News / USA

Kerry: US Surveillance Went 'Too Far'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the Select USA Investment Summit in Washington on November 1, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the Select USA Investment Summit in Washington on November 1, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the nation's surveillance activities went "too far" in some cases, and has promised that will not happen again.

Kerry, in Washington, made the comments Thursday by videolink to a conference in London.

Recent media reports that the National Security Agency was monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone calls - and those of other allies,  have ignited anger overseas and in Washington.   The reports were based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The Senate Intelligence committee Thursday approved legislation to tighten controls on what intelligence agencies can do with communications records. It imposes a five-year limit on how long those records can be retained.

The controversy has also made its way to Asia.  Indonesia on Thursday summoned the Australian ambassador in Jakarta following reports indicating that Australia has allowed covert U.S. surveillance programs to operate in its embassies in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and East Timor.   

Australian diplomat Greg Moriarty spoke with reporters following the meeting.

"I've just had a meeting with secretary-general," he said.  "From my perspective it was a good meeting and now I have to go and report directly to my government. Thank you." 

Indonesia's foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa, had this to say:

"Well, we are obviously deeply concerned and it's something that we cannot accept.  We have sought clarification, we have sought explanation, both from Australia side as well as the United States government on the reported facilities at their embassies in Jakarta," said Marty Natalegawa. 

Media reports said also said that the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta was used for spying on its president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and other Indonesian leaders.  They indicate the U.S. embassy houses wiretapping equipment that has been used to monitor other Indonesian leaders.  The documents describe the facilities as carefully concealed within embassy compounds.  

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has summoned America's top diplomat in Jakarta to clarify allegations reported Thursday that the U.S. embassy in Jakarta may have been used to spy on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

On Wednesday, Internet search engines Google and Yahoo expressed dismay over reports the U.S. National Security Agency secretly broke into their communication networks.

In a statement, Google said it is "outraged" at the lengths to which the U.S. government seems to have gone to intercept data from Google's private networks, and said these reports underscore the need for urgent reform. Both Google and Yahoo said they have not authorized the alleged tapping of their communication links.

The new allegations of NSA activity follow a series of recent media revelations of U.S. surveillance activities targeting international leaders and institutions.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: Michigan, USA
November 02, 2013 12:29 AM
There are media reports on the Internet, which would suggest that the 'reforms' make it easier for the NSA to spy without warrants. While I have not personally read the text of the law, I remain skeptical of the ability of members of the Intelligence Committee to be forthright with the facts, given all they have previously said has been proven to be mythical.

by: Y.F.
November 01, 2013 9:00 PM
Dear Voice Of America/
You could check Alex Grigoryev from your Russian service -
there is very simple way from his page \Grigusa\ to the russian propagandist \anti-american\ sites.

Your Friend.

by: JBSmith from: Newport News, VA
November 01, 2013 1:39 PM
Read "A Note on Uberveillance" by M. D. Michael. Newport News Police and Virginia State Police had Dr. Lawrence Chang implant me w/o my knowledge and consent with a biochip. It enables torture. They use it as a sensor and pulse energy projectiles at you. I had a heart attack. It enables voice to skull communication. See LRAD white papers or audio spotlight by Holosonics. See Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer page 9. See Mental Health and Terrorism by Amin Gadit. See Bio Initiative Report 2012. See Forbes.com and search Brandon Raub.

Law enforcement tases citizens into "excited delirium" (see at nij.org) to make them act in ways they normally would not. There are 3 reasons to have it implanted 1) mental health, 2) criminal record, and 3) infectious disease. If you don’t meet any of those requirements like me, they’ll falsify your records. All the mass shootings are the work of law enforcement. They want to take away your right to bear arms and make America a police state. They torture people into a state of what the national institute of justice calls "excited delirium." People aren’t suddenly going crazy, they're being tortured.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 01, 2013 1:26 PM
If it went too far, are you willing now to bring it too near? Methinks surveillance is not a bad thing if nefarious things are to be kept from peoples' minds and thoughts and communications tamed to be clean and acceptable, not civilized on the surface and bigoted in the covert.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs