NSA revelations: Spain also a victim of US espionage

The agency tracked communications from government members

Officials hint that spying took place during Zapatero era

The US administration’s National Security Agency (NSA) not only combed the telephone conversations, text messages and emails of millions of Spaniards, but it also spied on members of the Spanish government and politicians, according to sources who have knowledge of the secret documents in the possession of whistleblower and former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.

Even as other European leaders, led by Germany and France, discussed a response to the revelations that the NSA had spied on top officials in allied nations around the world, the Spanish government maintained official silence to avoid damaging relations with Washington. Amidst widespread indignation at the Brussels summit of European Union leaders, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made no comment, and his conservative administration has tried until the last moment to play down the possibilities of NSA spying having targeted Spain.

On Thursday morning a high-ranking official insisted that the Rajoy government was “unaware” that the NSA had operated a large-scale espionage operation in Spain. However, the administration member added: “If this were the cease, it would have taken place in the [Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez] Zapatero era.” The phrase made clear that the Spanish administration already knew more than it was letting on in public; or that it was keen to distance itself from the issue by describing such abuses as something which affected the previous government, and therefore, was not something it could have avoided.

Spain’s CNI intelligence service has assumed that Spain was among the long list of countries affected by Washington´s espionage operations, but did not consider it likely that individual politicians had been targeted. In July Defense Minister Pedro Morenés declared: “I have not been spied on, and in general I don’t think it has been generalized thing.”

After Wednesday’s revelation that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone communications had been intercepted, such confidence began to melt away. “What I care about now is Rajoy’s cellphone,” said a prime-ministerial aide on Thursday.

At a media conference in Brussels on Friday afternoon, Rajoy said that the only decision he had taken so far on the NSA spying issue was to ask the US ambassador in Spain to provide explanations. Asked whether he would join the Franco-German initiative to demand answers from US President Barack Obama, Rajoy said that he would take such that decision "in due course," adding that he did not have the awareness that those two fellow European government did of having been a victim of NSA espionage.

A statement agreed by the 28 EU leaders gathered in Brussels says that "a lack of trust could prejudice" intelligence-gathering co-operation.

Y ADEMÁS...

Para poder comentar debes estar registrado en Eskup y haber iniciado sesión

Darse de alta ¿Por qué darse de alta?

Otras noticias

LATIN AMERICA

Mamá Rosa has dementia, says Prosecutor General

The 80-year-old founder of La Gran Familia no longer has the capacity to run the shelter

China and Cuba sign 29 cooperation agreements

Maye Primera Miami

Castro is working to attract foreign investment to jumpstart Cuban economy

Mexico ends 76-year-old state oil and gas monopoly

Opposition PRD threatens to use legal tools to force repeal of reform package that allows private and foreign investment

Ecuador takes on debt in order to grow

Country’s deficit exceeded $5 billion last year, five times more than in 2012

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50

Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana