Amid the recent revelation that the National Security Agency allegedly tapped German chancellor Angela Merkel's phone, California Senator Dianne Feinstein stated her opposition to collecting intelligence on U.S. allies on Monday.
“With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies — including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany — let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed," Feinstein said in a statement.
Feinstein, who first became a U.S. Senator in 1992 after winning a special election, is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and said in today's statement that she felt the committee had not been "satisfactorily informed" of such surveillance practices and called for a total review of all intelligence programs currently in place.
The statement ends by saying the White House has informed Feinstein that "collection on our allies will not continue."
Feinstein's statement differs from her response to domestic NSA surveillance. In June, shortly after the revelation that the NSA had collected phone call metadata from Verizon, Feinstein contended that the information gathering was approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and therefore lawful.
“It’s called protecting America,” she said.
In addition to calling for more oversight, Feinstein said Monday that "collecting phone calls and e-mails of friendly presidents and prime ministers" without presidential approval. Florida Senator Marco Rubio echoed the flip side, saying "none of [the world leaders] are truly shocked about any of this…. everyone spies on everybody. And that’s just a fact."
Reports indicate that information was collected on as many as 35 foreign leaders by the NSA.