But the Embassy's demands won out in the end, with officials hinting at the height of the diplomatic row with the city that the US might begin issuing visas in neighboring Riga, Latvia, 250 km away. Former government official Jens Haug had opined that "we were treated like Congolese tribal chieftains, which the Americans dispersed using water cannons." With locals appearing to have come to terms with the street closure, readers recalling the affair on Baltic news portal Delfi stated that "the Americans bought Estonians' sense of dignity with free parking." The section of Kentmanni Street in front of the Embassy remains permanently closed to automobile traffic.
US Mass Surveillance in the Center of Tallinn
On Friday, Estonian newspaper Postimees published a sensational article alleging that it had obtained a restricted document confirming that the US Embassy employs a team of security personnel involved in the secret surveillance of people in the streets of Tallinn in the perimeter of the Embassy. The team, consisting of former policemen and security professionals, collects personal data of 'suspicious looking' persons and enters it into the US global terror database SIMAS (Security Incident Management Analysis System), where it can be held from five to twenty years, or even permanently.