Nov 042013


Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The government is verifying among its intelligence communities a report from Australian media that the country has been used as a key “listening post” by the United States’ National Security Agency.

“We are checking with our intelligence community. We are discussing if anything’s happening. So far there are no signs,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday.

The foreign media report said that Australia is sharing information with NSA, an agency involved with whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks.

“A secret map released by Snowden revealed the US had also set up surveillance facilities in embassies and consulates, including in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Yangon, Manila, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing,” the ABC News said.

The ABC News also said that it was the same map that Snowden released to Der Spiegel, a German news magazine. It showed listening posts around the world including Manila.

Renato Reyes, Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, said the use of Philippines as a listening post with or without the knowledge of the government, is “a violation of our sovereignty as a nation.”

“It opens us to violations of our right to privacy. Even Malacañang could be subject to surveillance. All the affairs of government could be monitored by a foreign entity,” he also said.

Reyes also said the new US ambassador should explain to the public the real extent of the surveillance being done.

“Countries in Europe and Latin America have raised a howl versus NSA spying in their countries. Will Aquino do the same or will he let the practice continue?” Reyes said.

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Tags: Australia , Diplomacy , Espionage , Foreign affairs , Global Nation , International relations , Philippines , Spying , US

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