German leader: spying on allies harms security (Update)

Jan 29, 2014 by Frank Jordans
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a government statement as part of a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Due to a hip injury Merkel has to sit during her speech. The reflections are caused by windows at the visitors tribune. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Wednesday that countries who spy on their allies risk destroying trust, resulting in less rather than more security.

Merkel used her inaugural address to Parliament after her re-election to slam the United States and Britain over their spy programs. Among the allegations to surface from secret U.S. government documents released by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden last year are that friendly countries and their leaders—including Merkel—have been the target of electronic eavesdropping.

The U.S. says its surveillance programs are focused on threats to national security, including terrorism.

"Actions where the ends justify the means, where everything that is technically possible is done, harms trust," Merkel said. "It sows distrust. In the end there will be less, not more, security."

The German leader said her government felt a responsibility to protect the privacy rights of its citizens, too. But she rejected calls to pressure Washington into signing a "no spy" agreement between the two countries by suspending trade talks between the U.S. and the European Union.

"I am leading these talks with the force of our arguments," she said. "I think we have good ones."

She indicated she did not expect any easy solution, saying: "It's a long path ahead."

Merkel also said that despite the recent friction the "trans-Atlantic partnership remains of outstanding importance."

"Germany cannot wish for a better partner than the United States of America," she said.

That remark drew immediate criticism by opposition Left Party leader Gregor Gysi for what he called her "submissiveness toward the United States."

Constanze Kurz, a privacy advocate and spokeswoman for Germany's Chaos Computer Club, said it was laudable that Merkel had raised the issue at all.

"But the fact that she's not giving any indication of wanting to put real pressure on the Americans and the British is disappointing. She doesn't seem to realize, or want to realize, what a deep crisis of confidence there is, particularly among businesses," said Kurz.

Her group, which calls itself Europe's largest association of hackers, is planning to sue the German government for allegedly aiding U.S. intelligence efforts against German citizens.

Merkel has accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit Washington in the coming months, though no date has been set. Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters on Wednesday that the spying issue would be discussed during the visit.

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User comments : 15

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210
1 / 5 (2) Jan 29, 2014
"Russian man who created SpyEye pleads guilty (Update) 19 hours ago"
NSA KEEP SPYING! Russia wont expedite or convict!
Before the G20 meeting last year Merkel was told the meeting was hacked by china.
http://cyprus-mai...fireeye/
She met with chinese delegation to the G20/WTO and said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING raised no concerns nor demanded they, a criminal force, cease and desist. The 300-pound NSA pitbull chases the commies through her garden and she yells, AT THE DOG! Germany and Europe to a staggering degree is inundated with Russian and east european gangs using over 80,000 botnets to attack commerce.
http://www.neurop...-and-fbi
Europe wants to hug the Ukraine, here comes warlord Vlad-the-gay-impaler-putini to threaten them with a "gas bill" wearing watches that cost more than he earns!
http://www.neurop...-overdue
dav_daddy
2 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2014
What possible reason could the rest of the world have for wanting to spy on the leader of Germany? There couldn't be a historical reason this sounds like a wise policy could there?
thatsitalright
not rated yet Jan 29, 2014
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Wednesday that countries who spy on their allies risk destroying trust


What a ridiculous assertion. Next someone is going to say that spying on citizens also destroys trust. This woman is obviously a commie red, anti-establishment hippie.
aksdad
not rated yet Jan 29, 2014
Well put, 210. Merkel is well aware that Germany's own intelligence agency, BSD, which answers to Merkel herself, also spies on its allies like the U.S. for various reasons including taking the measure of where leaders really stand on important issues (which they often don't articulate publicly for political reasons). This isn't so much about the fact that the NSA has been spying on Germany's leaders as it is about the fact that U.S. Intelligence services maintain close ties to other Anglophone intelligence agencies (UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and share information, but not so much with Germany.

It's interesting that Edward Snowden, after stealing NSA data for his own purposes, fled first to China then Russia. Perhaps he feels they protect their citizenry better from spying. Or maybe there are other reasons....
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2014
Well put, 210. Merkel is well aware that Germany's own intelligence agency, BSD

BSD? Never heard of it.
You probably mean the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst, which employs all of 6500 people. With that kind of 'manpower' you're not spying anywhere on the scale of the NSA. Contrast that with the 40k plus people there, and the 10bn plus budget (the BND has all of 0.5bn))
Lex Talonis
not rated yet Jan 30, 2014
What possible reason could the rest of the world have for wanting to spy on the leader of Germany? There couldn't be a historical reason this sounds like a wise policy could there?


Merkel might be good for milf / granny / mature porn.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2014
What possible reason could the rest of the world have for wanting to spy on the leader of Germany?

Oh, I don't know: possibly because Germany is the second largest exporter in the world (behind China)?
Or because the german vote carries a lot of weight in EU decisions?

Those things do tend to be of interest to those who aren't doing quite so well.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2014
You probably mean the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst, which employs all of 6500 people
With clever software you don't need lots of people.

"Bundestrojaner ("federal trojan") or R2D2... in a report that the German government developed the software to gather information from target computers, including screenshots, keystrokes, and audio from VOIP calls. CCC says that the trojan even has a "backdoor" that lets additional software to be installed and executed.

"There is concern that the software has been used illegally. There are laws in place in Germany that allow investigators to intercept digital communications, but there are strict guidelines for when this can be done. The all-encompassing spying ability of R2D2 is what raises the most red flags -- especially its ability to allow for the installation and execution of additional software. CCC believes that this could be used to plant evidence on a computer."

-The German govt is allowed to spy on 40% of its people .
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2014
"Bundestrojaner ("federal trojan")

And if you noticed: The CCC blasted it for being an extremely amateurish piece of software.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2014
"Bundestrojaner ("federal trojan")

And if you noticed: The CCC blasted it for being an extremely amateurish piece of software.
So you are saying that its ok for govts to spy on their citizens if they do it badly?

I tell you aa sometimes your thought process are truly disconcerting to me.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2014
Europe wants to hug the Ukraine, here comes warlord Vlad-the-gay-impaler-putini to threaten them with a "gas bill" wearing watches that cost more than he earns!
http://www.neurop...-overdue
The privatization USA cronies in Ukraine told Russia they no longer wanted the Soviet agreement. Stop quoting zionist western magazines and learn some FACTS! Ukraine history is endless shootings in the foot listening to stupid foreign powers that want to carve them up like a turkey and start more wars for their bankster buddies who, in all fairness, elected them

The COMMIES are the ZIONISTS who PAID FOR THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION. The checque to Lenin sits at the British Museum. You are being played like a harp and your music is terrible. You are dangerously ignorant
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2014
The COMMIES are the ZIONISTS who PAID FOR THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.
So you think that if the revolution hadn't happened, all those millions and millions of very religious Russians would have gone on having huge families and still be living in perpetual peace?

The POPULATION was growing far faster than its ability to provide for itself. Initial indicators are always inflation, declining wages, lost jobs, and increasing discontent.

The industrial revolution made an already critical situation far worse. Collapse was INEVITABLE. Millions were going to die one way or another. Do you blame Leaders for wanting to preserve civilization despite this horrid reality?

Stop being naive. The alternative to the history we know would have been certain nuclear conflagration and a dead world by the third millennium. Instead we are now poised to colonize the inner system.
kochevnik
3 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2014
The COMMIES are the ZIONISTS who PAID FOR THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.
So you think that if the revolution hadn't happened, all those millions and millions of very religious Russians would have gone on having huge families and still be living in perpetual peace?
The POPULATION was growing far faster than its ability to provide for itself. Initial indicators are always inflation, declining wages, lost jobs, and increasing discontent.
The industrial revolution made an already critical situation far worse. Collapse was INEVITABLE. Millions were going to die one way or another. Do you blame Leaders for wanting to preserve civilization despite this horrid reality?
Russia is biggest country on planet. Every house wife can have 11 children and still not fill Russia. No the west conspired to take Russia out of economic circle and build largest collection of WMD, which Russia forced defend against. If world ends it is sufficient gratification that Russians are not enslaved yet again
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2014
Well let's crunch some numbers... Burundi has one of the highest Total Fertility Rates in the world at roughly 6 children per woman (2.1 is break-even) which gives a pop growth rate of 3.5%. This would result in a doubling of their pop in 20 years; but we know that pogrom and butchery will intercede long before this.

Russia's pop is currently 150M people. It is obvious that without the wars this number would have been much higher. Russia's population growth rate from 1850 to 1910 was the fastest of all the major powers except for the United States. Between 1850 and 1900, Russia's population doubled. Yet by 1900 discontent over dwindling resources led to a world war and a revolution. And only 20 years later there were again enough men to fight an even bigger one.

And so what you are proposing is unrealistic. Try to picture the spread of the flu virus through your body. This is exponential growth. And like human pop growth it does not stop until you are very very sick.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2014
WMD, which Russia forced defend against
Nuclear weapons were INEVITABLE. So were submarines for that matter. If there hadn't been superpowers to build overwhelming numbers if them then soon enough anyone could have done so, as they are trying to do now, and the world would most certainly have descended into chaos.

And so given that inevitability, we can understand WHY a phony Cold War was staged, and a few trillion dollars/rubles was spent, to make sure that superpowers were the ones who developed these weapons first.

This contrived competition led to unprecedented advances in essential technologies which would not have occurred otherwise. And much of it could be done in secret behind an iron curtain.

Above a certain level all Leaders are on the same side in this world. There was never any danger of nuclear war. Leaders are NOT that stupid.

The world wars were fought to produce the kind of sociopolitical Structures which could PREVENT this.

US/USSR = good cop/bad cop.

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