US snooping: Spy chief defends spying on foreign leaders

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 12:20

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on Wednesday defended the decision of the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor phone calls of foreign leaders and said that it was imperative to keep a watch on their intentions.

Clapper reportedly further said that while surveillance is an integral part of the nation`s spying operation to gauge the intentions of the foreign leaders, no nation was spied upon "indiscriminately".

Speaking before the panel of the House of Representatives, he said that it`s "kind of a basic tenet" of US intelligence-gathering to find out the intentions of foreign leaders.

The intelligence chief further said it`s imperative to know whether "what they are saying gels with what`s actually going on."

Without giving specific details, Clapper further said that other countries too have spied on US officials.

Meanwhile, US National Security Agency (NSA) Director General Keith Alexander while testifying before the US Congress said that reports stating spying on European allies were false.

He said that European intelligence services gathered most of the data and then later shared it with NSA.

The startling revelation that phones of several foreign leaders including that of US allies, Germany and France, were put on surveillance by the NSA was made after a former CIA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the classified information.

Reports also stated that US had spied on the phone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

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First Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 09:49

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