11:14 28 October 2013
Following news that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored the phone calls of 35 world leaders, Spanish media is now claiming that the agency monitors 60 million calls in their country. They allege the NSA of collecting the location of both the callers and the recipients but not the call’s content. This is based on the documents provided by whistle-blower and fugitive US analyst Edward Snowden. This claim, which was published in El Pais, coincides with the arrival of EU parliamentary delegation in Washington.
Meanwhile, a Japanese news agency says that NSA asked for the help of the Japanese government in 2011 to monitor fibre-optic cables in order for US to spy on China. However, Japan did not agree due to shortage of personnel and due to legal restrictions.
The White House is yet to comment on the issue.
The head of the European parliament delegation, British MEP Claude Moraes, said that the news is worrying. He told BBC: "The headline news, that 35 leaders had their phones tapped is not the real crux of the issue.”
"It really is the El Mundo type story, that millions of citizens of countries... had their landlines and other communications tapped. So it's about mass surveillance. It's about scale and proportionality."
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