US allies under fire for spying
The color scheme in the map, obtained from The Guardian daily, ranges from green, least subjected to surveillance, to red, most surveilled.Revelations on the U.S. Internet spying program have raised awkward questions for allies, forced to explain whether they let Washington spy on their citizens or benefited from snooping that would be illegal at home.
U.S. law puts limits on the government’s authority to snoop at home but virtually no restrictions on American spies eavesdropping on the communications of foreigners, including in allied countries with which Washington shares intelligence. That means Washington could provide friendly governments with virtually unlimited information about their own citizens’ private communication on the Internet. An official from Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Hürriyet Daily News that they would inform the public after an investigation.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on June 9 reassured Britons that London’s spies had not circumvented laws restricting their activity by obtaining information collected by Washington. He would not say what information Britain received from the U.S. about British citizens but said it was “nonsense” that London’s own eavesdropping service would use cooperation with Washington to dodge British laws, Reuters reported. In Germany, the opposition said Chancellor Angela Merkel should do more to protect Germans from U.S. spying and demand answers when President Barack Obama visits this month. In Australia, a government source said the U.S. revelations could make it more difficult to pass a law allowing the government to access Internet data at home.