US spy chiefs face Congress amid spying rift with Europe

By REUTERS
October 29, 2013 06:11




WASHINGTON - When top US intelligence officials testified at a congressional hearing weeks ago, the public uproar was over the National Security Agency collecting the phone and email records of Americans.

But when the NSA director and other spy chiefs appear at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday it will be against a backdrop of angry European allies accusing the United States of spying on their leaders and citizens.

The most prominent target appears to have been German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose mobile phone was allegedly tapped by the NSA.

More than any previous disclosures from material given to journalists by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the reports of spying on close US allies have forced the White House to promise reforms and even acknowledge that America's electronic surveillance may have gone too far.


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