• 1 minute Read

More NSA Revelations Damage America’s Relationship With Europe

As the White House attempts to distance President Obama from the NSA scandal, new revelations in Spain and Berlin add more pressure to the relationship on each side of the Atlantic.

More NSA Revelations Damage America’s Relationship With Europe
[Image: Flickr user Peter Kaminski]

Relations between the United States and Europe are tense this morning, after the NSA was found to have been listening in on conversations in both Spain and Germany. After last week’s disclosure that the government agency had routinely bugged the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for over a decade–the eavesdropping started three years before she became premier of Europe’s powerhouse–the president is being kept out of the fray, as officials claim POTUS was unaware of the NSA’s actions–because, in short, the government’s surveillance arm had so many campaigns going it wouldn’t have been practical to keep him in the loop on all of them.

Spain has summoned the United States ambassador over claims that more than 60 million phone calls were tracked in December of 2012. Although the content of the calls wasn’t monitored, the NSA took details of the devices’ cell numbers and serial numbers, SIM cards, and call duration. Emails and social media were also monitored. And Der Spiegel has revealed just how Washington’s outpost in Berlin was used as a listening station by members of the NSA and CIA known as the Special Collection Service, or SCS. These operatives are said to be active in 19 European cities, including Rome, Madrid, Paris, and Geneva.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.