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‘Unacceptable’: Merkel calls Obama over suspicion US monitored her cell phone

 
 
 
 
 
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called President Obama over the German government’s suspicions the US could have tapped her mobile phone. Barack Obama assured Merkel that his country is not monitoring her communications.

Earlier, the German government spokesman said that Berlin had information the US National Security Agency (NSA) could have been spying on Merkel.

“We swiftly sent a request to our American partners asking for an immediate and comprehensive clarification,” Steffen Seibert said in a statement, Reuters cites.

Berlin demanded that American authorities shed light on the scale of its spying on Germany if it took place and thus finally answer the questions that the Federal government asked “several months ago,” Seibert said.

Merkel called Barack Obama over the issue and demanded an explanation. She had made clear to Obama that if the information proved trued it would be “completely unacceptable” and represent a “grave breach of trust,” Seibert said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama assured the German leader “the United States is not monitoring the communications of the chancellor.”

Earlier this year, documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the American spy organization intercepted large amounts of data exchanged between German citizens without any legal authorization. The scandalous revelations outraged Germans and sparked widespread demonstrations in the country which is wary of surveillance, largely due to its Stasi past.

While German opposition politicians, the media and activists have been vocal in their anger over the American eavesdropping, Merkel remained restrained in her comments on the matter.

In June, during Obama’s visit to Berlin, Merkel said she was surprised by the scope of the American data collection efforts, but admitted that Germany was “dependent” on cooperation with US agencies. She said that it was thanks to “tips from American sources” that an Islamic terror plot in Germany was foiled in 2007. She added though that it was important to continue the debate about reaching “an equitable balance” between providing security and protecting personal freedoms.

Interior Ministry spokesman Jens Teschke said Wednesday the German government was still in talks with the Americans about the spying issue.

“[But] we have recognized that many of the allegations made by Mr. Snowden can’t be substantiated, and on other issues that there was no mass surveillance of innocent citizens,” he said, as quoted by AP agency.

Earlier in July, US fugitive Snowden accused Germany and the US of partnering in spy intelligence operations, revealing that cooperation between the countries is closer than German indignation would indicate. “They are in bed with the Germans, just like with most other Western states,” Der Spiegel magazine quoted the former NSA contractor as saying.

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  • Zharkov

    NSA is wiretapping Congress, the Supreme Court, and everyone in America. The US government even wiretaps its own agency heads. Why should Merkel accept any assurances from Obama that this will stop?

    This form of state voyeurism isn’t going to stop just because America’s allies don’t like it. No nation is exempt from US government spying at the NSA, so the only way to be 100% secure is to communicate face to face.

    What is most concerning is that all communication is fed into a massive government database, retained indefinitely, and for unknown purposes, which is a huge red flag that liberty worldwide is in danger.

  • Leech

    No matter what Obama says, “they” are still listening.

  • Zharkov

    The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its “customer” departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their “Rolodexes” so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems.

    The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately “tasked” for monitoring by the NSA.

    So the first question any foreign national leader should ask is, “Who in the US government endangered our security by revealing our telephone numbers to spies?”

  • Zharkov

    U.N. Treaty on Human Rights, Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    The world’s nations are now petitioning the United Nations to stop America from running its nefarious surveillance programs.

    Why not petition the Easter Bunny to help you?

    The U.N. already has made treaties prohibiting blanket surveillance programs, but nobody is enforcing them. Article 12 is a U.N. prohibition against invasion of privacy. So what is the consequence of U.S. violations?

  • Robert

    =)) :-@ The NSA broke the first commandment of spying, They got caught…All of the countries do it, just don’t get caught holding your goodies when they look to see who looking…

  • Guest

    The U.S. should withdraw all its troops and military bases from Europe. They enjoy free healthcare and paid vacations while Americans struggle. Their economies are based on arms shipments to Africa and the Middle East. Figure it out. Also, exactly where do they dump the nuclear waste from their reactors?

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