According to SPIEGEL research, United States intelligence agencies have not only targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone, but they have also used the American Embassy in Berlin as a listening station. The revelations now pose a serious threat to German-American relations. Read full article
It's not new that there are ties between diplomatic posts and intelligence services. But in light of the severity of the recent revelations about the NSA spying on Germans, and in particular monitoring the phone of Angela Merkel, German authorities may take pause to reflect on the present situation.
French President Hollande was the first to bring it up at dinner, saying that while he didn't want to demonize the intelligence agencies, the Americans had so blatantly broken the law on millions of counts that he couldn't imagine how things could go on this way.
Hollande called for a code of conduct among the intelligence agencies, an idea for which Merkel also showed support. But soon doubts emerged: Wouldn't Europe also have to take a look at its own surveillance practices? What if a German or French Snowden came forward to reveal dirty spy tactics? British Prime Minister David Cameron pointed out how many terror attacks had been prevented because of spying capabilities. Then it was asked whether it has been proven that Obama even knows what his agencies are doing. Suddenly a mutual understanding seemed to waft through the group.
That was a bit too rich for Hollande: No, he interjected, spying to such an immense degree, allegedly on more than 70 million phone calls per month in France alone, that has been undertaken by only one country: the United States. The interruption was effective. After nearly three hours, the EU member states agreed on a statement that can be read as clear disapproval of the Americans.