Merkel wasn't alone: NSA tapped calls of 35 world leaders

Merkel wasn't alone: NSA tapped calls of 35 world leaders

Summary: The German leader's phone isn't the only line tapped by the U.S. National Security Agency. Dozens of other world leaders' phones were monitored, according to the latest leaks.

TOPICS: Security
(Image: Council of the European Council)

President Obama might be in for some stern words at the next G20 summit if the latest leaks are anything to go by.

The latest round of documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden points to the phones of 35 world leaders being monitored by the U.S. spy agency.

According to The Guardian, which first broke the story, more than 200 numbers were handed over by a U.S. official, including close to three-dozen prime ministers and presidents, none of whom were named in the leaked documents.

But the surveillance turned up "little reportable intelligence," suggesting the heads of state were reluctant — even in this day and age — to talk about anything critical to national security (or of any real relevance) on the phones.

The 2006-dated note laid out how the 35 phone numbers were helped "[provide] lead information to other numbers that have subsequently been tasked," the London-based newspaper reported. 

It comes just a day after White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the U.S. was not monitoring the phone calls of German chancellor Angela Merkel, after reports in German newspaper Der Spiegel first reported the revelations. However, the statement failed to quell fears of those inside the German government after the carefully-crafted statement did not mention anything about past alleged spying.

The German chancellor's spokesperson said, according to Reuters, if such surveillance had taken place, it would represent a "grave breach of trust" between the two allied nations.

Earlier this week, the emails of Mexico's president Felipe Calderon were reportedly spied on by the U.S. government agency, which gave access to "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications."

Topic: Security

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  • NSA tapped calls of 35 world leaders

    No Worries if the competency of the NSA is on par with the test of the federal government in general and if that is indeed the case they wouldn't share any info with any body or otherwise know what to do with it in the first place!
    preferred user
  • Or it's all BS? The Guardian reported this, but are they making stuff up?

    We keep hearing about all of thisby The Guardian, but has anyone verified if what they are writting is true?

    Has anyone seen the documents this info supposedly came from? Of the The Guardian has an agenda, they could pretty much make up whatever they want.

    I'm not saying this couldn't or didn't happen, but who "Watches the Watchers" to see if it actually did?
    • You should read...

      ...this one from Ed Bott. Gives an insight.
    • Has anyone seen Bin Laden's corpse?

    • The reason it's always a foreign news outlet.

      These types of stories are never published by U.S. media because our government labels them national security issues and blocks their publication. Remember, our media are controlled by the same people who control our government. That's why you always see them leaked to European news agencies.

      Regarding the article, all of this worldwide NSA monitoring was going on long before the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was created to "legitimize" these completely illegal activities. The NSA and CIA are doing a lot of things the President never knows about, because they're not under the control of the President.
      • The NSA and CIA are supposed to be under the control of the President

        He even appoints their directors. What makes you think they're not?
        John L. Ries
        • "...are supposed to be"

          That perhaps is just it. "Supposed to be". All things not being as they appear or are supposed to be.
          You of all people know that there are rogue elements in the US Gov't.
          Waco and Ruby Ridge are classic examples of Gov't Rogues gone awry. Dated examples, yes, but very well documented.
          By design, Budgets that are not privy to scrutiny or any oversight allow for a lot of hanky panky, if not outright mayhem and destabilization.
    • You should be able to verify with some research

      Haven't verified this yet, but this is big and everyone needs to be aware of it or there will no longer be a venue for verification.
  • After Soviet demise, it's US next...

    you can fill in the blanks... South America, middle-east and Asia never trusted US and now they have lost the trust of Europeans as well...

    Who is to blame...Policy makers or the hard-core morons?
  • Any useful information at all?

    Like which leaders had iPhones or which ones had Android???
    • In 2006?

      More likely they had old school phones.
  • well

    So much for the protecting the country against terrorists rationale.
    none none
  • she should thank NSA

    for protecting her against cyber bullies and sexual predators like Belusconi.
    The Linux Geek
  • I'm sure *none* of these countries tried to do the same..

    They're just mad we apparently succeeded.
  • Stick to technology and not politics.

    Lets try to stick to things regarding technology. If you want to write about how technology advances spying on everyone OK.

    There are more then enough political BS and agenda at other sites that specialize in it, along with grade 10 logic.
    • re: Stick to technology and not politics.

      I have seen those sites and you have just insulted 10th-graders everywhere.
      none none
  • What makes them so special

    I say that being foreign leaders doesn't make them special. If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? And if you wrong them, shall they not revenge?

    These leaders are just like you and me, and if WE are getting spied on by the NSA, then THEY deserve to be spied on too.
    • Two Wrongs...

      ....never make one right.