News / Europe

Kerry: US to Work Closely With Allies Over Surveillance Concerns

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands as he meets with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw, Nov. 5, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands as he meets with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw, Nov. 5, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration will work more closely with allies to overcome privacy concerns raised by the revelation of U.S. intelligence operations in Europe. In Poland, Kerry discussed the spy scandal and efforts to end Syria's civil war.

Kerry says the Obama administration welcomes the opportunity to discuss concerns raised by the disclosure of U.S. eavesdropping as Washington and its European allies are all trying to balance the protection and privacy of their citizens.

"Ultimately if we get it right, which we will, we can not only alleviate concerns but we can actually strengthen our intelligence relationships going forward, and we can all be more secure and safer as a result as well as protecting the privacy of citizens," he said.

The spy scandal began with documents released by former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden alleging that the United States collects records of domestic e-mails and telephone calls as well as the cell phone and Internet activities of individuals overseas.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks during a press conference after talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, right, in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 5, 2013.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks during a press conference after talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, right, in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 5, 2013.
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks during a press conference after talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, right, in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 5, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks during a press conference after talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, right, in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 5, 2013.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski says he and Kerry agreed on closer cooperation between their intelligence services.

"It is also vital to make sure that our rights and regulations and procedures keep up with the technological progress so that our citizens can feel safe and the alliances are not threatened, are not overburdened by such incidents as this case of Mr. Snowden," he said.

Sikorski and Kerry also discussed efforts to end Syria's civil war, with the Polish foreign minister saying a negotiated settlement is the only answer.

"We think that this is the last chance, the last resort for Syria and for its citizens," he said.

The official Syrian news agency quotes Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi as saying President Bashar al-Assad's government will not take part in talks on a transitional government if those talks are designed to remove the president from power.

Syrian opposition groups are refusing to join those talks unless the president agrees to step down. Kerry says Assad has lost all legitimacy, but he still expects the current government in Damascus to take part.

"I hope that the Syrian government and the Russians and Iranians and others who support the Syrian regime will make certain that the Syrian regime will live up to its obligation to come to Geneva to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria," he said.

U.S. and Russian officials are meeting with U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva to prepare for the long-delayed talks amid continuing disagreement over who else might take part. President Assad wants to invite Iran. The United States says Tehran must first agree to the overall executive authority of the interim government to come.

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by: iNSIDER from: WASHINGTON
November 05, 2013 9:52 AM
But PROJECT ECHELON, The NSA, and all other so-called "government agencies" will never stop peeping on even their own citizens. It will NOT stop. People must rise up. The police department in Puyallup, Washington has a practice and custom of ordering female DUI suspects to undress completely in a room subject to video surveillance. This isn’t a security measure, since the women had already been patted down for weapons. And the procedure is carried out even when the women aren’t being booked on charges.

One of the women forced to disrobe – a married mother of two — recalls being told that she had “to take everything off. Underwear, too. … I said, `It’s just underwear. What can I do in my underwear?’”

Seattle Attorney James Egan explains that he became aware of this practice a few years ago when he began reviewing evidence in DUI cases. Public record requests for surveillance videos indicated that this degrading and unnecessary procedure was commonplace.

The irony, Egan points out, is that the women subject to this mistreatment are “suspected of misdemeanors and taken to a facility where officers are committing felonies.”

Attorney Julie Kays, who is assisting Egan in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the victims, points out: “If this were any other person and had occurred outside the jail, we would call these people peeping Toms.”

Unfortunately, law enforcement long ago became essentially lawless.

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