July 25, 2013
NSA Spying Rankles Privacy-Loving Germans

As President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Brandenburg Gate a few weeks ago, dozens of protesters voiced outrage over the U.S. government’s global surveillance program, holding signs reading, “Yes We Scan.”
And since then, things have gone from bad to worse — especially given revelations that Germany’s intelligence services have been working in close cooperation with their American counterparts throughout the NSA’s vast spying system.
Amid a deepening scandal, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has watched the growing furor with dismay over the past month, as the demands for answers have reached a fever pitch.
"The German government has a duty under international and German law to protect their citizens against such schemes, and they have to make clear that they’re actually doing that on an international level," said Alexander Dix, the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
The controversy swirling around Merkel has boiled down to a fundamental question: who knew what, and when. As news broke in early June that the NSA is tapping into millions of phone calls, emails, and text messages, and that Germany is one of the agency’s targets, Berlin responded with measured surprise, promising to investigate the extent of the NSA’s activities on German soil.
But as was reported last weekend, Der Spiegel magazine found that the country’s federal intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, used software provided by the NSA and even flew representatives to Washington in April for guidance and advice from a specialized unit there.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

NSA Spying Rankles Privacy-Loving Germans

As President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Brandenburg Gate a few weeks ago, dozens of protesters voiced outrage over the U.S. government’s global surveillance program, holding signs reading, “Yes We Scan.”

And since then, things have gone from bad to worse — especially given revelations that Germany’s intelligence services have been working in close cooperation with their American counterparts throughout the NSA’s vast spying system.

Amid a deepening scandal, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has watched the growing furor with dismay over the past month, as the demands for answers have reached a fever pitch.

"The German government has a duty under international and German law to protect their citizens against such schemes, and they have to make clear that they’re actually doing that on an international level," said Alexander Dix, the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

The controversy swirling around Merkel has boiled down to a fundamental question: who knew what, and when. As news broke in early June that the NSA is tapping into millions of phone calls, emails, and text messages, and that Germany is one of the agency’s targets, Berlin responded with measured surprise, promising to investigate the extent of the NSA’s activities on German soil.

But as was reported last weekend, Der Spiegel magazine found that the country’s federal intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, used software provided by the NSA and even flew representatives to Washington in April for guidance and advice from a specialized unit there.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

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  25. ladaysandnights said: i just had the most violent reaction to the picture of obama and merkel. i can’t help but sneer…
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