NSA ‘spied on millions’ of Spanish phone calls

AFP-JIJI

U.S. security services tracked 60.5 million telephone calls in Spain in a single month, according to a leaked document published in a Spanish newspaper Monday as European outrage deepened over U.S. snooping.

The National Security Agency tracked the origin and destination of the calls and their duration, U.S. blogger Glenn Greenwald said in a story in El Mundo, which published a classified graph of 30 days of telephone call tracing.

Greenwald, who jointly authored the article, said he had access to the previously secret documents obtained by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The news broke hours before Spanish Foreign Ministry officials were to meet James Costos, the U.S. ambassador to Spain, who had been summoned to provide information about alleged U.S. spying on Spanish telecommunications.

The reported spying in Spain adds to a gathering scandal over U.S. eavesdropping on ordinary citizens and world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose calls may have been intercepted from as early as 2002, according to the German press.

The graph published in El Mundo showed the daily volume of calls traced in the 30 days to Jan. 8 this year. Initials at the top of the page included DNR, or dialed number recognition, according to the article.

The NSA tracked the origin, destination and duration of telephone calls — a criminal offense in Spain without the proper legal authority — but not the content, the paper said.

On a single day, last Dec. 11, the NSA tracked more than 3.5 million calls on Spanish soil, the peak in the 30-day period covered by the graph.