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.

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Comment Sorting
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 and search Brandon Raub.

Law enforcement tases citizens into "excited delirium" (see at 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.

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