US Refuses to Promise to Stop Spying on German Officials, German Paper Reports

(Photo: Jakob Huber/Campact/flickr)The U.S. has refused to give assurances it will not spy on German officials, a German newspaper is reporting.

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the U.S. refusal has put talks towards a no-spying agreement between the two counties in jeopardy.

Outrage in Berlin erupted in October when leaks showed that the National Security Agency had targeted the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. That revelation came just months after the U.S. and its spy partner had agreed to begin negotiations towards an accord not to spy on each other.

Reporting on the news from Munich paper, the Guardian writes:

“We are not getting anything,” the newspaper quotes a source from within the German foreign intelligence agency. “The Americans have lied to us,” said another source.

As well as refusing to inform German authorities of when the NSA had been bugging the chancellor’s mobile phone, the US is not commenting on plans for current or future surveillance activities in relation to German political leaders.

Reuters reported on the story as well:

The widely respected Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported the talks were close to collapse because U.S. officials refused to promise that Washington will refrain from eavesdropping on German ministers or other top government officials.

“We’re not getting anything,” a German BND intelligence agency source was quoted by the Munich daily as saying.

A government source in Berlin told Reuters the United States remained interested in a deal but was loath to give a blanket pledge not to try to monitor government members.

Other U.S. and German officials said discussions towards a no-spying accord were continuing, though Agence France-Presse adds that

Senior US officials have signaled for months they will not agree to a blanket “no spying” pact, fearing such an agreement would set a precedent that would lead to similar demands from other nations.


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Source: Common Dreams