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Germany scraps old surveillance pact with US, Britain over NSA leaks

Published time: August 02, 2013 17:29
Edited time: August 04, 2013 15:24
Broken antenna covers of Former National Security Agency (NSA) listening station are seen at the Teufelsberg hill (German for Devil's Mountain) in Berlin (Reuters / Pawel Kopczynski)

Broken antenna covers of Former National Security Agency (NSA) listening station are seen at the Teufelsberg hill (German for Devil's Mountain) in Berlin (Reuters / Pawel Kopczynski)

Germany has dissolved a fifty-years-old surveillance pact with the United States and Britain in response to a “debate about protecting personal privacy” in the country, which was sparked by revelations of the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The agreement that dated back to the late 1960s gave the US, Britain and France the right to request German authorities carry out surveillance operations so as to protect their troops stationed within the country.

“The cancellation of the administrative agreements, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a necessary and proper consequence of the recent debate about protecting personal privacy,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement on Friday.

Germany was currently in talks with France to cancel its part of the agreement as well, a German official told AP on condition of anonymity.

Following Snowden’s leaks, which disclosed the span of the NSA surveillance program and revealed that Germany is the most spied on EU country by the US, there has been a heated nationwide debate on whether the alleged massive privacy breach of German citizens should have been allowed.

The documents leaked Snowden say that the US spy agency combs through half a billion of German phone calls, emails and text messages on a monthly basis.

Weeks before German national elections, the country’s opposition parties demanded to clarification to what extent the government knew of the NSA’s intelligence gathering in Germany. This comes amid reports of seemingly close ties the two national spy agencies – the NSA and the BND – have had over the years.

German government officials have insisted that American and British intelligence agencies were never given permission to break Germany’s strict privacy laws.

Comments (15)


William Hewitt 08.08.2013 07:30

Biden and Obama spell BO and they are the "Lying & Spying" government! The US is a terrorist state with NSA thugs roaming the land. Keep your guns loaded and handy. If NSA thug Clapper invades your house let him have 3 bullets!


bradfordcutler 05.08.2013 11:50

Germany is doing the right thing by extricating itself from the giant US surveillance spy grid. One of the main reasons this grid was setup is to steal business secrets. Your business is now our business if you get my drift. The USA is going through some hard times when it comes to corruption and unethical behavior ( illegal ). Hopefully we can get this all sorted out and get our military/industrial complex back in the bottle where it belongs. In the meantime I'm doing everything I can do as a citizen to get Eric Holder removed from office.


Alex Hanson 05.08.2013 05:55

Bravo Germany! If you don't want NSA er... Google or Microsoft spying on you then prepare to hire more mail delivery persons. Did you really think all that digital data transfer was only for your convenience. Is nationalization of the Internet really the solution? It is fascinating that through the process of these leaks we get a window into the level of independence these US silicon digital technology corporations have from the military, NONE! Where is the supposed free market?

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