Kerry downplays spy scandal as 'nothing unusual'

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Kerry downplays spy scandal as 'nothing unusual'

Kerry downplays spy scandal as 'nothing unusual'
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With both the British and German media howling about how America has been spying on its allies in the EU and elsewhere, Washington’s first reaction has come via Secretary of State John Kerry. He issued no denial; rather he underlined that it was common practise.

“I will say that every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs of national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security, and all kinds of information contributes to that, and all I know is that is not unusual for lots of nations,” he said.

Many refuse to see the US probing as anything other than unusual
especially when it has not seemed restricted to protecting Americans’ security interests.

“Clarity and transparency is what we expect from our partners and
allies, and this is what we expect from the United States,” said the EU Commission’s Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen.

It is alleged member state and collective secrets in Brussels have been fair game for US spying, which at times has seemed to stray from purely security issues.

“If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European
Union were compromised than it would be absolutely unacceptable for us,” said the spokesman for Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, Steffen Seibert.

French President Francois Hollande called the alleged spying intolerable, saying it could hinder US relations with Paris and the European Union. “We want this to stop fast,” he said.

Some EU policymakers want talks on a US-EU free trade deal frozen until Washington clarifies its activities.

Japan, South Korea and India are the latest countries with amicable US relations to discover there has been open season on their secrets, too. This scandal may rumble on for weeks.