Spain has demanded the US to give details of any eavesdropping, amid reports it monitored 60 million Spanish telephone calls in a month.
The US ambassador to Spain, who had been summoned by its EU minister, vowed to clear the “doubts” that had arisen about his country’s alleged espionage.
Spanish Minister for European Affairs Inigo Mendez de Vigo said such practices, if true, were “inappropriate and unacceptable”.
An EU delegate in Washington said there had been “a breakdown of trust”.
Representatives from the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs spoke to members of the US Congress about the alleged US spying on European leaders and citizens.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also sending intelligence officials to Washington to demand answers to claims that her phones were tapped for a decade.
German media reported that the US had bugged Angela Merkel’s phone for more than a decade – and that the surveillance only ended a few months ago.
The German government hoped that trust between the two countries could be restored, a spokesman told a news conference in Berlin.
The latest allegation, published by Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, is that the NSA tracked tens of millions of phone calls, texts and emails of Spanish citizens, in December 2012 and January 2013. The monitoring allegedly peaked on December 11.
The White House has so far declined to comment on the El Mundo report.
It is not clear how the alleged surveillance was carried out, whether it was through monitoring fibre-optic cables, data obtained from telecommunication companies, or other means.
The NSA is reported to have collected the sender and recipient addresses of emails, along with their IP addresses, the message file size, and sometimes the top or subject line of the message.
For each telephone call, the numbers of the caller and recipient are believed to have been logged, as was its duration, time, date and location.
The contents of the telephone call itself, however, were not monitored, US intelligence officials say. The NSA has also suggested it does not usually store the geolocational information of mobile phone calls, which could determined by noting which mobile signal towers were used.
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