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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora