By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell told The Tribune yesterday that he has still not received an update from the United States over reports that the National Security Agency has been recording every cell phone conversation in the Bahamas.
However, he said he plans to have lunch with the US Chargé d’affaires John Dinkleman today and suggested that the matter may be discussed at that time.
The spy claims emerged in May in an article posted on Firstlook.org.
In that article, the authors claimed that the NSA is “secretly intercepting, recording and archiving” the audio of every cell phone conversation in the Bahamas, with the ability to store them for up to 30 days.
The information is reportedly contained in one of many documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
On June 11, Mr Mitchell told the House of Assembly that John Kerry, the US secretary of state, had stepped in to oversee the investigation of spying reports.
At the time, Mr Mitchell told parliamentarians that the US had promised to have a report handed over the next week. However, the report has not yet been presented.
The lack of a response to the spy claims by the US prompted FNM Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Hubert Chipman to criticise Mr Mitchell’s handling of the issue, suggesting that the minister hasn’t been aggressive enough in pursuing answers.
Last week, Mr Mitchell told The Tribune he is not concerned about the lack of response from the US because the Bahamas government is doing its own research into the matter.
“The Bahamas government is doing its own work,” he said last week.
“Regardless of what’s the issue we are going to address it.”