CIA Stops Spying on Friendly Nations in Western Europe

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CIA Stops Spying on Friendly Nations in Western Europe

A man walks inside the CIA building in Langley, Virginia (Reuters)

Washington:  The CIA is said to be taking a break from spying on friendly governments in Western Europe.

The nation's top spy agency has been stung by the backlash over a German caught selling secrets to the U.S. and the revelations of surveillance by the National Security Agency.

A U.S. official who has been briefed on the situation says the pause in decades of espionage is designed to give CIA officers time to examine whether they are being careful enough and to evaluate whether spying on allies is worth running the risk of discovery.

Under the stand-down order, case officers in Europe largely have been forbidden from undertaking "unilateral operations" such as meeting with sources they have recruited within allied governments. Such clandestine meetings are the bedrock of spying.



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