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US surveillance program causes tensions with -

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TONY EASTLEY: Spain is the latest country to call in its US ambassador to clarify whether its citizens or leaders are being spied on by American intelligence services.

The White House is attempting to draw a line under the spying scandal, saying the president is reviewing American monitoring operations.

North America correspondent Michael Vincent.

MICHAEL VINCENT: After Spanish newspaper El Mundo published reports that 60 million Spaniards’ calls were intercepted by the NSA in just one month, the US ambassador was summoned.

The Spanish foreign minister says it wasn't the first time they've called him in for a please explain.

(Sound of Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo speaking in Spanish)

The Spanish government has told the ambassador of its serious concerns about information published in the media says foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

He says as we have done on two previous occasions we asked the ambassador to provide any information about these cases because if confirmed it would rupture the climate of confidence which traditionally has existed.

In the US capital, an EU delegation met with the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, to discuss its concerns.

German member of the European Parliament, Axel Voss.

AXEL VOSS: There's a big discussion, a deep disappointment and of course we are not considering our chancellor as a terrorist and so therefore I would say they have to think about or to reconsider what data they really are interested in.

MICHAEL VINCENT: The White House hasn't directly addressed any of these latest allegations.

But spokesman Jay Carney says a review of intelligence gathering, called for by the president, will be complete by year's end.

JAY CARNEY: Our review is looking across the board at our intelligence gathering to ensure that as we gather intelligence we are properly accounting for both the security of our citizens and our allies, and the privacy concerns shared by Americans and citizens around the world.

MICHAEL VINCENT: He's hinted that Barack Obama is looking at greater constraints.

JAY CARNEY: Separately there are ways, you know, there's a review underway that will look at, among other issues, some of the very specific things with regards to intelligence gathering, including matters that deal with heads of state and other governments.

MICHAEL VINCENT: In the UK, the British government is considering constraints of a very different kind.

British prime minister David Cameron's told the parliament if newspapers don't demonstrate social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not act.

He's held out the use of injunctions or publication bans.

American journalist Carl Bernstein, who broke the Watergate scandal, says no-one has still answered the question why German chancellor Angela Merkel was bugged at all.

CARL BERNSTEIN: We need an explanation. Whether it comes on background or president doesn't want to reveal certain things, that's one thing. Why in the world was her phone the target? This is specific to Merkel. We need to know what the hell has been going on here.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Today the White House did categorically deny that US intelligence agencies are used for industrial spying.

This is Michael Vincent in Washington for AM.