Greenwald's Latest: NSA Monitored Tens of Millions of Spanish Calls Last Year

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 28 2013 9:51 AM

Greenwald's Latest: NSA Monitored Tens of Millions of Spanish Calls Last Year

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A frame grab made from AFPTV footage, reportedly taken on October 9, 2013, shows US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden speaking during his dinner with a group of four retired US ex-intelligence workers and activists at a luxurious room in an unidentified location

Photo by AFPTV/AFP/Getty Images

Add another one to the list. Writing in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on Monday, Glenn Greenwald reports that the NSA recently tracked more than 60 million calls in Spain during the course of a month. That revelation, the latest in a series highlighting the scope of America's surveillance of its allies abroad, is based on a previously secret document leaked by Edward Snowden. According to the report, the NSA monitored the calls' numbers and duration—but not their content—and that the agency was also capable of accessing emails and texts. Here's Reuters with the reaction from Madrid:

Spain summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to discuss alleged spying on Spanish citizens and said that, if true, the action was unacceptable behavior by an ally. ... "Spain has relayed to the United States the importance of preserving a climate of trust...and its interest in understanding the full reach of practices that, if true, would be considered inappropriate and unacceptable between allies," the Spanish foreign ministry said in a statement. ...
The statement was issued after a meeting between Spain's Secretary of State for the European Union, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, and U.S. Ambassador to Spain James Costos. "We will continue to confer with our allies, such as Spain, through our regular diplomatic channels to address the concerns that they have raised," Costos said in a statement.
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Monday's revelation comes after string of similar ones last week: On Thursday, the Guardian reported that the U.S. government had monitored the phone calls of as many as 35 world leaders; on Wednesday, Obama had to call German Chancellor Angela Merkel to assure her that the NSA wasn't currently listening in on her phone; and on Monday, Obama made a similar call to French President François Hollande in an attempt to smooth things over after Le Monde published its own Snowden-fueled report claiming that the NSA had been engaged in widespread spying on French citizens on "a massive scale." Meanwhile on this side of the Atlantic, Mexico recently learned that America has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for years.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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