NSA snooping likely to dominate G8 summit sidelines

June 16, 2013 at 11:43 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- President Obama will face questions and concerns from European allies at this week's summit in Northern Ireland, members of Congress predicted Sunday.

The flap in the United States over the National Security Agency's massive data trolling programs has already caused ripples in Europe and will likely be a major topic of discussions in one-on-one meetings between Obama and his continental counterparts in the Group of 8 meeting, lawmakers told The Hill.

"We have to be concerned about our allies," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. "It's not just about us."

The Hill said the massive surveillance of telephone and Internet traffic raised concerns in European nations that their citizens were being spied on by U.S. intelligence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week she would ask Obama about the program at this week's meeting.

Ruppersberger said the concerns of the Europeans were understood, but they could also take into account the NSA programs could help head off terrorist attacks in their countries as well. He suggested part of the concern was the fact the existence of the operations had been made public.

"It is getting to the point now where people don't want to talk to us," Ruppersberger said. "Why do they want to give us information if it's going to get leaked?"

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