European politicians are taking their Sunday morning coffee with a side of outrage over the fact that the National Security Agency has been spying on them. Germany and France in particular are demanding answers over why the NSA would want to listen to their phone calls.
On Saturday, Der Spiegel reported seeing documents alleging the NSA has been spying on buildings across Europe that house European Union offices. The documents, reportedly obtained by Snowden and shown to Der Spiegel, show the NSA bugged phone lines and hacked the computer network in the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington, too. It seemed like another case of a spy agency performing its duty -- spying on other countries -- not unlike the leaks that showed the U.S. has spied on Russia.
But members of the European Union are quite upset because their relationship with the U.S. is supposed cozier than the frosty relationship between the U.S. and Russia. Germany and France seem really miffed over this whole spying deal. They thought they were exempt from surveillance because they are allies at the end of the day. "These facts , if confirmed, would be totally unacceptable," Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius told Le Monde. "We expect the U.S. authorities to stand up as soon as possible the legitimate concerns raised by the revelations of the press." German politicians are also demanding an explanation from the U.S. for why they were targeted. German's justice minister released a statement comparing the spying to Cold War distrust. "It must ultimately be immediately and extensively explained by the American side whether media reports about completely disproportionate tapping measures by the US in the EU are accurate or not," Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (above) said. "It’s beyond our imagination that our friends in the US consider the Europeans as enemies," she said.
Meanwhile, things aren't looking good for this Edward Snowden fellow. After abandoning his original plans to seek asylum in Iceland and instead opting for Eduador, at Julian Assange's behest, the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa doesn't sound like he will be granting Snowden asylum. Correa told the Associated Press the safe passage document grated to Snowden by Ecuador's London embassy was "a serious error" and that some employees will be punished because of it. For now, Correa said, Snowden is "under the care of the Russian authorities" and stuck in Moscow until he can get his U.S. passport back.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.