News / Europe

German, European Officials to Confront US Over Spy Allegations

British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet on sidelines of EU summit, Brussels, Oct. 25, 2013.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet on sidelines of EU summit, Brussels, Oct. 25, 2013.
VOA News
Senior German officials and European lawmakers say they are going to Washington soon to confront officials about allegations the U.S. has been spying on its allies.
 
Germany said Friday that the heads of its foreign and domestic intelligence agencies would travel to the U.S. shortly, although no date was set for the meeting with officials at the White House and the National Security Agency, the government's clandestine spy agency that monitors millions of telephone and Internet exchanges in an effort to thwart terrorism.
 
The European Union lawmakers said they are meeting with U.S. officials next week in the wake of allegations the U.S. has engaged in widespread electronic spying on EU citizens and leaders, including the cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
 
A German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said Friday that the alleged spying on Merkel's phone may have been conducted out of the U.S. embassy in Berlin, which is located less than a kilometer from the German chancellery. The newspaper said the U.S. embassy has a listening post run by the Special Collection Service, a joint operation by the NSA and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
 
The U.S. spy operations have drawn widespread condemnation in Europe, whose leaders are some of the staunchest American allies. Merkel said the U.S.-European alliance "can only be built on trust. That's why I repeat again: spying among friends, that cannot be."
 
French President Francois Hollande demanded an explanation from the Obama administration, saying the U.S. spying must stop.

"There are some behaviors and practices that cannot be accepted," he said through an interpretor. " Considering the level and extent of surveillance that has been led by American services, as it happens, and given this can apply to all citizens, including a number of European leaders, we need to put an end to it and there is a clarification required."
 
Meanwhile, a prominent U.S. newspaper, The Washington Post, says U.S. officials are warning some foreign intelligence services that documents obtained by NSA contractor Edward Snowden detail their secret cooperation with Washington.
 
The newspaper reported the tens of thousands of documents that Snowden collected contain sensitive material about spy programs against such countries as Iran, Russia and China. The newspaper said the documents also referred to operations involving countries not publicly allied with the U.S.
 
The Post described the process of notifying world capital officials about the risk of disclosure as "delicate" because, in some cases, one part of a cooperating government might not know about the collaboration.
 
The notification coincides with a global uproar over reports the United States spied on the phone conversations of 35 world leaders, the latest report being about Merkel.
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney refused Thursday to deny the NSA had spied on past communications from Chancellor Merkel.
 
Merkel says she made it clear in a phone call Wednesday to U.S. President Barack Obama that "spying on friends is not acceptable at all."
 
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Great North (Canada)
October 25, 2013 9:09 PM
What a bunch of hypocrites, they are all in the intelligence gathering business, and so is every other rational country that has the ability/resources to do it.. They all gather info on other countries, it is part of self preservation and the National Interests... agenda. The intelligence efforts are directly proportional to the capabilities and financial abilities to do so; the more able gather more info than the less able; this has gone on from time of the first tribal units and it goes beyond gvmts, it permeates business, science, technology... etc. In some cases there may not be any other way, given some of the senseless conflicting statements some of the org heads make....Who knows what the truth is??? So why? pick on the US, until they clean their own houses of such activities!

by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago, USA
October 25, 2013 12:13 PM
It is understantable when China spies on the U.S. and the U.S. on China and Russia as they are foes that may fight a war some day - especially now that the dispute between China, Vietnam, and Philippines over South China Sea is getting hotter. If there is a war, the U.S. may fight on the side on Philippines. But the U.S. spying on European allies, and the cell-phone calls on 35 other world leaders, is quite foolish.

It has come to the point where Ireland's prime minister yesterday showed his cell-phone to reporters in the European Parliament Hall and told them: "Every time I use this, I use with the attention that someone is listening to it," on quote. Who he meant was "the someone?" Well, who else When the news of the U.S. spying on European leaders had first made the headlines in the French newspaper "Le Monte," BBC's anchor Kathy Kay interviewed the diplomatic editor of the Associate Press for "pespective." At the end of the discussion, Ms. Kay asked him this question: "What can the Europeans do to stop it (the U.S. spying)? His answer: "Nothing, they just have to suck it up!"

Obviously, the European leaders were informed by their staff about such views of them (as suckers) were making the global news, and their tempo of anti-U.S. spying rhetoric picked up. And even though they try to pretend publicly that the furor is contained, as it is required by diplomatic protocols, their egos are certainly wounded! Being spied upon by your ally as he spies for terrorists is something that the European leaders may have to "suck it up!" But the question that still has to be answered is this: "Can the digest it?" Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs