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Germany: We Think NSA May Have Tapped Chancellor Merkel's Cell Phone

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the days-since-NSA-diplomatic-incident:-0 dept.

Privacy 267

cold fjord writes "According to a report in the Miami Herald, 'Chancellor Angela Merkel has called President Barack Obama after receiving information that U.S. intelligence may have targeted her mobile phone. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel made clear in Wednesday's call that "she views such practices, if the indications are confirmed ... as completely unacceptable" and called for U.S. authorities to clarify the extent of surveillance in Germany.' Der Spiegel has some information on Germany's own "PRISM" project. White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama 'assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor' her communications. He didn't mention anything about past communications. This news follows allegations of U.S. surveillance of the Presidents of Mexico, and France. Yesterday the LA Times noted, 'French authorities are shocked — shocked — to learn that the American government is spying on French citizens. The Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Quai D'Orsay to inform him that what's going on is "unacceptable," and President Francois Hollande claimed to have issued a stern rebuke to President Obama in a phone conversation.' Up until now, Merkel had been reluctant to say anything bad about the U.S. over the NSA leaks."

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The sad thing is... (5, Interesting)

jdbuz (962721) | about 10 months ago | (#45217831)

that Obama probably doesn't know either way.

Re:The sad thing is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45217915)

Actually, just like how bin Laden supposedly communicates through his blinking in his videos, Obama and Clapper probably set up something similar for their covert communication based on how Clapper rubs his face when he's lying.

Re:The sad thing is... (-1, Troll)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 10 months ago | (#45217949)

And therein lies the problem. Obama gets a free pass on everything. The poor guy just doesn't know what the hell his own administration is doing. IRS? Clueless. The Obamacare meltdown? What meltdown? Benghazi? What's that, a drink? ...

Re:The sad thing is... (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 10 months ago | (#45218075)

Obama had one reply to Merkel, like Superman to Lois Lane:
"They're pink..."

Re:The sad thing is... (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45219261)

Notice that all those things he "doesn't know" about are bad things......

Re:The sad thing is... (5, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 10 months ago | (#45218235)

obama is a puppet, he is owned by his handlers (military/industrial complex & wallstreet & federal reserve) and he does exactly what they want him to do

Re:The sad thing is... (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 10 months ago | (#45218477)

obama is a puppet, he is owned by his handlers (military/industrial complex & wallstreet & federal reserve) and he does exactly what they want him to do

This is probably what he has the most in common with previous presidents. I'm sure that when he got into office after promising to repeal or reform the patriot act, the NSA and other people sat him down and told him the way it is, and that was that.

Re:The sad thing is... (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#45219007)

He never would have gotten into office without playing ball with the elites.

Re:The sad thing is... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219099)

Don't be silly. Any politician strong enough to have a shot at the presidency knows how the game they played their whole life works. They help a select few companies, the companies throw them some crumbs. The candidate is happy because he gets what he wants, the companies are happy because the status quo is left unchanged, and the public is happy because they know THIS TIME things will be different.

Re:The sad thing is... (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45219269)

I'm sure that when he got into office after promising to repeal or reform the patriot act, the NSA and other people sat him down and told him the way it is, and that was that.

He voted in favor of wiretapping shortly before getting elected. If you thought he was going to repeal it, you were naive. He indicated clearly what he was going to do, and you should have known beforehand what you were getting.

I'm not saying McCain would have been better but you shouldn't fool yourself.

Re:The sad thing is... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218319)

"The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor"

You see, we're only storing a copy of the communications [I]in case[/I] we need to go back and listen to them at some future date. Germany is acting like we have someone actively listening to her phone calls. C'mon, we're the USA; we don't listen to anyone! I don't understand why the Chancellor is so upset.

Re:The sad thing is... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219189)

The sad thing is Obama doesn't know sh*t from shine-ola. He's shat and fallen back into it, wallowing in it like a mudwog (see Bode').
He seems to like it, had developed gills for it and stays under longer and longer. Good Job Democrats! You reached up your nose and picked a winner! Twice!
Our lives look soooo much brighter now. What're you Repubtards giggling about? Like you ever did any better in your lifetime! Morons, I'm surrounded by self destructive MORONS!

Shocking (4, Funny)

OglinTatas (710589) | about 10 months ago | (#45217847)

I am shocked. Shocked! That a country--any country--would spy on a foreign head of state.
What a world we live in

Re:Shocking (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45217911)

I am shocked. Shocked! That a country--any country--would spy on a foreign head of state.
What a world we live in

As long as you are "shocked, shocked," in this manner [youtube.com] , you are correct.

NSA, France and spy wars [latimes.com]

Naturally, the French would be outraged. What government would be happy to learn that a close ally was secretly monitoring its people? Then again, it was revealed in 2010 that France conducts its own espionage activities here on U.S. soil. What's more, French officials have been aware of the NSA program in France for months. Oh, and also, France's intelligence agencies have established an electronic surveillance system of their own that monitors their citizens' phone conversations, emails, texts and even their Twitter posts.

Re:Shocking (5, Interesting)

Murvel (2924285) | about 10 months ago | (#45217945)

Yeah, that sarcasm came trough! But this is so unbelievably clumsy, and at a time where the situation is already quite tense. They took a gamble to begin with, setting up wires all over the European parliament but targeting the head of state of one of the US closest allies. Mind boggling, but then that is probably only a part of the picture. A very nonsensical one at that.

Re:Shocking (5, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45218259)

I think the NSA has has/had completely lost sight of the most important thing in politics: Don't piss off your friends. You are going to need them. Instead they hacked, sabotaged security and listened in wherever they found it possible. This also means there was no oversight of any kind that was in the least bit effective.

Quite frankly, the NSA is now basically a serious problem, and not part of any solution anymore. And that the the US administration proved this incompetent at controlling the NSA or may even have been cheering it on (as Rice reportedly did) has lost the US a tremendous amount of goodwill. Those that claimed the US administration is an amoral monster that does not understand the concept of "friend" seemed like crackpots before. Now it looks more and more that they might have had a point. Not good at all. The modern world needs team-players. Even a player as big as the US will eventually be left behind if they cannot manage that.

Re:Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218731)

Yes, the NSA has allegedly quite brazenly stepped over some lines with this. But, France has multiple times been caught (and certainly been accused of) dabbling in a little state-sponsored industrial espionage against the US as well in the past.

And you've got to know that the equivalent spy orgs in France, UK, etc. also work hard daily at trying to listen in to US encrypted comms as well.

The NSA is running a little amok, it seems. It'd be curious to know how much dirt it has on Pres. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, The Boehner and other members of Congressional intelligence oversight committees, and how much it's shared with them.

Re:Shocking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218939)

>I think the NSA has has/had completely lost sight of the most important thing in politics: Don't piss off your friends.
You are actually naïve enough to believe that Germany has no intelligence gathering in the United States or even in other EU member states? What a laugh.

There are no friends in international politics, my dear child.

Re:Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219507)

Then stop whining when the Chinese takes your jobs and steals your technology. You have no friends.
Not that we don't care. It's just that our way of caring is more a form of gloating.

Re:Shocking (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#45217985)

Actually it is considered unacceptable for allies to spy on each other's heads of state. Countries are not supposed to treat their friends this way.

On the subject of the French government's surprise, it isn't because French citizens are being spied on like the summary says. It is that there is mass surveillance of millions of French citizens by another friendly member of NATO.

Re:Shocking (5, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#45218143)

So you wouldn't mind one of your friends tapping your phones?

Re:Shocking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218571)

So you wouldn't mind one of your friends tapping your phones?

The relationship between nation states - even 'allies' - is not the same as that between friends, so your comparison is irrelevant. To paraphrase Palmerston: nations have permanent interests, not permanent friends.

Re:Shocking (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45218657)

So you wouldn't mind one of your friends tapping your phones?

I hear that is known to happen inside families: husband-wife, parents-children, sibling-sibling.

The "family of nations" is a dysfunctional family.

Re: Shocking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219179)

I wouldn't mind tapping one of my friends...

Re:Shocking (1, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about 10 months ago | (#45219431)

I wouldn't mind tapping one of my friends...

Re:Shocking (4, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 10 months ago | (#45218145)

I am shocked. Shocked! That a country--any country--would spy on a foreign head of state.
What a world we live in

Exactly, this whole thing has been standard practice for decades.

