NSA 'spied on 46m calls in Italy'

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Italian prime minister Enrico Letta (R) quizzed US Secretary of State about the spying allegations last Wednesday. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
10:27 CET+01:00
NSA, the US intelligence agency, tapped 46 million phone calls in Italy, according to a report on Cryptome, a Wikileaks-style website that provides information on spying and surveillance.

The phone calls were allegedly made between December 10th 2012 and January 8th this year, Corriere newspaper said, referring to the Cryptome report.

Monday’s report follows an article in the Italian weekly, L’Espresso, on Friday which claimed that Italy had been monitored by both Britain and the US.

The report in L'Espresso said the espionage concentrated on three underwater fibre optic cables with terminals in Italy: the SeaMeWe3 and the SeaMeWe4 in Sicily and the Flag Europe Asia crossing the country.

"In this mass collection, our secret services had a role," the publication said, citing journalist Glenn Greenwald, who sparked global controversy with his revelations based on US leaker Edward Snowden.

Italian prime minister Enrico Letta quizzed US Secretary of State John Kerry about the matter during talks in Rome last Wednesday. Kerry is reported to have said that he would look into the allegations.

Ahead of an EU summit on Friday, Letta said: "Obviously, all checks should be done, but we want the whole truth. It's not acceptable or conceivable that there are activities of this kind.”

Meanwhile, leaders of Germany and France have asked for talks with the US by the end of the year to settle to the spying row.

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There have also been claims that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone was tapped while millions of French calls were monitored by NSA.

A report in the UK’s Guardian newspaper on Thursday said it had obtained a confidential memo suggesting NSA had tapped the phones of 35 world leaders. 

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