Hungary Raises US Electronic Surveillance Concerns

  • 1 Nov 2013 10:00 AM
Hungary Raises US Electronic Surveillance Concerns
Hungary wants the U.S. to clarify if Budapest has served as a location for National Security Agency monitoring equipment, the foreign ministry said Wednesday. According to a map published by WikiLeaks, the Hungarian capital is among the 74 cities that have been home to NSA eavesdropping equipment. The map suggests Budapest was a staffed location--meaning that agents of the Special Collection Service, a joint unit of the NSA and the CIA--were active there.

"We find the information about tapping-relaying devices worrisome and expect the U.S. ambassador--as requested already--to clarify the situation as soon as possible," the ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. embassy had no immediate comment when contacted by The Wall Street Journal.

The issue will be discussed Thursday when Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi meets Victoria Nuland, U.S. State Department assistant state secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Ms. Nuland is to visit Hungary for a two-day meeting of the Visegrad 4 countries and the Central European Initiative. The V4 group comprises Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, while the CEI is a forum of 18 countries in the region that aims to promote political and economic cooperation among its members.

Hungary hasn't yet received a response from the U.S. as to whether Hungarians were subjects of U.S. surveillance, Mr. Martonyi said at a press conference Wednesday.

By Margit Feher

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