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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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.
x
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.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid