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.
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 Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid