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German newspaper Bild am Sonntag said that the NSA is currently spying on about 320 politicians and business leaders in Germany

U.S. President Barack Obama stopped the National Security Agency's (NSA) spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, but a German newspaper claims that the NSA is still keeping a close watch on top German government officials. 
 
According to Reuters, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag said that the NSA is currently spying on about 320 politicians and business leaders in Germany, including Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, a close confidant of Merkel.
 
Bild am Sonntag said its information came from a high-ranking NSA employee in Germany, who chose to remain anonymous. 
 
"We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the chancellor's communication directly," said the NSA employee, according to Bild am Sonntag.


Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Obama [SOURCE: Truth Frequency Radio]

Berlin has been looking to make a "no-spy" deal with Washington, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is due to visit the U.S. on Thursday for that purpose. 

In October 2013, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the U.S. had tapped Chancellor Merkel phone for years, and spied on 34 other world leaders as well. This led one German politician to call for a complete halt on trade negotiations between the European Union and the U.S.

But Obama attempted to calm the situation in January when he ordered the NSA to stop spying on the leaders of U.S.-allied nations.

Sources: Reuters, The Hill



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>.<
By Motoman on 2/24/2014 1:44:38 PM , Rating: 5
Here's an idea: how about we only spy on declared enemies, and/or those for whom there is sufficient evidence to issue an individual warrant for surveillance?

I know, crazy thoughts.




RE: >.<
By Decom on 2/24/2014 2:05:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here's an idea: how about we only spy on declared enemies, and/or those for whom there is sufficient evidence to issue an individual warrant for surveillance?


Even though the President told them to stop in January, did anybody really believe they were going to just stop.

I'd say they've scaled back for the time being to let things cool off before they go back to normal operation. All the while everyone outside the US gets more sickened by their actions everyday.

Why there isn't larger outrage among the US populace is baffling. Your Spy Agencies are ruining your reputation, well what little you had left, worldwide.


RE: >.<
By PitViper007 on 2/24/2014 3:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
All the while everyone outside the Washington DC ruling class gets more sickened by their actions everyday.

There. Fixed that for ya.


RE: >.<
By Aloonatic on 2/24/2014 3:56:02 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Even though the President told them to stop in January.
You missed an important part out.

Should have been.
quote:
Even though the President told them to stop *wink* *nods when people are looking* *shakes head when people aren't* *wink* in January.


RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/2014 5:51:44 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Even though the President told them to stop in January


Uhhh no. He publicly pretended he knew nothing about it, and pushed all blame on someone else. Standard Obama deflection strategy. "I didn't know, I'm as shocked as you! Those guys suck!"

While privately he tells the NSA to keep up the good work...

This idiotic idea that the President of the United States has NO power over the NSA is absolute BS! Stop watching MSNBC or whatever is shoveling this nonsense to you.

quote:
Why there isn't larger outrage among the US populace is baffling.


LMAO you're joking right? When nearly EVERY news station, newspaper, and media outlet is doing it's best to minimize this controversy, repeat Obama's lies and excuses without question, and are just trying to make this go away.

People can't be outraged when they don't know the truth!


RE: >.<
By Decom on 2/25/2014 1:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Uhhh no. He publicly pretended he knew nothing about it, and pushed all blame on someone else. Standard Obama deflection strategy. "I didn't know, I'm as shocked as you! Those guys suck!"

While privately he tells the NSA to keep up the good work...


That's what I suggested, that they were on the down low for a while, once things blow over it will be back to normal operations.

quote:
This idiotic idea that the President of the United States has NO power over the NSA is absolute BS! Stop watching MSNBC or whatever is shoveling this nonsense to you.


The President has power , it's just political grandstanding in telling them to scale back their activities.
He's probably more pissed for them getting caught.
I also don't know why you pull the "stop watching MSNBC" B$ as I'm not American and get my news from a variety of sources.

quote:
LMAO you're joking right? When nearly EVERY news station, newspaper, and media outlet is doing it's best to minimize this controversy, repeat Obama's lies and excuses without question, and are just trying to make this go away.

People can't be outraged when they don't know the truth!


And bang, you've hit the nail on the head right there.

Most of the US populace choose to not be informed or to get their news from reputable sources, I'd say a very large proportion of the country haven't an iota what is going on in Washington, on both sides of the political spectrum. Greed has corrupted your country's governance and the rest of the world is paying a mighty high price for the United States inability to self govern with any semblance of reason or sense.


RE: >.<
By majorpain on 2/24/14, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By Schrag4 on 2/24/14, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By Strunf on 2/25/2014 7:31:02 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is no one cares what you do not your government nor any other government on this planet, the point of spying everyone is not to spy on common folks, the point is that when you spy everyone you'll also spy people of some interest.
I realize people in the US haven't really tasted freedom, but here, we have, and for us it's not normal to spy on people without any kind of motive, this is cause we know power corrupts and the moment someone is given the power to spy on everyone he will with no doubt abuse of this power.
I don't think Hollywood is really spot on with their movies but "Enemy of the State" depicts quite well some of the problems we have when some agency becomes too powerful and ultimately completely independent from the state.


RE: >.<
By Schrag4 on 2/25/2014 9:36:24 AM , Rating: 3
I think we're saying the same thing (perhaps you missed what I was saying). Our founding fathers went out of their way to make it clear that the government should not have the ability to search citizens unless there's some reasonable suspicion that the one being searched is doing something wrong. The NSA spying basically searches every single citizen without any suspicion. It's clearly illegal under our own laws. The domestic spying may or may not have been initiated for "innocent" reasons, but it's scary how easy it could be abused (already has been by all accounts). It's simply not worth it, IMO.


RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 2/25/2014 9:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
And where is "here" if you don't mind me asking?


RE: >.<
By Strunf on 2/26/2014 5:18:35 AM , Rating: 2
Switzerland ;)


RE: >.<
By amanojaku on 2/24/2014 2:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe there's more to this spying than we realize. Is Germany really a threat to anyone? Doesn't look like it. No nukes, a constitution that only allows for defensive military deployments, and a military so small that the US criticized it. Methinks the NSA is just trying to get its hands on the best beer recipes and hardcore porn. What other secrets does Germany have?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b...


RE: >.<
By Aloonatic on 2/24/2014 5:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
Of course Germany is a threat. There are more threats to a nation than simple military threats.

You have to bear in mind that they are, essentially, the de facto leaders of the European Union as France is in a mess, The UK aren't interested in taking part in the EU (and are in bed with the USA with much of this too) and Italy are, well, Italy, but there are quite a lot of people, resources, knowledge and (most importantly) money floating around the EU for the USA to want to keep tabs on, or the people/person leading them along.


RE: >.<
By Strunf on 2/25/2014 7:34:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think you have no real knowledge how the EU operates, Germany is no more the de facto leaders of the EU than the Banks and wall street are the de facto leaders of the US...


RE: >.<
By NellyFromMA on 2/25/2014 12:01:22 PM , Rating: 3
But, the Banks and Wall Street ARE the de facto leaders of the US.... well, also add Corporations for good measure. That's USA in a nutshell. Germany does indeed have LARGE and disproportionate influence over EU policy in virtually all respects. Unless you consider the German economy as it pertains to the EU economic share as a whole. Then it's quite proportionate.


RE: >.<
By Aloonatic on 2/25/2014 2:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
a) I clearly have more of an idea about the EU than you do. I've lived in it all my life, I'm guessing that you haven't.

b) Your counter point is poor. The Banks of Wall Street aren't a political entity, they are an economic one, and as such they are the de facto leaders on the global economy by being the largest, most dominant players. Kinda how as a certain country is the largest, most dominant state in the EU. Now which one is that????


RE: >.<
By Strunf on 2/26/2014 5:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
a)The thing is I live in Europe... otherwise I wouldn't care about what you say of Europe.

b)Germany is not a political entity either... the point is that it's no more difficult to Americans to change their laws as it is for anyone else in Europe, with the advantage that there's not really a single person in Europe that can change the laws for every state. Also you may think that Germany is somehow pulling the strings however that's not really the case, they have to associate themselves with France just so they can have more votes when passing some actions, so it's still a democracy even at the EU level.


RE: >.<
By Aloonatic on 2/27/2014 5:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think the subtleties of what I am saying are clearly lost on you and you are one of those binary people who can only think of issues and what people say in and all or nothing way, or at best (to be generous) English isn't your first language, which I think is probably the case, after reading your second paragraph a few times, which still makes no sense.

I'll guess at what you mean though. It seems that you are denying that Germany is the most powerful and influential country in the EU? You also seem to think that I have said that they rule over the EU can make all the rules and that it's not a democracy of some kind? I didn't, I said that they are the de facto leaders. Maybe to you, it that is the same thing, but to me it's not. I am from a country where a leader still has to get others to agree with them to get things done. No "string pulling" etc, but they are influential, and would be worth spying on, compared to others.

As an aside. The funny thing is, when you see Chancellor Merkel and hear from other Germans, it seems that (since the financial crisis, which is when they've been thrust into this position) they really aren't comfortable with their position.


RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/14, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By BZDTemp on 2/24/2014 2:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not crazy. Keeping up the current modus operandi is crazy. Simply put friends don't spy on friends so either the spying needs to stop or the list of friends of the US is gonna become a really short one rather quickly.

It's a F****** disgrace!


RE: >.<
By Ammohunt on 2/24/2014 2:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
Countries like Israel spy on the US yet we are not enemies. China is our "friend" so we shouldn't spy on them? you make no sense.


RE: >.<
By lagomorpha on 2/24/2014 3:17:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Countries like Israel spy on the US yet we are not enemies.


If Israel is a friend they're like the friend that always asks for money, ruins our relationships with our other friends, starts fights and drags us into them, acts condescending to us, manipulates us, and is ready to stab us in the back the second it benefits them.

So Israel might not be an enemy but they certainly act like an abusive psycho girlfriend.


RE: >.<
By atechfan on 2/24/14, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By Jeffk464 on 2/24/2014 5:04:47 PM , Rating: 1
Yup, more like the trophy wife that marries the rich older man for his money. :)
Yup we are Israel's friend I'm just not sure they are ours. The only benefit I see is that they share intelligence with us.


RE: >.<
By MechanicalTechie on 2/24/2014 6:59:29 PM , Rating: 3
Dear Mr NSA Apologist,

You sir are a muppet and your government loving arse is one day going to wake up from the utopian propaganda bollocks that your masters have pumped into your head... possibility via your backdoor.

Your sincerely

Rest of the World.


RE: >.<
By NellyFromMA on 2/25/2014 12:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Rest of the World.


The UK is not the rest of the world. Also, the UK is at least as abusive in this regard as the US. Just saying.


RE: >.<
By Ammohunt on 2/25/2014 1:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Dear delusional paranoid freak, the bogey man is coming go hide in the hills while you still can!


RE: >.<
By Solandri on 2/26/2014 5:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here's an idea: how about we only spy on declared enemies, and/or those for whom there is sufficient evidence to issue an individual warrant for surveillance?

I know, crazy thoughts.

Here's an idea: how about politicians always tell friendly allies the truth. Then there will be no need to spy on friends because one of them will never backstab you by telling you one thing, then doing another.

No? Well now you know why friends spy on friends.


Power requires knowledge and responsibility
By ptmmac on 2/24/2014 5:03:19 PM , Rating: 1
Spying on friends and enemies a like is not a bad thing. It is an absolutely necessary practice.

We are talking about ruling a world with nuclear weapons, terrorists and modern technology aren't we? Can you imagine Elizabeth I ruling without spy's? No great ruler ever protected his country and built better alliances without spying. Who are you kidding? This is not some game. People's lives depend on this knowledge. Would you want to go into Germany as the General running Nato and have your boss tell you the political intel you are getting is going to be limited because some idiots thought that we shouldn't spy on our friends?!!

Have you noticed how much the Russians are spying on us? That little tirade the American Ambassador threw did not become public knowledge by accident. How are you going to know if they are your friends if you don't spy?

We are currently dancing on a possible war over the Ukraine and you don't want the President to know who his supporters are in European Union? What kind of drugs are you guys on?




RE: Power requires knowledge and responsibility
By ritualm on 2/24/2014 5:53:54 PM , Rating: 3
The post above vividly illustrates why USA is not worthy of trust, even from its staunchest "allies".

All of that spying against everyone in the world... to protect whom? Certainly not you and me.


RE: Power requires knowledge and responsibility
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/2014 6:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
The NSA has always spied, and the world has always known. Why are you acting like something new happened here? And the world also spies on everyone else. Every first world country spies on every other one, fact.

The NSA crossed the line, however, when they started spying on US citizens.

And yeah call it a double standard, play the moral relativism card, I don't care. I'm fine with the NSA doing it's job against other countries. But ONLY against other countries.


RE: Power requires knowledge and responsibility
By ritualm on 2/24/2014 6:23:10 PM , Rating: 3
NSA already crossed that line YEARS ago. Spying on foreigners is just a pretext to spy on US citizens. Secret router rooms at AT&T, anyone?


By Solandri on 2/26/2014 5:30:29 AM , Rating: 2
Never forget - this wasn't some rogue NSA operation. NSA was instructed to and given the power to do these things by the proud members of the House, Senate, and White House.

The NSA didn't cross the line. The politicians moved it so they could do these things without crossing any lines.


By JediJeb on 2/25/2014 6:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The post above vividly illustrates why USA is not worthy of trust, even from its staunchest "allies". All of that spying against everyone in the world... to protect whom? Certainly not you and me.


It would be nice to live in a world where every government could trust ever other government to the point that every single statement they made what the clear and honest truth and that there were no state secrets whatsoever that were hidden from any single person in the world. But since it is possible that ANY government can say something to another that is not totally true, how is a government to know for sure what is true and what is not?

Something totally off the wall but a good example. What if some country like oh maybe France discovers a deposit of five million tons of gold and tells nobody about it. Would it be a good idea for other countries to find out about it so they could prepare in case France decided to just dump it on the open market and crash the value of gold? Or would it be better for the world to be perfectly civil and never spy on anyone and then be decimated by the actions of a few people in France? I know that scenario is totally off the wall, but how would you like to be a world leader and have to explain to your citizens why their entire savings and your economy was now in shambles and you did not even have a hint that it was about to happen?

I do believe that our Constitution here in the US gives its citizens the right to privacy and clearly states that it should not spy on its citizens without a warrant. It also does give the government the right to spy on a citizen for which it has probable cause to believe there is a crime about to be committed, but it has to take the steps to go through the court system to obtain the warrant to do so. These rules protect both the citizen and the government. The US Constitution also charges the government with the responsibility to protect its citizens, and if that means it has to gather intelligence on other nations to secure our safety then that is what it has to do. There is however a difference in keeping an eye on other countries and recording ever single thing the leader of another country says to their children and friends. I don't have a problem if the US wants to know what Germany is saying to France, or if Germany wants to know what the US is saying to Russia, that has been part of the game of governing for as long as there have been governments. But to look into the personal lives of leaders or citizens serves no purpose for national security it only serves as a way to attack or weaken that person if some dark secret if discovered. Spying is a necessary evil, but it should have a clearly defined purpose pertaining to protecting a nation, not for the furtherance of personal vendettas or gain.


By StevoLincolnite on 2/24/2014 6:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Spying on friends and enemies a like is not a bad thing. It is an absolutely necessary practice.


No it's not.
I live in Australia, I have a right to my privacy.

So instead of spying on us (I don't doubt that you are.)
Hows about just asking us for the information? We already share military intelligence because of our strong military ties, we are tightly woven economically, we have the same ideals and similar history.

Not every country is as paranoid as the US government.

With that in mind, our own country was caught spying out of embassy's, the government was ridiculed for it and deservedly so, spying on allies is wrong.
Instead use diplomacy to get what you want, the USA has an edge in that regard as that have more pushing power.


RE: Power requires knowledge and responsibility
By KCjoker on 2/24/2014 6:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, you don't think Australia spies on the USA and lots of other countries? lol


By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/2014 6:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Secret_Int...

Took five seconds to find. You would think someone who LIVES in Australia....


By brasstax on 2/25/2014 5:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
Who protects your right to privacy? I certainly don't. Do you protect mine? I'd wager not.

There is no love in politics. There is no trust and very rarely is there truth. We are all adulterers. So if you ask us to reaffirm our faithfulness, you'll believe us, right?

As for Australia, I'm glad our national interests generally coincide. I hope that continues to be the case. But if and when it doesn't, I hope to know about it before you decide to tell me.

Next time, NSA, just don't get caught.


And In Other News...
By DougF on 2/25/2014 11:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
This just in! Germany and the rest of the world continue to engage in spying on their neighbors, allies, friends, and enemies. Just as every. single. nation. ever. has done, is doing, and will continue to do so.




RE: And In Other News...
By ShieTar on 2/26/2014 10:56:49 AM , Rating: 2
That would be a good point, if it were not largely untrue and entirely made up by you on the spot. Germany is not spying on government officials in the US or France or any other nation considered "a friendly nation". They don't even have the kind of budget required to do this.


RE: And In Other News...
By DougF on 2/27/2014 8:18:27 AM , Rating: 2
Ahem, if you think Germany isn't spying on the US or any of it's allies, I have a bridge to sell you in New York City, and some beachfront property in Arizona... As for how/what they spy on, that's only limited by their budget. We spy, they spy, we ALL spy...


RE: And In Other News...
By ShieTar on 2/27/2014 8:56:37 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have any sources for this kind of slander? Or do you just assume that other people must think and act like Americans because that's some kind of absolute reference?

In Germany, the concept of spying on officials of allied nations was considered so unthinkable that last year, directly after the initial Snowden leaks, dozens of high-ranking politicians and BND-employees happily stepped in front of cameras and declared "No worries, the NSA would never spy on a German citizen without BND supervision". They all had to admit they have been astonishingly and completely wrong in the end of last year, when it became very clear that the NSA had been committing criminal espionage within Germany on a large scale.


RE: And In Other News...
By DougF on 2/28/2014 2:41:02 AM , Rating: 2
Did you note how they carefully worded their response? They didn't say anything about Germany spying on others, only about whether or not the NSA is spying on German citizens with their permission. Once again, if you think your government is not spying, a) you are naive in the extreme, or b) you're so poor you can't afford it. Germany is rich, so that leaves out option b...
I can even tell you who, from each nation, is doing the actual spying... you think all those people in those embassies and consulates are just diplomatic, economic, and military cooperation representatives? Have you ever been in an embassy? I have, I've lived in, oh, 4 different nations now, and have personal knowledge of these activities that every.single.nation does. Besides the actual spies, everyone in those embassies conducts regular assessments of stability, plans, activities of their host nation, and passes those on to their diplomatic headquarters. Vast majority of these reports are routine, who is in what position or what internal politics might affect the national level, etc. Some are more specifically targeted to who is ambitious, who is being groomed for higher positions, what capabilities does each military unit have, level of competency, etc.
I lived with bugs planted in my house for years from my host nation (one of the poorest on Earth at the time). Our household servants had to report to the local police and give detailed reports of our activities every week. C'mon, wake up and smell the coffee...


Entitled Much?
By Philippine Mango on 2/24/2014 4:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
Why does the president think he is entitled to continue the spying on foreign governments, especially Germany? What is their justification for this? 'Because we've always done it isn't an excuse!




RE: Entitled Much?
By coburn_c on 2/25/14, Rating: 0
RE: Entitled Much?
By drycrust3 on 2/25/2014 10:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, there is a lot of truth in what you say.
I don't know what the terms were that Germany had to agree to when they surrendered at the end of World War 2, but it wouldn't surprise me if America, Britain, and Russia demanded the right to prevent an elected leader from taking office, and to remove them if they weren't happy with them, in the terms of the surrender. Also, they could well have put the right to eavesdrop on the leaders correspondence into the surrender document as well. Of course, the sands of time shift, and so those rights will have changed, but there could easily be some residual from those rights, so until we know what the current rights are we don't actually know whether spying on Merkel was something every post war Germany leader would have known about, or should have known about. It could well be this isn't anything new.


RE: Entitled Much?
By ShieTar on 2/26/2014 2:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
1) Surrender was unconditional. Germany ended in 1945, and was only re-established in 1949, in between the lands were in fact ruled by the allied powers (US, UK, France and Russia).

2) All meaning of the contract of surrender of 1945 lost relevance with the signing of the peace contract in 1990.
Since then, Germany is again a fully sovereign nation and the German ground law is now the highest legal reference in Germany. Any contract that is in contradiction with the ground law is entirely null and void.

3) Observation without a warrant is illegal. It was legal from 1968 to 2013 for the German intelligence agency, and it was also legal for the German agency to transfer information gained in this way to agencies of allied nations, e.g. the NSA. It was never legal for those Agencies to start their own observations without a dedicated agreement with the German agency.

But: There is no truth in what "coburn_c" says whatsoever. He most certainly did not take his "eyes of of Germany" in 1923. And to compare modern Germany with the Weimar Republic is absolutely ridiculous. You might as well suspect Obama to plan another genocide of native Americans or Pope Francis to whip up a new Cruisade.

It also makes no sense to compare the modern US with those of the early to mid 20th century. There is a huge difference between the initiators of the united nations and the architects of the Marshall plan on the one hand, and the current reigning class who's concept of developmental politics is restricted to "We need to kill all the evil people" on the other hand.


just a thought
By Rage187 on 2/24/2014 1:39:53 PM , Rating: 3
it looks like Merkel could sure use one of Bush's shoulder massages right about now. Obama just sticks it in dry.




RE: just a thought
By Spuke on 2/24/2014 4:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
LMAO!!


skeptical
By lagomorpha on 2/24/2014 1:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm skeptical of two things:
1) That Bild am Sonntag is in contact with an 'unnamed high-ranking NSA employee'
and
2) That the NSA is spying on only 320 German officials




RE: skeptical
By ShieTar on 2/26/2014 1:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
1) Well, this tabloid is backed by a 4 billion $ publisher who is the main distributor of conservative propaganda within Germany. They may have both the financial and political influence to get this kind of contact.

2) Then again, Bild and Bild am Sonntag rarely ever base their articles on any kind of facts, its mostly just opinions and prejudices.


Woohoo
By blackseed on 2/24/2014 2:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
Another ones pills the beans...NSA will be busy monitoring NSA employees now.

Blackseed




America
By Scootie on 2/24/2014 3:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
Frack you american government. You sick sadistic bastards.
Sincerely, from Romania.




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