German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a strong rebuke to the United States and Britain on Wednesday over the sweeping digital spying revealed by fugitive IT contractor Edward Snowden.
In a major speech to parliament ahead of talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday, Merkel said Western powers sacrificing freedom in the quest for security were sending the wrong signal to "billions of people living in undemocratic states".
"Actions in which the ends justify the means, in which everything that is technically possible is done, violate trust, they sow distrust," she said. "The end result is not more security but less."
Merkel, whose own mobile phone was allegedly monitored by the US National Security Agency (NSA), is planning to travel to Washington in coming months for talks with President Barack Obama.