Italian Senate President Pietro Grasso is the latest prominent global politician to talk to the Obama administration about the National Security Agency's spying activities.
Vice President Joe Biden met with Grasso Friday. "The vice president and Senator Grasso also discussed recent reports of alleged U.S. intelligence activities," according to a White House summary of the encounter. "The vice president made clear that the Administration is reviewing the way that we gather intelligence to ensure that we properly balance protecting the security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share."
The two officials' meeting came at the end of a week that began with President Obama calling French President Francois Hollande to acknowledge "legitimate questions" about the NSA, although the White House readout of that conversation maintained that "some" media accounts of the agency have "distorted our activities."
Obama also had to assure German Chancellor Angela Merkel that "the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor [her] communications."
The Guardian reported that "one unnamed U.S. official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named."