Growing list of countries protest U.S. spying

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Edward Snowden is changing both American intelligence gathering and American foreign policy.
Germany is only the latest country to protest U.S. surveillance tactics, the result of news reports based on leaks provided through former National Security Council contractor Snowden.
Brazil, France and Mexico have lodged similar complaints, and could well be leading a parade of protests from other nations in the weeks ahead.
A day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Obama over reports her cellphone had been bugged, the German foreign ministry in Berlin summoned U.S. ambassador John Emerson for an explanation.
After the Obama-Merkel phone call, the White House issued a readout with a carefully worded denial: "The President assured the Chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel."
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to say Thursday whether the U.S. has monitored Merkel's communications in the past.
"We are not going to comment publicly on every specified, alleged intelligence activity," Carney said, while adding: "We have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations."
Carney also said that, at Obama's direction, the United States is "reviewing the way that we gather intelligence to ensure that we properly balance the security concerns of our citizens and allies with the private concerns that all people share."
There is something of the diplomatic dance to all this.
Most nations have spies, and most of them spy on each other — not the kind of thing one discusses in polite company.
But with the Snowden-fueled stories now public, governments have to respond to allegations of the United States' spying, and the reports are having a pronounced effect on American foreign policy.
On this past Wednesday night, President Obama was supposed to have hosted a state dinner for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff — but Rousseff canceled the state visit amid reports of NSA surveillance.
The NSA story has also led to new friction with Russia, which agreed to grant temporary asylum to Snowden rather than deport him to the United States to face espionage charges.
Now, German-American relations may turn frosty.
Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told ARD television that, if the allegations are proven true, "we can't simply return to business as usual."
De Maiziere also said, however, that "relations between our countries are stable and important for our future; they will remain that way."
Meanwhile, the world awaits the identity of the next nation to protest National Security Agency surveillance tactics.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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