Spanish media: NSA spied on 60 million calls in Spain in a single month


A supporter holds a sign at a small rally in support of National Security Administration (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden in Manhattan's Union Square on June 10, 2013 in New York City. Spying revelations via documents released by Snowden have caused serious tensions between European countries and the US.


Mario Tama

It's been a busy month for America's ambassadors.

Another US ambassador was summoned Monday to explain the latest revelations of the US National Security Agency's surveillance program.

This time, it's Spain which found out that the NSA reportedly monitored over 60 million phone calls of Spanish residents in a single month.

The allegations were printed in Spanish daily El Mundo and originated from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the government was seeking more information.

"I had been in touch with (the US ambassador) before this morning's meeting...So far, we have no official indication that our country has been spied on," Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Monday.

He added that if the report "was to be confirmed, [it] could break the climate of trust that has traditionally been the one between our two countries."

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The report in El Mundo showed that between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013, the NSA spied on 60.5 million calls.

While the content of the calls does not appear to have been monitored, the serial and phone numbers, the sim cards, and the duration and location of the calls were recorded.

So far, Spain has resisted backing a "no spy deal" advocated by Germany and France, in which countries would agree to halt mutual espionage.

However, with the latest revelations it joins other European nations calling on the United States to explain allegations of the NSA's mass surveillance.

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel — whose personal phone was allegedly monitored — said that relations between her country and the US had been shaken.

The German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote last week: "Barack Obama is not a Nobel peace prize winner, he is a troublemaker."

Reports in the German press suggested US President Barack Obama was informed of the NSA's spying on world leaders — Merkel in particular — in 2010.

The Wall Street Journal quoted US officials saying Obama was not aware of the NSA's spying on world leaders until an internal review this summer revealed the existence of the program. The officials told The Journal the White House "cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them," including the ones targeting Merkel and some other world leaders.

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