New Revelations About NSA Spying Abroad Enrage European Officials

By:  Bob Adelmann
New Revelations About NSA Spying Abroad Enrage European Officials

Recent revelations that the US placed bugs in EU officials' offices in the US and hacked into EU headquarters in Brussels have enraged European officials.

Saturday’s revelations by the German newspaper Der Spiegel that U.S. agents placed bugs in European Union officials’ offices in New York and Washington and hacked into EU headquarters in Brussels have ignited a firestorm of indignation among German and European officials. Coming on the heels of the FISA court’s ruling in April that Verizon must turn over telephone records to the National Security Agency and Edward Snowden’s exposure in June of PRISM, which has been vacuuming up American citizens’ Internet communications for years, expressions of outrage were heard from German and European Union politicians. Martin Schulz, head of the European Parliament, declared: "On behalf of the European Parliament I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from US authorities with regard to these allegations."

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said: “If these reports are true, it’s disgusting. The United States would be better off monitoring its [own] secret services than [those of] its allies. Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Germany's minister of justice, said such spying was “reminiscent of the methods of foes during the cold war,” adding:

It defies all belief that our friends in the US see Europeans as enemies. If EU offices in Brussels and Washington were indeed monitored by US intelligence services, that can hardly be explained with the argument of fighting terrorism.

There has to be an immediate and comprehensive explanation from the US as to whether media reports about completely unacceptable surveillance measures of the US in the EU are true or not.

Comprehensive spying on Europeans by Americans cannot be allowed.

A document partially revealed by Der Spiegel indicates that the National Security Agency (NSA) monitors half a billion phone calls, e-mails, and text messages in Germany every month, reminding those who lived in East Germany of tactics used by the Stasi secret police, along with older memories of Hitler’s Nazi regime.

Elmar Brok, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, also appeared to be outraged:

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