EU relations with US could suffer following Snowden’s revelations
After a recent report alleged EU premises had been bugged by the NSA, high-ranking members of the EU have expressed their outrage and are demanding answers from the US.
The report was broken by German magazine Der Spiegel, which cites a 2010 document alleging the US spied on EU offices in New York and Washington.
According to the report, said to be lead by Snowden, the NSA spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and the 27-member bloc’s UN office in New York.
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, said in a statement on Saturday: “I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the US authorities with regard to these allegations.”
He added that these allegations would have a “severe impact” on relations between the European body and the US, if true.
The information the US may have been searching for, or whether the desired information was secured, is unknown.
However, the BBC’s Stephen Evans has speculated that European positions on trade and military matters would have been useful to those involved in negotiations between Washington and European governments.
Meanwhile a wave of disgust has emerged from voices all across Europe.
Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, told Der Spiegel the reports were “disgusting [if true],” and also stated: “The United States would be better off monitoring its secret services rather than its allies.”
The German opposition party has similarly expressed a sense of outrage following a perceived breach of privacy. Parliamentary party manager, Thomas Oppermann, told the German parliament last Wednesday: “When we find the connection data, and even the phone conversations, e-mails, and videos are being stored, ladies and gentlemen, then that is the broadest infringements of the fundamental rights of German citizens we’ve seen to date.”
While the true extent of secret service activity is still unknown, many key figures have called for the EU to act swiftly.