Prime minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama spoke on the phone on Thursday ahead of the release of a report by the US government into its spying activities, expected on Friday afternoon.
The UK government reported that the two spoke on the phone and – in between discussing issues in Syria, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland – they spoke about the US’s review of its intelligence programmes.
“President Obama also updated the prime minister on the ongoing US signals intelligence review and both leaders noted the intensive dialogue that the US and UK have had on these issues, at all levels,” the UK government said.
The US government also issued a similar statement confirming the call and its contents, and revealing that its report would be unveiled on Friday. “The president updated the prime minister on the US signals intelligence review ahead of setting out tomorrow [Friday] his administration’s response to the review. The two leaders welcomed the unique intelligence-sharing relationship between their two countries,” the White House said.
The review from the Obama administration will address many concerns raised in a report released in December in response to the PRISM revelations, outlining a total of 46 points to be addressed.
Documents were leaked throughout the second half of 2013, revealing that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was gathering huge amounts of user data, and that internatinoal leaders had their phones tapped.
Since the PRISM scandal came to light, the spying tactics used by both the US and the UK – led by its Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spy base – have been under heavy scrutiny.
Both governments have denied doing anything illegal, but have been open to reviews of the way in which they collect and use data. Despite this, intelligence chiefs have questioned the wisdom of revealing the spying tactics by claiming it is vital for national security that such measures are used for security purposes.
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