Switzerland reveals illegal US spying
Big News Network.com
Monday 17th January, 2011
The government of Switzerland confirmed Sunday they have evidence that the United States has been conducting an illegal intelligence gathering in Swiss territory.
In 2007, the United States had asked the Swiss government for permission to conduct a surveillance program in the country aimed at protecting their embassies in Bern and Geneva.
This request was rejected by the Swiss “due to a lack of legal basis and bilateral accords on this domain” according to a statement released by the justice ministry.
However, it was revealed in late 2010 that the US government was conducting similar programs in Norway and Denmark, with the permission of the Norwegian and Danish governments.
The revelations prompted the Swiss government to conduct an investigation which found that “such a programme is ongoing at the US mission in Geneva”, the ministry told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Sunday.
The United States has publicly acknowledged conducting surveillance programs via its embassies, but insists such programs are solely for the protection of their diplomatic missions and are carried out within the laws of the host countries.
Switzerland, however, has called for the United States to immediately suspend its intelligence gathering program in the country, a program which may involve the extra-judicial spying by the US on Swiss citizens who are protected by their country’s laws.
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