Reports that the National Security Agency monitored approximately 60 million phone calls in Spain within one month will likely add to the scrutiny that European Union officials will level at U.S. officials during meetings this week in Washington.
A document provided to Spanish newspaper El Mundo by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden details that the U.S. spied on 60 million phone calls in Spain between December 2012 and January 2013, Reuters reports.
The NSA also asked the Japanese government in 2011 to help it spy on cables carrying personal data through Japan to the Asia-Pacific region, which the government of Japan refused to do, Japan Times reports.
Questions about NSA surveillance are piling up as such reports continue to be published - and European officials want answers.
Officials from the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will meet Monday through Wednesday in Washington with officials, including members of Congress, to discuss the NSA's Internet spying program, known as PRISM. The committee will meet on Wednesday at the White House with Karen Donfried, the senior director for European affairs for the National Security Council.
The committee will discuss topics including the SWIFT financial-data sharing agreement between the U.S. and the EU, created to share bank data between nations to track and counter terrorism threats. The EU voted to suspend that agreement on Oct. 23, following reports about NSA surveillance in Europe.
Germany also plans to send its own foreign affairs officials to Washington to discuss NSA surveillance and the future of intelligence cooperation, following reports that the agency monitored the mobile phone calls of Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to CNN.
German and Brazilian diplomats are also planning to counter mass surveillance by introducing a draft resolution to the United Nations that would expand existing privacy rights recognized by the organization and apply them to digital networks.