News / Europe

Italy Presses Kerry Over US Surveillance

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting in Rome, Oct. 23, 2013.
Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting in Rome, Oct. 23, 2013.
Reuters
Secretary of State John Kerry promised on Wednesday that U.S. authorities would look into whether their intelligence services may have illegally intercepted Italian telecoms data, an Italian government source said.
 
Kerry met Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta during a visit to Rome, where he faced fresh questions about mass spying on European allies based on revelations by Edward Snowden, the fugitive ex-U.S. intelligence operative granted asylum in Russia.
 
“The question was brought up to verify reports about possible violations of privacy rules,” a source in the Italian prime minister's office said following the meeting.
 
“We encountered a cooperative attitude and were assured that the U.S. administration has put the issue under review.”
 
A U.S. official said Kerry had briefly discussed the recent reports of American intelligence gathering with Letta.
 
“Secretary Kerry made clear that our goal is to find the right balance between protecting the security and the privacy of our citizens and that this work will continue, as will our close consultations with our friends, including Italy,” he said.
 
Separately on Wednesday, a senior Italian official told a parliamentary committee that Italian security services had no knowledge of PRISM, the U.S. data gathering operation revealed by Snowden earlier this year.
 
Marco Minniti, state secretary with responsibility for the security services, told the committee there was reasonable certainty that communications between Italian citizens within Italy had not been compromised.
 
He also said there had been active contacts between Italian and U.S. services including high level technical meetings ever since the Snowden case first became public in June.
 
The French government has called for the issue to be put on the agenda of the next European Union summit this week in Brussels. The French daily Le Monde reported this week that the U.S. National Security Agency had conducted mass surveillance of French citizens.
 
“Italians must have clarity on this issue,” Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said on Wednesday in Rome. Italians must know and be told whether they were spied on “without being intimidated by anyone”, he said.
 
Italy's main privacy watchdog has written to Letta to request that the government look into whether Italy may also have been targeted by U.S. surveillance programs.
 
The director of the U.S. National Security Agency, Army General Keith Alexander, has vigorously defended the NSA's activities as lawful and necessary to detect and disrupt terrorist plots.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid