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EU wary of U.S. surveillance reach

June 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, June 11 (UPI) -- The level of paranoia expressed by U.S. allies to the European Union on public surveillance is regrettable, a Slovakian member of the European Parliament said.

Members of the European Parliament expressed concern about a U.S. program that permits some level of data mining from Internet and mobile phone networks.

Details of the surveillance program known as "Prism" were leaked to a British newspaper by Edward Snowden, 29, a former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor working with the U.S. National Security Agency.

Slovakian lawmaker Jaroslav Paska said Tuesday he was concerned about the implications of data protection, privacy and bilateral security collaboration with the United States.

"The paranoid behavior of our American partners is regrettable," he said Tuesday.

The White House last week said President Obama was committed to finding the right balance between protecting civil liberties and the national security of the United States.

British lawmaker Claude Moraes expressed concern about the need to protect data across the European Union.

"Trust has clearly been breached," he said in a statement. "We must ensure U.S. public authorities processing EU citizen's data do so within our standards."

The European Parliament said most of its members "roundly condemned" the surveillance program, but said broad security cooperation with the United States was a top priority for the bloc.

Prism extended into the European community.

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