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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora