US denies spying on the UN

The United Nations said it has received assurances from the US Government that its communications networks "are not and will not be monitored" by American intelligence agencies.

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Germany officials set for spy talks in Washington

Spying reports have strained relations between Angela Merkel and Barack Obama. Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/Press Association Images

Leading German intelligence officials are to travel to Washington in the coming weeks to investigate claims that the US has been monitoring Angela Merkel’s phone, reports NBC News.

US government officials said they looked forward to the meeting and confirmed that the spying reports would feature on the agenda.

The Guardian reported earlier this week that, according to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the US was monitoring the phone calls of 35 world leaders.

UK and US 'demonise journalists to avoid spy debate'

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said the revelations showed "our rulers' contempt for personal rights, freedoms and the rule of law". Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

The UK and US governments are demonising journalists for the "principled" publishing of documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden to avoid a debate about the impact of their spying disclosures, leading human rights campaigners have said.

A joint statement by Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "The Guardian's decision to expose the extent to which our privacy is being violated should be applauded and not condemned."

They said debate in Britain about the impact of the disclosures "is in danger of being lost beneath self-serving spin and scaremongering, with journalists who dare to question the secret state accused of aiding the enemy".

The statement added: "A balance must of course be struck between security and transparency, but that cannot be achieved whilst the intelligence services and their political masters seek to avoid any scrutiny of, or debate about, their actions."


Spy row puts Cameron in awkward position in EU

On a trip to Brussels, where his European colleagues were reeling from revelations they may have been spied on by the US, David Cameron was put in an awkward position thanks to Britain's close ties with America.

The Prime Minister initially declined to comment on the matter - before giving a speech defending the UK's intelligence agency.

ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates reports.


PM attacks 'lah-di-dah' view of intelligence agencies

The Prime Minister has launched a strong attack on the US whistleblower Edward Snowden and some newspapers for holding a "lah-di-dah, airy-fairy view" of the intelligence community.

He said that there are people in the world "who want to blow up our families" and that "what Snowden is doing and to an extent what the newspapers are doing" is helping such people to "evade" efforts to stop them.

"That is helping our enemies. Simple" he added.

Former UK minister 'knows his calls were monitored'

A former UK security minister said he had "always worked on the assumption" that people were listening to his phone calls.

Lord West of Spithead, who was Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism under Gordon Brown, told the BBC's Today programme:

I know they jolly well were (listening). I don't think it's surprising that people try and listen. If you are a head of state there are lots of people, not just other states, who are listening. There are companies, all sorts of people, who want to hear what you are saying and I think you have to be extremely careful.

– Lord West of Spithead
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