”

Claiming to have seen an EU memo describing the venture, EUobserver reported that the chamber can be designed to host round 100 folks comprising as much as 34 leaders and related employees. On account of be constructed by 2024, the bunker can be situated someplace inside the European Council’s advanced within the Belgian capital.

The assembly room can be offline, however will include microphones wired to safe cubicles for interpreters. Each the room and these cubicles can be shrouded in a “NATO-certified insulation cage” to cease electromagnetic and radio waves from inside being picked up outdoors, and anybody in search of to enter, even cleaners, will want a “SECRET EU” safety clearance – the bloc’s second-highest degree of classification.

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In accordance with the supposed EU memo, the power can be swept “earlier than and after the conferences to detect, find and neutralize any eavesdropping machine,” and anybody getting into can be required to depart telephones, laptops, good watches, digital key fobs and listening to aids in soundproof lockers outdoors.

This intense give attention to safety is geared toward shutting out “Russian or different eavesdroppers,” EUobserver wrote. Nonetheless, it’s unknown whether or not the EU is constructing the chamber in response to a particular safety menace or out of a basic sense of warning. Individually, EU members have accused Russia of espionage lengthy earlier than Moscow despatched its troops into Ukraine, and the expulsion of diplomats over alleged spying is par for the course in worldwide relations, with Belgium claiming to have booted out dozens of Russian spies earlier this yr.

Nonetheless, spying takes place between allies as usually as adversaries, with the US famously bugging a reported 122 world leaders circa 2014. In depth surveillance was carried out by the US Nationwide Safety Company on high-level officers in each France and Germany, based on paperwork launched by WikiLeaks. 

Israel and China have additionally been accused of conducting surveillance operations in Brussels, and the EU has pressed Belgium for years to tighten up its espionage legal guidelines, which permit spying to go unpunished in lots of instances.