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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid