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USA / Germany in Row Over Phone Hacking

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obama-merkelGermany has summoned the US ambassador in Berlin around claims the US monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will meet US envoy John Emerson after in what is viewed as an unusual measure between close friends.

However, it left open the question of whether calls were listened to formerly.

French President Francois Hollande had already called for the issue to be put in the plan of the summit, where EU leaders are expected to discuss Europe’s digital economy, economic recovery and immigration.

‘Completely unacceptable’
The German government hasn’t said how it received the trick about the alleged US spying. But news magazine Der Spiegel, which has printed stories predicated on content from former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, said the advice had come from its investigations.
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Germany’s Berliner Zeitung regrets that “just now does the government appear to actually understand what it is occurring”

The New York Times worries that there is mounting damage to “core American relationships”

Press aghast at latest US spying claims
State-observation of phone calls has a special resonance in Germany – Mrs Merkel herself grew up in East Germany, where phone-tap was pervasive.

Her spokesman said the German leader “views such practices… as entirely unacceptable” and had demanded a “complete and comprehensive explanation”.

“Among close friends in addition to partners, while the Federal Republic of Germany and additionally the US have been for decades, there ought to be no such observation of the communications of the head of government,” said Steffen Seibert in a statement.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US “is not tracking and will not trail the communications of the chancellor”.

German ministers’ phones have purportedly been protected using technology from security company Secusmart since 2009. Secusmart said in March that German government officials could be issued with new, highlysecured technology made for Blackberry mobile phones.

A German information technology master told the BBC that security services for lots of countries could have intercepted the chancellor’s calls before she had complete encryption.

Numerous US friends have expressed fury over the Snowden-based spying allegations.

Veteran French European Commissioner Michel Barnier told the BBC on Thursday that “enough is enough”, and that trust within the US was shaken.

‘No business as usual’
Germany’s press echoed a feeling of indignation, with a frontpage comments Sueddeutscher Zeitung – 1 of the country’s most respected newspapers – referring to the “greatest potential affront”.

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said it would be impossible to come back to business as usual. That is much more than a tiff that’ll blow over easily, the BBC’s Stephen Evans reports from Berlin.

President Obama had assured Chancellor Merkel in June that German citizens were not being usually spied upon.

Written by Betty

October 24th, 2013 at 1:20 pm