Spain launches preliminary NSA surveillance probe – report
MOSCOW, October 30 (RAPSI) – Spanish Attorney General Eduardo Torres-Dulce has initiated a preliminary probe into allegations published earlier this week by Spanish news agency El Mundo claiming that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had tracked upwards of 60 million phone calls in Spain over the course of a month, Reuters reported Tuesday.
El Mundo reported Monday that the NSA had spied on upwards of 60 million phone calls during a period between December 10, 2012 and January 8 of this year.
This revelation has fallen against the backdrop of broad NSA monitoring revalations both within the US and abroad.
According to Reuters, Torres-Dulce authorized an initial probe after El Mundo released the report Monday.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it had summoned US Ambassador James Costos, seeking clarification on the NSA “mass spying” allegations.
According to the statement, “Spain conveyed to the United States the importance of preserving a climate of confidence in bilateral relations and wished to know the scope of certain practices that are certainly inappropriate and unacceptable between partners and allied countries.”
Costos agreed to convey Spain’s concern to the US authorities, and vowed to “clear up any misunderstandings that might have arisen over this affair,” according to the statement.
Meanwhile, lawmakers from Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) have reportedly urged the imperative that fugitive whiste-blower Edward Snowden should come forward with a testimony in the aftermath of revelations of NSA surveillance carried out against German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Edward Snowden would be a valuable witness in the matter,” SDP Secretary General Andrea Nales told several European news outlets. She added that the lower house of Germany’s parliament should establish a special committee in order to investigate the scandal.
Citing secret US National Security Association (NSA) documents, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that the NSA had carried out surveillance on Merkel’s mobile phone for more than 10 years, and that her cell phone number had been on a special list of an NSA unit known as the Special Collection Service (SCS), since 2002.
The report was based on documents leaked by Snowden, who formerly served as an NSA contractor and an employee of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The young whistleblower attracted international attention over the summer after he leaked classified evidence of US government surveillance programs to the media.