The White House has admitted the need for additional “constraints” on US intelligence gathering, amid claims of eavesdropping on allies.
President Barack Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, said an ongoing White House intelligence policy review would account for “privacy concerns”.
Spain is the latest of several countries reported to have been the target of US collection of phone data.
A top Democrat in the Senate has said its intelligence panel will undertake a “major review” of US spying programmes.
Senator Dianne Feinstein said she was “totally opposed” to the NSA’s intelligence gathering on leaders of US allies.
An EU delegate in Washington described the row as “a breakdown of trust”.
On Monday Jay Carney told reporters the administration “recognize[s] there needs to be additional constraints on how we gather and use intelligence”.
He said the US did not use its intelligence gathering capabilities for the purpose of promoting its economic interests, and that Barack Obama was committed to ensuring “that we are collecting information not just because we can, but because we should, because we need it for our security”.
“We also need to ensure that our intelligence resources are most effectively supporting our foreign policy and national security objectives, that we are more effectively weighing the risks and rewards of our activities,” he said.
An across-the-board review of US intelligence resources, currently under way, is also expected to assist the administration in “properly accounting for both the security of our citizens and our allies and the privacy concerns shared by Americans and citizens around the world”, Jay Carney added.
Jay Carney or Barack Obama have not commented on specific allegations that the US eavesdropped on international allies, including tapping the phones of foreign officials.
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