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​German legislators vote to investigate NSA, ‘Five Eyes’ surveillance

Published time: March 21, 2014 00:32
Demonstrators take part in a protest against the US National Security Agency (NSA) in Berlin  (AFP Photo/John Macdougall)

Demonstrators take part in a protest against the US National Security Agency (NSA) in Berlin (AFP Photo/John Macdougall)

The German Bundestag announced it will investigate surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency and its foreign partners, as well as whether any German officials knew of the spying that targeted the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The legislative body’s governing coalition, aligned with Merkel, and opposition lawmakers voted Thursday to form a parliamentary inquiry into the scope of surveillance on German private communiqué by the US and its allies, known as the “Five Eyes.” Partnering countries include Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.

The probe, set to begin next month, will also seek to unearth what, if any, knowledge any German officials had of the clandestine operations.

“The panel will also illuminate the extent to which government agencies, intelligence agencies or the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology ‘were aware, were involved...or possibly took advantage of’ such practices,” the Bundestag’s announcement stated.

According to ABC News, opposition lawmaker Hans-Christian Ströbele said investigators should questions former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked the documents that exposed the vast extent of the NSA’s global spying regime to news outlets.

Classified data leaked by Snowden revealed in October that the NSA had been monitoring Chancellor Merkel's personal cell phone. The Americans also used their Berlin embassy as a platform to monitor the cell phone communications of other high-ranking German politicians.

In June, Snowden documents supplied to Der Spiegel indicated that the NSA combs through half a billion German phone calls, emails, and text messages on a monthly basis, adding that the US has classified its European ally on the same target level as China.

Germany demanded an “immediate” US response over the bugging allegations, adding that this kind of surveillance was reminiscent of the Cold War.

"It must ultimately be immediately and extensively explained by the American side whether media reports about completely disproportionate tapping measures by the US in the EU are accurate or not," Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement at the time.

German federal prosecutors are reportedly considering their own investigation into NSA surveillance operations.

Comments (11)


Bengt G Kronholm 29.05.2014 08:20

The legislature and opposition lawmakers voted Thursday to form a parliamentary inquiry into the scope of monitoring in German private communique by the U.S. and its allies. In Sweden licks our government with NATO friendly Liberal Party in the lead, the United States in the back ...


mergon 05.04.2014 11:02

So what is all the spying for ,well for one there is the military aspect,then there is the political aspect,then we have the industrial spying .
The world is running out of resources as can be seen when the Americans are growing 45% of their corn for vehicle fuel,and the oil is running out amongst other things ,the UK has a cam or 10 on every street ,Germany and the likes will end up the same there has never been so many countries fighting in the streets at the same time ,2015 is the marker year 2020 is the year of the police state ,when it breaks they are going to need their cams big time !


Blizzard02 21.03.2014 08:10

If our PM AM would be seriously interested in resolving the problem with NSA spying, she would summon Obama as main culprit and liar to Germany to withes in front of Parliament as German public demanded, but she did not do. She forced EU to sign trade deal with USA which is completely against EU interests and is in favour of USA companies.
USA has to have some secret file on that Polish woman (Yes Angela Merkel is Polish only her Grandfather changed polish surname to German and she was hiding it for very long) Honesty there should be some secret around her that US is using it to force her to act as she does.

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