Spain summons U.S. ambassador over spying

MADRID Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:00am EDT

1 of 3. U.S. ambassador in Spain, James Costos (L), leaves the foreign ministry after being summoned to a meeting with Spain's European Secretary of State in Madrid October 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Juan Medina

Related Topics

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to discuss allegations of spying on Spanish citizens that it said could break the climate of trust between the two countries if proved true.

Earlier, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo said the NSA had recently tracked over 60 million calls in Spain in the space of a month, citing a document which it said formed part of papers obtained from ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"I had been in touch with (the U.S. 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 at a joint news conference with his Polish counterpart in Warsaw.

"As in previous occasions, we've asked the U.S. ambassador to give the government all the necessary information on an issue which, if it was to be confirmed, could break the climate of trust that has traditionally been the one between our two countries."

Madrid has also asked the United States to provide more data from the National Security Agency (NSA), the foreign ministry said in a statement 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.

U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered a review of U.S. surveillance programs after Snowden leaked documents that raised alarm in the United States and abroad.

"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.

Spain has so far resisted calls from Germany for the European Union's 28-member states to reach a "no-spy deal", after reports that the NSA monitored the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel.

El Mundo reproduced a graphic on Monday which it said was an NSA document showing the agency had spied on 60.5 million phone calls in Spain between December 10, 2012 and January 8 this year.

The newspaper said it had reached a deal with Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based journalist who has worked with other media on information provided to him by Snowden, to get access to documents affecting Spain.

El Mundo said the telephone monitoring did not appear to track the content of calls but their duration and where they took place.

Snowden is currently living in Russia, out of reach of U.S. attempts to arrest him.

(Reporting by Sarah White, Emma Pinedo and Tracy Rucinski; Additional reporting by Marcin Goettig in Warsaw; Editing by Paul Day and Ralph Boulton)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (39)
Renox wrote:
Wake up!! This information was known and it was in public domain 10 years ago.Fascism has come to America, people are just to blind to see it.

Oct 28, 2013 5:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
waqaa wrote:
My goodness we are very talented. Our NSA spied on 720 million calls in one year. Wow!!! How many employees does NSA have? Let see! The NSA spied on Brazil,Germany, Frances and who else? This is fantastic!!!! Oh yes please tell what is meant by spying. Did the NSA listen and record every word of every conversation? I am even more impressed. I would suggest that we do indeed listen to phone calls, but where did the NSA find so many employees. Of course, Snowden, “unnamed sources in various governments and what ever. As it would appear only the USA spy on anyone. I hope the NSA does not reveal what they know about the idiots who run EU security folks? Do they intend to rely on our NSA to protect them from physical or cyber attacks? Digitel communications are pretty much open to any one who cares to look. One person who has been listenig is Mr. Murdoch and Ms. R. Brooks. Millions of personal financial records have been stolen. I think the NSA is the least of the world’s problems. I would like to know if any of the data collected by the NSA has been used to kill or steal, this I would like to know more about. If I was Ombama, I would cut all sharing of economic and security data with EU. The EU ae apparently unware of the various forms of cyber crime.

Oct 28, 2013 6:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mohamedmohsen wrote:
With the kind of Cyber Crimes and Group killings one would say if it helps prevent those for the well being of humanity then its ok, because it has priority over private issues. But how to not use the other info can be debated and agreed upon between the countries of the world.
Naturally countries will spy to have the edge of knowledge to prevent, or be prepared, so I am not sure how the matter escalates!!.. We are not in heaven

Oct 28, 2013 6:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.