Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The Guardian reports that the NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department and according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden the NSA encourages senior officials in its "customer" departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their "Rolodexes" so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems. The NSA memo dated October 2006 that was obtained by the Guardian suggests that such surveillance was not isolated, as the agency routinely monitors the phone numbers of world leaders – and even asks for the assistance of other US officials to do so. However the memo acknowledges that eavesdropping on the numbers had produced "little reportable intelligence". At the daily briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney again refused to answer repeated questions about whether the US had spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls in the past although he previously issued a statement that said the US "is not monitoring and will not monitor" the German chancellor's communications. But that failed to quell the row, as officials in Berlin quickly pointed out that the US did not deny monitoring the phone in the past. "The [NSA] revelations have clearly caused tension in our relationships with some countries," said Carney, "and we are dealing with that through diplomatic channels."
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