European Officials Angered Over Reports NSA Spied on Them
The European Union issued a warning to America on Sunday after reports surfaced that the U.S. National Security Agency was snooping on its leaders.
“I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations,” said European Parliament President Martin Schulz. “If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-U.S. relations. On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations.”
The information comes from a report published by the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Sunday, which cited NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden as its source.
U.S. intelligence officials have yet to respond, but EU spokeswoman Marlene Holzner said the European Union has contacted Washington about the reports. Holzner added, “They have told us they are checking on the accuracy of the information released yesterday and will come back to us.”
Citing information from secret documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday that several U.S. spying operations targeted European Union leaders.
Der Spiegel said it had “in part seen” documents from Snowden that describe how the National Security Agency bugged EU officials’ Washington and New York offices and conducted an “electronic eavsdropping operation” that tapped into a EU building in Brussels, Belgium.
The magazine’s report also says that NSA spying has targeted telephone and Internet connection data in Germany more than any other European nation. An average of up to 20 million phone connections and 10 million Internet data connections are surveyed daily, Der Spiegel said, noting that the intensity of surveillance puts the U.S. ally on par with China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
— Posted by Tracy Bloom.