Suspicions regarding the USA spying programme Prism have prompted the European Union to demand clarification about their actions, according to an article by the German magazine Der Spiegel.
The magazine published information from a classified CIA document dated September 2010, provided by Edward Snowden, US former technical contractor for NSA and CIA who was responsible for leaking the information.
It describes how the USA security agency would spy on diplomatic representatives of the EU in Washington using microphones hidden throughout the buildings and infiltration in the EU’s computer network, allowing the CIA to read emails and internal documents.
Allegedly, the documents also reveal that the EU delegation was spied on in the same way at the United Nations and that Europeans are seen as legitimate “targets”.
EU representatives are now reacting strongly to the turmoil caused by these latest facts.
European Commission President, José Manuel Durão Barroso, said that they expect a “rapid clarification” from their American partners. “Of course we are worried because if the allegations are true it would create a great deal of unrest,” he said.
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, said: “We need more precise information. But if this is true it is a huge scandal. That would bring a huge burden on relations between the EU and the US.”
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, reacted strongly on Monday to media reports that the United States has spent years spying on the European Union and, more specifically, Germany. Through her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, she said: “The monitoring of friends is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. We are no longer in the Cold War. Our co-operation must be based on trust. This trust must be re-established now.”