Oct 30, 2013
WSJ: U.S. Says France, Spain Aided NSA Spying
The phone records collected by the Europeans--in war zones and other areas outside their borders--then were shared with the NSA, U.S. officials said, as part of efforts to help protect American and allied troops and civilians.
The new disclosure upends the version of events as reported in Europe in recent days, and puts a spotlight on the role of European intelligence services that work closely with the NSA, suggesting a greater level of European involvement in global surveillance.
The U.S. has so far been silent about the role of European partners in these collection efforts so as to protect relationships. These efforts are separate, however, from the U.S. spying programs that targeted dozens of foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose phones were tapped for years by the NSA.
The NSA declined to comment, as did the Spanish foreign ministry and a spokesman for the French Embassy in Washington. A spokesman for Spain's intelligence service said: "Spanish law impedes us from talking about our procedures, methods and relationships with other intelligence services."
In Spain, the El Mundo newspaper reported that it had seen NSA documents that showed the U.S. spy agency had intercepted 60.5 million phone calls in Spain during the same time period.