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NSA spied on Merkel since 2002, German reports says – World – CBC News

NSA spied on Merkel since 2002, German reports says – World – CBC News. (source)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks out the window en route to the ISAF headquarters after an unannounced visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 11, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama and Kerry are trying to quell international anger over the latest classified disclosures about NSA tactics by Edward Snowden, who is still in Russia. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks out the window en route to the ISAF headquarters after an unannounced visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 11, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama and Kerry are trying to quell international anger over the latest classified disclosures about NSA tactics by Edward Snowden, who is still in Russia. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

U.S. allies angered over NSA

U.S. allies angered over NSA 3:03

Germany’s interior minister is pressing for “complete information” from Washington on the alleged U.S. surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone and any other snooping.

Merkel complained to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday after receiving information her phone may have been monitored. German spy chiefs plan to travel to Washington for talks.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich was quoted Sunday as telling newspaper Bild am Sonntag he wants “complete information on all accusations” and that “if the Americans intercepted cellphones in Germany, they broke German law on German soil.” He added wiretapping is a crime and “those responsible must be held accountable.”

News magazine Der Spiegel, whose research prompted the government’s response, reported that a document apparently from an NSA database indicates Merkel’s cellphone was first listed as a target in 2002.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Rome and Paris on Saturday and was confronted by outrage over the sweep and scope of U.S. snooping abroad.

The magnitude of the eavesdropping is what shocked us,” former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a radio interview. “Let’s be honest, we eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don’t have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous.”

Free trade talks

The spy flap could give the Europeans leverage in talks with the U.S. on a free trade agreement, which would join together nearly half of the global economy. “If we go to the negotiations and we have the feeling those people with whom we negotiate know everything that we want to deal with in advance, how can we trust each other?” Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, asked.

Claude Moniquet, a former French counterintelligence officer and now director of Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, said the latest NSA flap came at a good time for Europe “to have a lever, a means of pressure … in these negotiations.”

To Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore at George Washington University, damage from the NSA disclosures could “undermine Washington’s ability to act hypocritically and get away with it.”

The danger in the disclosures “lies not in the new information that they reveal but in the documented confirmation they provide of what the United States is actually doing and why,” they wrote in Foreign Affairs. “When these deeds turn out to clash with the government’s public rhetoric, as they so often do, it becomes harder for U.S. allies to overlook Washington’s covert behaviour and easier for U.S. adversaries to justify their own.”

They claim the disclosures forced Washington to abandon its “naming-and-shaming campaign against Chinese hacking.”

The revelations could undercut Washington’s effort to fight terrorism, says Kiron Skinner, director of the Center for International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University. The sweeping nature of NSA surveillance goes against the Obama administration’s claim that much of U.S. espionage is carried out to combat terrorism, she says.

“If Washington undermines its own leadership or that of its allies, the collective ability of the West to combat terrorism will be compromised,” Skinner said. “Allied leaders will have no incentive to put their own militaries at risk if they cannot trust U.S. leadership.”

Push for end to eavesdropping

The Obama administration’s rebuttal to outrage has been that the U.S. is gathering foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations and that it’s necessary to protect the U.S. and its allies against security threats.

Kerry discussed the NSA affair in Europe with French and Italian officials. “He certainly recognizes that as we look to pursue a range of diplomatic priorities, whether that’s working together on global issues like Syria or Iran or TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), it would really be a mistake to let these disclosures get in the way,” she said.

Most governments have not retaliated, but some countries are pushing back.

li-merkel620-getty152164991German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone was allegedly tapped by the NSA according the information obtained by Edward Snowden. (Sean Gallup/Getty)

Germany and France are demanding that the Obama administration agree by year’s end to new rules that could mean an end to reported American eavesdropping on foreign leaders, companies and innocent citizens.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled her official state visit to the White House. She ordered measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security after learning that the NSA intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians.

Brazil says it is working with other countries to draft a United Nations General Assembly resolution that would guarantee people’s privacy in electronic communications.

A European Parliament committee in Brussels approved sweeping data protection rules that would strengthen online privacy and outlaw the kind of data transfers the U.S. is using for its spying program.

European lawmakers have called for the suspension of an agreement that grants U.S. authorities access to bank data needed for terror-related investigations.

“We need trust among allies and partners,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose cellphone was allegedly tapped by the NSA. “Such trust now has to be built anew.”

 

Proof that NSA Spying Is Not Very Focused On Terrorism | Washington’s Blog

Proof that NSA Spying Is Not Very Focused On Terrorism | Washington’s Blog. (source)

Power, Money and Crushing Dissent Are Real Motives

The NSA not only spied on the leaders of GermanyBrazil and Mexico, but  on at least 35 world leaders.

The Guardian reports:

One unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately “tasked” for monitoringby the NSA.

That’s just one incident we know about.   The NSA also spies on the European Union, the European Parliament,  the G20 summit and other allies.

The NSA asked government agencies to share their Rolodexes, so the NSA would have phone numbers for top foreign political and military leaders.

A confidential government memo admits that the spying didn’t help prevent terrorism:

The memo acknowledges that eavesdropping on the numbers had produced “little reportable intelligence”.

Because the leaders of allies such as Germany, Brazil, Mexico, the EU and G-20 have no ties to Al Qaeda terrorists, the spying was obviously done for other purposes.

The NSA conducts widespread industrial espionage on our allies. That has nothing to do with terrorism, either.

Indeed, there is no evidence that mass surveillance has prevented a single terrorist attack. On the contrary, top counter-terror experts say that mass spying actually hurts U.S. counter-terror efforts(more here and here).

If NSA spying were really focused on terrorism, our allies and companies wouldn’t be fighting back so hard against it.

And even the argument that 9/11 changed everything holds no water.  Spying started before 9/11 … andvarious excuses have been used to spy on Americans over the years.   Even NSA’s industrial espionage has been going on for many decades. And the NSA was already spying on American Senators more than40 years ago.

Governments who spy on their own population always do it to crush dissent. (Why do you think that the NSA is doing exactly the same thing which King George did to the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War?)

Of course, if even half of what a NSA whistleblower Russel Tice says – that  (and see this) – then things arereally out of whack.

 

Merkel’s ObamaPhone Scandal Escalates: US Ambassador Summoned By German Foreign Minister | Zero Hedge

Merkel’s ObamaPhone Scandal Escalates: US Ambassador Summoned By German Foreign Minister | Zero Hedge. (source)

The diplomatic farce in the aftermath of the most recent revelations that Obama had tapped not only Hollande‘s butMerkel’s cell phone as well, continued when moments ago Germany’s Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain if it was indeed true the NSA “may be spying” on Merkel, a ministry spokeswoman said. They used the word “may” loosely.  John B. Emerson, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Germany, will meet Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Thursday afternoon.

But while the latest diplomatic escalation will have zero impact whatsoever on either US spying intentions, mostly of US citizens let alone foreigners, or German-US relations, what is missing is that had this “scandal” happened four short months ago, the farce would have been truly complete as the summoned US Ambassador would be none other than former Goldman senior director and head of Goldman Germany, Philip Murphy, who alas stepped down in August. Had that been the case someone may have just put two and two together.

From the WSJ:

The German government’s position will be clearly presented to [Mr. Emerson],” the spokeswoman said. The U.S. Embassy referred questions back to the German Foreign Ministry.

Germany’s Parliamentary Control Committee, which oversees the intelligence services, will meet for an impromptu session on the cellphone scandal at 1200 GMT, said the head of the committee, Thomas Oppermann.

Ms. Merkel spoke by phone with President Barack Obama on Wednesday to discuss the claims that the U.S. monitored her communications. The chancellor made clear that surveillance among allies would be “fully unacceptable” and a “grave breach of trust,” her spokesman said in a statement released late Wednesday in Berlin.

The White House said Mr. Obama assured Ms. Merkel in the call that the U.S. “is not monitoring and will not monitor” her communications. “The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

In other news, the German Parliament security committee meets today on merkel phone tap, German govt spokesman Seibert comments in text message. A text message which it goes without saying, was intercepted by the NSA.

And here is Angie herself showing just where the NSA’s bug was planted:

 

Obama May Or May Not Have Tapped Angela Merkel’s Cell Phone | Zero Hedge

Obama May Or May Not Have Tapped Angela Merkel’s Cell Phone | Zero Hedge. (source)

In a stunning claim, Germany’s Der Speigel reports that theUS targeted Angela Merkel’s private mobile phone for years

  • *MERKEL TOLD OBAMA TAPPING WOULD BE UNACCEPTABLE, SEIBERT SAYS
  • *MERKEL COMPLAINED TO OBAMA ABOUT PHONE SURVEILLANCE: SPIEGEL
  • *MERKEL DEMANDS FULL EXPLANATION FROM OBAMA, SPIEGEL SAYS

So Obama promptly complied:

  • *OBAMA TOLD MERKEL U.S. NOT TAPPING HER PHONE, SPIEGEL SAYS

We await Snowden and Greenwald’s clarification…

Carney is now denying it all in the WH press conference:

  • *CARNEY SAYS OBAMA, MERKEL SPOKE ABOUT NSA ALLEGATIONS TODAY
  • *CARNEY SAYS OBAMA ASSURED MERKEL HER PHONE NOT MONITORED
  • *CARNEY SAYS MERKEL, OBAMA AGREED TO INTENSIFY COOPERATION
  • *CARNEY: NOT MONITORING, WILL NOT MONITOR MERKEL COMMUNICATIONS

 

Forget Recovery: This Is What Total European Monetary Collapse Looks Like | Zero Hedge

Forget Recovery: This Is What Total European Monetary Collapse Looks Like | Zero Hedge.

 

Merkel Wins Federal Election But Coalition Partner Below Bundestag Threshold: Final Outcome Too Close To Call | Zero Hedge

Merkel Wins Federal Election But Coalition Partner Below Bundestag Threshold: Final Outcome Too Close To Call | Zero Hedge.

 

Merkel Has Some Words Of Encouragement… Or Is That Warning? | Zero Hedge

Merkel Has Some Words Of Encouragement… Or Is That Warning? | Zero Hedge.

 

Quote Of The Day: Schaeuble Has Some Words Of Encouragement | Zero Hedge

Quote Of The Day: Schaeuble Has Some Words Of Encouragement | Zero Hedge.

 

Testosterone Pit – Home – NSA Spying in Germany: Turning “A Parliamentary Democracy Into A Banana Republic”

Testosterone Pit – Home – NSA Spying in Germany: Turning “A Parliamentary Democracy Into A Banana Republic”.

 

Germans protest against US surveillance – Europe – Al Jazeera English

Germans protest against US surveillance – Europe – Al Jazeera English.

 

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