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

Published time: October 23, 2013 17:49
Edited time: October 24, 2013 08:37

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Reuters / Tobias Schwarz)

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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.

This was followed by the country's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoning the US ambassador to provide more clarity on the matter.

“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.

Comments (56)

 

mergon 23.07.2014 09:13

Im surprised that her security advisers gave her a phone that clearly was not secure ,there are phones out there such as jumper phones that share other peoples bandwidth so cant be traced ,the British picked these these up back in 90s off of 2 drug smugglers arrested at Heathrow .the average price of an mp,s /ministers phone in the UK is about £2500 !

A security program is just that and security is just a matter of time , but there are systems out there such as Active lock out programs that sense intervention and can lock it out via a gating system , surly if your a countries leader you would have one !

 

Ulf Meister 05.11.2013 20:25

No peace treaty for Germany since the end of World War II even no constitution, the German people and its country is still occupied by the three remaining victorious powers and Germany isn't even a state with its own sovereignty! We Germans are the paymaster for the EU, USA and of course Israel, and it will stay this way for eternity!

 

045hz 24.10.2013 14:19

All politicians are under surveilance and they know that when the secret services want they can.

View all comments (56)
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