News / Europe

Europe Demands Answers on NSA Bugging Claims

Europe Demands Answers on NSA Bugging Claimsi
X
July 01, 2013 11:16 PM
European politicians have reacted angrily to claims that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has bugged EU missions and tapped phone calls and e-mails. The allegations stem from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently stuck in a Moscow airport awaiting an asylum application. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Henry Ridgwell
European politicians have reacted angrily to claims that the U.S. National Security Agency has bugged European Union missions and tapped phone calls and e-mails. The allegations stem from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently stuck in a Moscow airport awaiting political asylum.

The German magazine Der Spiegel and Britain’s Guardian newspaper claim to have evidence showing that the U.S. National Security Agency bugged the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington.

Communication technicians work at a phone and internet cable closet, at the European Council building in Brussels, July 1, 2013.Communication technicians work at a phone and internet cable closet, at the European Council building in Brussels, July 1, 2013.
x
Communication technicians work at a phone and internet cable closet, at the European Council building in Brussels, July 1, 2013.
Communication technicians work at a phone and internet cable closet, at the European Council building in Brussels, July 1, 2013.
The EU summoned the U.S. ambassador and ordered a sweep of its offices to check for devices.
 
Steffen Seibert, a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Washington needs to explain.

"It has to be cleared up. And if it turns out to be true, that it would be unacceptable, as we are no longer in the Cold War," said Seibert.

On a trip to Brunei Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was questioned about the allegations.

"I will say that every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs of national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security, and all kinds of information contributes to that.  And all I know is that is not unusual for lots of nations," said Kerry.

Such revelations should not be surprising, says Kristian Gustafson of the Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies at Brunel University.

“On security issues everyone is sufficiently on the same page that they don’t tend to need to spy on each other. But it’s in the economic realm where they are competitors rather than allies where you tend to get these espionage allegations," said Gustafson.

Other leaked documents allege that the NSA taps a half-billion phone calls and e-mails in Germany in a typical month.
 
“It might turn into an EU internal problem," said David Cadier, who is from the IDEAS analyst group at the London School of Economics. "It might be that the problem is less the fact that the U.S. authorities have been spying on some EU delegations officers, some embassies. But I think the key problem will rather be the issue of personal data sharing."

The allegations come as Europe and the United States are beginning negotiations on creating the world’s biggest free trade agreement.

“Will it be put in jeopardy? In the end, I don’t think so because the level of support among the EU officials, among European governments, for this trade has been quite strong," said David Cadier of LSE.

One document lists 38 other embassies where spying has allegedly taken place - including Mexico, Japan, South Korea, India and Turkey.
 
The documents were leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently at Moscow airport while he seeks asylum.

Several European politicians have suggested he should now be offered asylum in Europe.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid