Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

​No spying on friends: NSA bugs Merkel aides instead of chancellor

Published time: February 24, 2014 07:30
Edited time: February 24, 2014 14:53

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) lines up with fellow parliamentarians to cast their votes after a debate about deputy allowances and graft at the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin (Reuters / Thomas Peter)

Download video (13.3 MB)

In the wake of President Obama's promise to stop spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the US intelligence has switched its attention to her top government officials, a German newspaper reported.

Washington's relations with Germany were strained last year after revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was conducting mass surveillance in Germany and even tapped the mobile phone of Chancellor Merkel.

Facing the German outrage, President Barack Obama pledged that the US would stop spying on the leader of the European country, which is among the closest and most powerful allies of America.

After the promise was made, the NSA has stepped up surveillance of senior German officials, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag (BamS) reported on Sunday.

"We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the chancellor's communication directly," it quoted a top NSA employee in Germany as saying.

BamS said the NSA had 297 employees stationed in Germany and was surveying 320 key individuals, most of them German decision-makers involved in politics and business.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere is of particular interest to the US, the report said, because he is a close aide of Merkel, who seeks his advice on many issues and was rumored to be promoting his candidacy for the post of NATO secretary-general.

A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry told the newspaper it would not comment on the "allegations of unnamed individuals."

Privacy issues are a very sensitive area in Germany, which holds the memory of invasive state surveillance practices by the Nazi government and later by the Communist government in the former East Germany.

Part of the outrage in Germany was caused by the allegation that US intelligence is using its surveillance capabilities not only to provide national security, but also to gain business advantage for American companies over their foreign competitors.

Berlin has been pushing for a ‘no-spying deal’ with the US for months, but so far with little success. Germany is also advocating the creation of a European computer network which would allow communication traffic not to pass through US-based servers and thus avoid the NSA tapping.

Comments (25)

 

james greer 07.04.2014 04:21

expel the US and Briton.

 

Blackberry 25.02.2014 11:48

Dan 25.02.2014 00:34

Sure we'll let them get expelled and move them right into eastern Ukraine. Along with long range missiles.

  


General Dan Custer the bugle boy is back with more drivel

LOL

 

Dan 25.02.2014 00:34

Eugênio Ribeiro 24.02.2014 19:41

Germany must expel US troops and bases forever. Show your dignity.

  

Sure we'll let them get expelled and move them right into eastern Ukraine. Along with long range missiles.

View all comments (25)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us