NSA’s claims of EU spying on its own members becames unresolved


By Jaime Ortega.

Gen. Keith Alexander , director of the National Security Agency (NSA )  who has backed Obama publicly, said at a hearing before the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives that the information they have in countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy came across ” European partners.”

” To be perfectly clear , we do not collect that information,” Alexander specifically cited relevant reports published by a serious of newspapers around the world , as well as by the French newspaper ‘Le Monde ‘ and the Italian ‘L’ Espresso .’

The disclosures of such means, based on the documents provided by former CIA consultant , Edward Snowden , which indicated that the NSA had spied over 70 million phone calls in France and 60 million in Spain in the span of a month , are ” completely false ,” said Alexander.

However another anonymous source suggest that while the NSA was spying on Spain and Portugal directly, Spain was actually collecting data on Germany with additional help from the NSA.

The NSA declined to comment, as did the Spanish foreign ministry and a spokesman for the French Embassy in Washington. A spokesman for Spain’s intelligence service said: “Spanish law impedes us from talking about our procedures, methods and relationships with other intelligence services.”

In recent days, leading newspapers in France and Spain have cited documents provided by the fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in reports that alleged that the NSA was sweeping up massive quantities of phone records in those countries.

Le Monde said the documents showed that more than 70 million French phone records between early December 2012 and early January 2013 were collected by the NSA, prompting Paris to lodge a protest with the U.S.

In Spain, the El Mundo newspaper reported that it had seen NSA documents that showed the U.S. spy agency had intercepted 60.5 million phone calls in Spain during the same time period.

The director of the NSA also confirmed the revelations found on the ‘Wall Street Journal’ in which the wiretapping in these countries, attributed to the NSA , had been made by European secret services and “given ” to the U.S. agency . He added that these data are from foreign intelligence agencies and communications as most were captured outside Europe.

Whistle blowers for The Daily Journalist commented that while the US, Russia, China, Britain and France are well-known to engage in aggressive cyber espionage, including against allies, many other countries do not have anywhere near the same surveillance infrastructure – and concentrate their more limited resources on counter-terrorism and serious crime.

Questioning the latest reactions on the Wall Street Journal’s findings, but not shutting the possibility down.

Asked whether the NSA shared information with fellow” European allies ” and if they likewise share information with the U.S. agency , Gen. Alexander responded affirmatively yes.

Also speaking at the hearing, the Director of National Intelligence , James Clapper, who oversees all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies , including the NSA. In his speech, he denounced ” a torrent of damaging revelations ” to the work of their services.

US President Barack Obama has “recently ordered” the National Security Agency to stop tapping the UN headquarters in New York amid the review of electronic surveillance programs, Reuters reported, citing official sources.

“The United States is not conducting electronic surveillance targeting the United Nations headquarters in New York,” a senior Obama administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another official told the news agency that the decision was made within the last few weeks after the president’s aides said in briefings that the White House no longer wanted to conduct certain monitoring of UN targets.

The official could not elaborate on the extent of past surveillance and did not say whether the monitoring of UN diplomats elsewhere in the world is continuing, as such programs are highly classified.

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