Merkel Under Fire as Germans Rail Over Ties With NSA

Image: Merkel Under Fire as Germans Rail Over Ties With NSA

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 09:25 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government Monday announced a probe into ties between its secret services and US agencies whose sweeping online surveillance was revealed by fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

It reacted to a report by news weekly Der Spiegel which said documents provided by Snowden showed that German services closely cooperated with the US National Security Agency (NSA) and used its Internet spy software XKeyscore.

Germany's domestic intelligence service BfV said it was only testing the Internet tool, which Der Spiegel said can store several days' worth of Internet traffic data and content as well as key words from online search engines and Google Maps.

The US documents reportedly also praised the "eagerness" of foreign intelligence service BND president Gerhard Schindler to cooperate more closely with the NSA and said the German government had modified its interpretation of privacy laws to allow more flexibility in data sharing.

With elections set for September 22, the claims made by Snowden, some of them first reported by Der Spiegel, have put pressure on Merkel, who has said she only learned of the PRISM programme through media reports.

Merkel's spokesman Georg Streiter announced a "comprehensive review" into the claims, with results to be presented between Wednesday and Friday to the parliament's secret services oversight committee, whose meetings are closed to the media and public.

Streiter defended the fact that secret services operate out of the public eye, adding that "international terrorism can only be fought through international cooperation, and this serves to protect our citizens in Germany".

But he also said that "German law applies on German soil, and that goes for everyone, including our intelligence services. That's why the government takes very seriously the questions that arise from the weekend media coverage".

"The chief of staff of the chancellery has initiated an extensive review. The outcome will shortly be reported to the Parliamentary Control Committee."

Snowden's claims about the NSA's PRISM programme to capture and store email, phone and other communication data have angered many in Germany, where the notion of state surveillance triggers dark memories of snooping by the Nazis' Gestapo and communist East Germany's Stasi.

Under repeated media questioning, Streiter defended German intelligence ties with the United States: "I find it rather amazing that the impression is being created that we are cooperating with evil. I mean, they are our friends.

"We have closely cooperated with our friends for decades. And if there are now different views, different interpretations of the law and different laws on personal data in America and Germany, then that doesn't mean that they are suddenly evil."

fz/dlc/jmm

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Back From Kiev, Rep. Pompeo Says Putin Wants to 'Control Ukraine'

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 13:56 PM

Following a recent trip to Ukraine, Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas told Newsmax that while the final outcome of the ongoing  . . .

Obamacare Provision Allows Treatment Without Payment

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 13:31 PM

Doctors and hospitals, not patients, will be on the hook for people who don't pay their Obamacare insurance premiums, Fo . . .

GOP Backing Off Support for Cliven Bundy After Racist Remarks

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 11:12 AM

Republican leaders are backing off their support of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy after he made a series of inflamm . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved