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.