Outrage over U.S. spying in Germany: ‘We have recent experience of what totalitarianism means’

The Local reports: Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday it was “really not on” for allies to spy on each other as the fall-out over allegations that the US National Security Agency tapped her mobile phone continues.

“We need trust between allies and partners, and such trust needs to be restored,” she said on arrival at an EU summit in Brussels.

Germany has reacted with anger over allegations the NSA tapped Merkel’s phone. Developments on Thursday include:

-Germany summoning the US ambassador in Berlin;

-The federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe, part of the Ministry of Justice, intervening by stating on Thursday lunchtime it will investigate the case;

-Merkel’s phone number found in documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. According to the Welt newspaper it was her old Nokia phone number;

-Germany’s parliamentary security services committee calling a special meeting.

Merkel’s mobile phone is expected to be examined by security services on Thursday to see whether it may have been tapped and what information could have been gained from it, the Bild newspaper reported.

And the revelations have also dominated the European Union summit in Brussels which was supposed to focus on economic issues.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said, in reference to life in Communist-era East Germany, that not so long ago “there was a part of Germany where political police were spying on people’s lives daily”.

“We have recent experience of what totalitarianism means,” he said. “We know what happens when a state uses powers that intrude on people’s lives.” [Continue reading…]

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