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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid