U.S. Accused of Spying On German Chancellor’s Cell Phone
Matt | On 25, Oct 2013
President Obama is not having the best week ever. He has the National Security Agency and one of their former contractors, Edward Snowden, to thank for that. Snowden has become famous for leaking thousands of documents related to top-secret U.S. intelligence and running away from officials.
News broke on Wednesday that the United States was strongly suspected of spying on the cell phone communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pronounced AHN-GULL-UH). The allegations made Merkel livid and she called Obama the same day for an explanation. He told her that the U.S. doesn’t spy on her and will not in the future. However, he never cleared up whether they spied on her before. Some believe the information about the spying came from Snowden. Reuters reported that Merkel saw her personal cell phone number written on a U.S. document and knew something was up.
Merkel reminded people that it’s never cool to spy on allies, which Germany is to the United States.
The chancellor is originally from East Germany, an area where the Stasi secret police spied on much of the society. For Germans, spying is a major cause for concern and a sore point for its citizens.
According to the memos leaked to the press, the spying started in 2006 under President George. W. Bush. This would make a lot of sense because Bush regularly spied on Americans. I guess no one was safe under his overly-watchful eye.
This isn’t the first accusation of U.S. spying on foreign soil in recent months. It was revealed that approximately 70.3 million French citizens had been monitored by U.S. spy officials. The Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled an official state visit to Washington in September because it was revealed that her communications were being monitored as well. Officials in Italy just broke the news on Thursday that they believe the United States and United Kingdom have jointly monitored their citizens.
At first, I thought the situation would just blow over. In June, thanks to Snowden, we found out that the U.S. had been spying on the communications of millions of Americans. What’s another few countries and a couple of world leaders to add to the list? Lol.. Well, it hasn’t been received quite so well across the Atlantic.
Both Germany and France are now calling for bilateral and separate talks with the United States to discuss the incident and a solution by the end of the year. Both countries are rightfully pissed off with the United States. They cite pending trade agreements and current counter-terrorism efforts that could be hurt by the latest revelations.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, the UK’s The Guardian newspaper reported Thursday that 35 world leaders were found to have been spied on by the NSA.
26 October Edit: This post reflects a slight change in the title to further emphasize the accusations against U.S. government in the spying case. The wording of an earlier title created confusion for some readers.