U.S. spy chiefs attend hearing over snooping allegations, India blames Muslim militants for rally blasts, Chinese officials say Tiananmen crash may have been a suicide attack. Today is Tuesday, October 29, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
A computer with a series of numbers and the logo of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration taken in Frankfurt, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Spy hearing starts. U.S. spy chiefs, including the NSA director, appear at a House Intelligence Committee hearing following a slew of accusations charging Washington with spying on European allies. The allegations are the latest stemming from documents revealed by wanted NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and have earned the White House much criticism abroad:
More than any previous disclosures from material given to journalists by Snowden, the reports of spying on close U.S. allies have forced the White House to promise reforms and even acknowledge that America’s electronic surveillance may have gone too far. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate’s intelligence committee, joined the ranks of critics on Monday, expressing outrage at U.S. intelligence collection on allies, and pique that her committee was not informed.
A senior Obama administration official said that the review could result in a ban on snooping on allied leaders. According to Feinstein, President Obama did not know that Merkel’s communications had been tracked since 2002, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the NSA stopped the program snooping on Merkel over the summer, when a government review of the program began. The program targeting Merkel also monitored - and in some cases continues to monitor - up to 35 other world leaders. Reuters columnist Jack Shafer argues that spying on allies is a long-held and largely harmless tradition. Below, see world leaders react to the spying scandal on Capitol Hill on Monday: