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In Spain, NSA Collected 60 Million Calls in One Month Alone

Latest revelations made possible by Edward Snowden reveal extent of surveillance on Spanish communication networks

by
Jon Queally, staff writer

Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy (pictured) summoned the US ambassador, James Costos, as an EU delegation prepares to visit Washington to discuss the scale of US spying on its allies. (Photograph: Thierry Tronnel/Corbis)

Glenn Greenwald, working with journalist Germán Aranda at the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, is reporting Monday that the U.S. National Security Agency has been heavily monitoring telephone communications in Spain, citing one NSA document showing the tracking of over 60 millions calls in the span of just one month.

The document, part of a trove of internal NSA memos and slides leaked to journalists by whistleblower Edward Snowden, is the first to reveal that the agency's operations in Spain match the level of surveillance already reported in other countries throughout the world.

Following the report, the U.S. ambassador in Spain, James Costos, was summoned by the Spanish government to account for the allegations.

As the Guardian reports:

An NSA graphic, entitled "Spain – last 30 days", reportedly shows the daily flow of phone calls within Spain, and that on one day alone – 11 December 2012 – the NSA monitored more than 3.5m phone calls. It appears that the content of the calls was not monitored but the serial and phone numbers of the handsets used, the locations, sim cards and the duration of the calls were. Emails and other social media were also monitored.

The news comes as a parliamentary delegation from the EU prepares to visit Washington to discuss the scale of US spying on its allies. The EU's civil liberties committee will meet members of Congress to express their concerns over the impact on EU citizens' fundamental right to privacy.

Last week Spain rejected a move by Germany, which wants the EU's 28 member states to sign a "no-spy deal" along the lines of an agreement wanted by Berlin and Paris.

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