US spy agency's defense: Europeans did it too

By REUTERS
October 31, 2013 03:43
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON - The political uproar over alleged US eavesdropping on close European allies has produced an unusual defense from the National Security Agency: NSA says it was the Europeans themselves who did the spying, and then handed data to the Americans.

It is rare for intelligence officials to speak in any public detail about liaison arrangements with foreign spy agencies because such relationships are so sensitive. Even more unusual is for the United States to point fingers at partners.

But that is what NSA Director General Keith Alexander did at a public congressional hearing on Tuesday when, attempting to counter international complaints about the agency's alleged excesses, he said its sources for foreign telecommunications information included "data provided to NSA by foreign partners."

Alexander's disclosure marked yet another milestone in NSA's emergence from the shadows to defend its electronic surveillance mission in the wake of damaging revelations by former agency contractor Edward Snowden.



"It is true that in general we stay close-mouthed about intelligence liaison relationships and we only speak in the most general terms about sharing things with our friends and allies," said Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA analyst.

But, he said, there was nothing wrong in correcting information that was out in public, even though Alexander probably "created or exacerbated some political problems" for a number of European allies with his comments.

"Given the hypocrisy being exhibited by the Europeans in saying they are 'shocked, shocked' that these sorts of things go on - allies spying on allies - I don't think we should feel much compunction about having them feel a little bit of domestic political heat if that is necessary to set the story straight in one of our own congressional hearings," Pillar said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
December 12, 2018
Israeli forces continue search for Ofra shooting terrorists

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF