NSA’s Italy op exposed: ‘Millions’ of private communications intercepted with govt awareness

Italy's Prime Minister Letta addresses a news conference in Vienna

Everyday communications of Italians are also on the watch list of the US National Security Agency, a new report has revealed. While an Italian parliamentary committee seeks clarification of NSA activities, local security sources defend the snooping.

Italy’s spy watchdog COPASIR has recently learned details of large-scale monitoring of Italians by the US intelligence agency NSA, according to a report published by Corriere della Sera.

In order to confirm the snooping on Italians, the committee members had to go to the United States and meet with US intelligence agency directors, as well as with congressional committee chairs.

A delegation of parliamentarians from the COPASIR confirmed their concerns regarding the extent of the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program during an official visit to the US three weeks ago, the media said. As part of the program, phone calls and computer communications of “millions of Italians” are reportedly being gathered.

Moreover, Corriere della Sera added that the implications extended to “a monitoring network that started years ago and is still active,” of which the Italian government and spy agencies might have been well aware of.

Such discoveries have prompted uneasy questions to officials, with leading members of COPASIR now seeking clarification from the government, and reportedly awaiting the junior minister for the intelligence services, Marco Minniti, to visit the committee’s offices on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Italian intelligence sources quoted in the report rushed to justify the surveillance activities of their partners.

The acquisition of the sensitive private information “has as its sole aim the fight against terrorism,” one source was quoted as saying, while another denied that the NSA’s spying ever breached Italy’s sovereignty.

“We have never had any evidence that this kind of monitoring might have involved political..

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