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Mass U.S. Monitoring of Innocent Non-Americans Must End (El Pais, Spain)


"The Obama Administration cannot continue to use a strategy of silence and obstruction when it comes to the scandalous violation of individual rights that has been exposed. ... It is hard to accept that the fight against terrorism justifies a need to monitor the communications of millions of citizens in other countries."




Translated By Seren Moore


October 28, 2013


Spain - El Pais - Original Article (Spanish)

A bemused U.S. ambassador to Spain, James Costos, leaves Spain's Foreign Ministry in Madrid, after being summoned to answer to charges that Washington monitored 60 million phone calls in Spain within a one-month period, October 28.

RUSSIA TODAY NEWS VIDEO: European elites in uproar over spying on world leaders, Oct. 26, 00:04:32RealVideo

Four months after the scandal broke over massive communications espionage by the U.S. National Security Agency, the Obama Administration cannot continue to use a strategy of silence and obstruction when it comes to the scandalous violation of individual rights that has been exposed. In a telephone conversation last Wednesday, Chancellor Merkel herself personally reminded Obama that such practices are unacceptable. Now we know that the programs the agency uses are not only used for hijacking computers and intercepting communications, but have also been used to tap telephone lines, including Merkel's.


However much it is claimed that this surveillance is carried out with judicial authorization under the controversial Patriot Act, it is hard to accept that the fight against terrorism justifies a need to monitor the communications of millions of citizens in other countries. A basic sense of proportionality makes it implausible that in a hypothetical search for terrorist cells, the intelligence services were involved with monitoring the computers of important people such as the presidents of Mexico and Brazil, or French diplomatic missions in Washington and the United Nations.


Amid the escalating revelations, we also know that the Spanish secret services assume that private communications in our country have been illegally intercepted. Up to now, demands for explanations have been met with the same evasive responses as the rest of the affected countries. Among allies, this is unacceptable.

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The unease this issue creates within governments and the European Commission explains why reactions have ranged from tepid to hypocritical, partly because most countries have a lot to hide about their own intelligence services. However, the dimensions of the case make the contempt with which Washington treats demands from its allies for an explanation unbearable.


The European Parliament, up to now the most active institution in defending the rights of citizens, but the one in possession of the least amount of competence, has asked that bank details not be provided to the United States without ensuring a legal framework consistent with the principals of the rule of law. It is only a gesture, but it is one that that Obama should not ignore.


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Posted By Worldmeets.US Oct. 28, 2013, 7:59am







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