Talks between the United States and Germany to prevent future US spying on German officials are close to collapse, a German newspaper reports.
Berlin says Washington has not met its key demands which included a promise to stop listening to German politiciansâ„¢ phone calls, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing high-ranking German officials.
The newspapers said the German government has little hope of a bilateral treaty which would stop the US spying on German ministers.
It also said that the head of Germanyâ„¢s foreign intelligence agency (BND), Gerhard Schindler, had told colleagues that he would rather not the sign the deal in its current form. Å“There is great bitterness,” the paper added.
The SÃ¼ddeutsche headlined its report: Å“The Americans have lied to us.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has denied the report, saying discussions between Germanyâ„¢s security agencies and their US counterparts are officially still ongoing.
Documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed a global surveillance program being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
In October, revelations that the NSA had been tapping German Chancellorâ„¢s phone and allegedly ran a listening station from the US Embassy in Berlin provoked outrage in Germany and apologies from the US.
German officials say failure to reach a US-German Å“no spy” accord would be Å“unacceptable” and risks harming ties between both allies. But technology and security experts believe that placing limits on spies would probably not work in practice anyhow.
“It’s a naive to think a ‘no-spy’ deal would be possible,” said Sandro Gaycken, a technology and security researcher at Berlin’s Free University. Å“Not many people really expected it would happen and even if there was a deal, would anyone really trust it?”
Source: Press TV