Spain’s public prosecutor’s office announce…that it had launched a preliminary inquiry into the alleged widespread surveillance of Spanish citizens’ private phone calls and emails by the US National Security Agency, to determine whether it could be prosecuted under Spanish law.
It was reported on Monday that the NSA had monitored 60.5m Spanish phone calls in the space of one month alone, in the latest revelations from the documents leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden…
The outcry comes days after it emerged that the NSA spied on the phone calls of scores of allies, including the personal phone of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
On Monday, the Spanish foreign minister warned the US that, if the monitoring of tens of millions of phone calls was confirmed, it could “lead to a breakdown in the traditional trust” between the two countries. José Manuel García Margallo said that the NSA’s alleged activities could have broken Spain’s privacy laws, which prohibit the collecting of data in relation to electronic communications.
Madrid had earlier on Monday summoned the US ambassador to Spain, James Costos, to meet with government officials and explain the extent of US surveillance…
Many in Spain feel that the government has not done enough to protect its own interests and had previously shown a surprisingly relaxed attitude to US spying when the allegations first began to emerge in the press last week. Human rights groups have called on the government, led by Mariano Rajoy of the rightwing People’s party, to do more to protect its citizens.
Rajoy fits snugly into the mold of Spanish right-wingers. I’d be mightily surprised if he’s interested in protecting much more than Spanish bankers, the Roman Catholic church – and his own wallet.