US intercepted calls of 35 world leaders: Snowden

US intercepted calls of 35 world leaders: Snowden
Fri Oct 25, 2013 08:05:51

US National Security Agency (NSA) ex-contractor Edward Snowden has revealed that the agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders.

Phone numbers were passed on to the NSA by an official in another government department, according to the documents released by Snowden, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.

It added that personnel in the White House, State Department and the Pentagon were urged to share the contact details of foreign politicians.

The revelations come after Germany demanded answers from Washington over allegations Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone was bugged, the worst spat between the two countries in a decade.

The White House did not deny the bugging, saying only it would not happen in the future.

"In one recent case, a US official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders," reads an excerpt from a confidential memo dated October 2006 which was quoted by the Guardian.

The identities of the politicians in question were not revealed.

The revelations in the center-left Guardian suggested that the bugging of world leaders could be more widespread than originally thought, with the issue set to overshadow an EU summit in Brussels.

No immediate comment on the report was available from the NSA.


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