Greenwald: U.S. Spying on Allies Shows ‘Institutional Obsession’
Posted on Oct 28, 2013
As a delegation of French and German lawmakers press in Washington for answers to allegations of U.S. spying in their home countries, the journalist who spearheaded reporting on the leaked documents that led to those disclosures comments on the NSA’s goal to “eliminate privacy worldwide.”
“There have been a series of reports,” Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald said on “Democracy Now!” on Monday, “in Germany, really over the last three months, mostly co-authored by Laura Poitras, the American filmmaker with whom I’ve been working on the Snowden story from the start, about systematic and bulk spying on the people of Germany, and, more recently, targeting the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, that has caused a very significant political controversy and underscoring the principal point—is what these stories do—which is that it really is the goal of the NSA, as I’ve said many times before, to eliminate privacy worldwide by ensuring that all forms of human electronic communication are subject to its ever-growing surveillance net.”
An article co-written by Greenwald and published in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on Monday morning revealed that the NSA tracked more than 60 million phone calls in Spain in the course of a month. A similar article co-authored by Greenwald published a week ago in the French newspaper Le Monde showed the NSA collected 70 million phone calls in France and stored them for later analysis.
“One of the main techniques [the NSA] uses, as Der Spiegel in its cover story reported this week,” Greenwald said, “is, through a consulate in Berlin, the NSA sends people who pretend to be diplomats, who are actually there to engage in mass surveillance on the German population, as well as to target the individual cellphone calls of prominent German politicians such as its chancellor. We did a similar report here in Brazil on the targeting of President Dilma Rousseff. And the same has happened in Mexico, where both the current and former Mexican presidents were targeted with similar forms of surveillance. And often the way that this is done is through people who pretend to be diplomats stationed at what pretends to be a consulate, but which is really an NSA outpost that exploits its positioning in the nation’s capital under diplomatic treaties to target the population and the leading democratically elected leaders with very invasive surveillance.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.