Civil Liberties

US Apparently Eavesdropping on Everybody But Merkel in Germany–News Roundup

Despite president's speech, hundreds still being monitored


An international scandal between the United States and Germany over alleged surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone was supposed to been resolved when President Barack Obama said in January he would contact foreign leaders directly to communicate with them. The federal government would not monitor foreign leaders unless there was a "compelling national security purpose."

Apparently the United States must still see some sort of problem in Germany, then. According to a weekend report from a German newspaper, hundreds of politicians and business leaders are still being monitored by the United States. AFP reports:

US intelligence has stepped up eavesdropping on hundreds of key figures in Germany, including a government minister, after Chancellor Angela Merkel was dropped as a direct target, a German report said Sunday.

Bild am Sonntag newspaper said that 320 political and business leaders in Germany were being monitored by the US National Security Agency (NSA), including Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

"We have the order not to allow any loss of information whatsoever after the communication of the chancellor no longer being able to be directly monitored," Bild quoted an unnamed high-ranking US intelligence employee in Germany as saying.

Related previous coverage from Reason:

Ed Krayewski explores how  the German Stasi could only dream of collecting the kind of information the federal government and the National Security Agency was gathering.

Matthew Feeney examines how the international NSA scandal affects international trade.

Andrew Napolitano explains how the international surveillance scandal shows an out-of-control NSA.