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US Monitored 60 Million Calls In Spain

A Spanish newspaper published a document Monday that it said shows the U.S. National Security Agency spied on more than 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month alone — the latest revelation about alleged massive U.S. spying on allies.

 

A new National Security Agency (NSA) data center in Bluffdale, Utah
A new National Security Agency (NSA) data center in Bluffdale, Utah (George Frey/Getty Images)

The El Mundo newspaper report comes a week after the French paper Le Monde reported similar allegations of U.S. spying in France and German magazine Der Spiegel reported that Washington tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. The leaders of Brazil and Mexico are also reported to have been spied on.

A European summit last week was dominated by anger over the reported extent of U.S. spying on allies and Germany was sending its spy chiefs to Washington to demand answers.

El Mundo said the bar graph document titled “Spain – Last 30 days” showed daily call traffic volume between Dec. 10, 2012, and Jan. 8, 2013. It says the NSA monitored the numbers and duration of the calls, but not their content. The document does not show the numbers.

El Mundo said the Metadata system used by the NSA could also monitor emails and phone texts, although these were not shown on the graph.

The newspaper said the document was one those leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States but has been granted asylum in Russia.

Just as with the report in Le Monde, the El Mundo story was co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who originally revealed the NSA surveillance program based on leaks from Snowden. El Mundo said it had reached a deal with Greenwald to have the exclusive on the Snowden documents relating to Spain.

There was no immediate reaction to the report from either the Spanish government or the U.S. embassy in Madrid. However, U.S. Ambassador James Costos had already been summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Monday to discuss reports that indicated Spain was a U.S. spying target.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy ordered the summoning last Friday but insisted his government was unaware of any cases of U.S. spying on Spain. He spoke after Spain’s leading newspaper El Pais on Friday cited unidentified sources that saw documents obtained by Snowden as saying they showed that the NSA had tracked phone calls, text messages and emails of millions of Spaniards and spied on members of the Spanish government and other politicians.

At a European Union summit on Friday, Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said they would press the Obama administration to agree by year’s end to limits that could put an end to the alleged American eavesdropping on foreign leaders, businesses and innocent citizens.

Nine European Parliament deputies were visiting Washington beginning Monday to get more information on the U.S. mass surveillance by the NSA.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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