But now that the man on the street knows your elected officials can play it for political points without being the bad guy.

Re:Shocking (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45218189)

Well, apparently Merkel had the same reaction. Which implies a huge deal of naivety, but now, fortunately, she seems to be pretty pissed. Maybe Germany will find something wrong with the NSA spying on its citizens after all...

Re:Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218317)

- "I am shocked, shocked! To find spying going on in this establishment."
- "Here are your mail intercepts, sir."
- "Oh thank you very much."

Re:Shocking (5, Interesting)

echnaton192 (1118591) | about 10 months ago | (#45218491)

The point you are all missing is that our intelligence service actually does not do that on allies. They have turned a blind eye to US activities in Germany and profited from the results, but try to understand that such spying activity you implicitly accuse German intelligence services is absolutely unthinkable.

That is not naivity from a German citizen, it is a complete misunderstanding about how my country ticks. We have a disgusting Government, just as you do. We have too uncontrolled intelligence agencies. We have some poverty.

But it is not comparable to your country. Our governments tried to be accepted back into the international community by behaving... better... than ever before since WW II. Another war is one of the greatest fears in my country. Kosovo was one thing, because it reminded people of our past. But even for Afghanistan, the chancellor had to threat the bundestag to resign if they did not vote for "unrestricted solidarity" with america. Not because the majority forgot what America has done for us, but because the fear of war has been implemented in the german conscious.

This is a really narrow description and there may be some Germans here describing other or contrary views, and they are valid. But this is not my mothers tongue, so I'll have to simplify a lot.

My point is: You really misunderstood the Germans if you accuse us of spying on our best allies. One does not do that as a good ally, so it would have been conpletely out of the question. No BND buerocrat or MAD soldier would dare to do that, because there would be some serious consequences like losing the job or at least let their career come to a full stop.

I know this sounds crazy to you, but even though I am a strong opponent to every party currently in the Bundestag, you should really try to understand the world better. The outrage is funded, but of course I disagree with the government about the real scandal.

The real scandal fo my government lies in the complete ignorance of "Mutti" when the information about mass surveillance on us all leaked (which is forbidden for our agencies, so they let yours do the job but did not publicly aknowledged the scale ogüf the programs, maybe even actuelly underestimated them). Mutti is outraged because she was spied upon. She did not even raise a finger against the mass surveillance on every German citizen.

My government is bad. But to campare their doings to the atrocities your governemnt did in recent years is unfounded. You still have the nobel prize in the western world for behaving like complete assholes. No, not every country is doing those things. Most of our intelligence agencies are boring beyond belief. And stupid. And blind on the right eye so they let the nazis kill "non-aryans" again, which is a scandal even if the numbers of our nazis today are comparable to other countries.

But mass-surveillance? On a smaller scale and I am talking about per cent, not absolute numbers. And spying on an american embassy or wiretaping members of the american government? You got to be kidding me. You really have no clue. UNTHINKABLE.

Again: This is no full scale political analysis of our politics, it is a very simple description on what is happening here.

And if I were you I would ask myself if it is in the best interest of my country to piss off every ally in the world and at the same time forcing us to boycott american service providers. Do you think I am the only one that is doing the shift away from every cloud remotely american and from any closed source product stemming from american companies? The suisse and SOME German providers are trustworthy. All american dataproducts must be considered to be compromised.

Defend the NSA activities all day long. You are entitled to. But honestly: Do you see me using Windows outside of a very strictly secured vm on a linux machine a year from now? Gaming kept me on windows, but the security risks exposed are too big. I might trust steam on a linux machine enough to let it run while I am playing, because I could control which files its process can access. I could even enrypt those files or unmount the data drive alltogether while playing. But trusting windows enough even when I avoided viruses since one word macro stemming from CompuServe? No f...ing way.

Your country is unneccesarily making enemies by the minute. No, there won't be a war about the mass surveillance. But as I do not see the US bombing europeans into using compromised products, I do not find it wise to laugh so hard about stupid europeans who are outraged about the scale of your owellian schemes. Me buying a phone with a standard android? Or even another iSpy-product (having iPhone and iPad phoning directly to the NSA for the last few years is bad enough as it is, but the next products shure as hell will not contain another closed source OS or OSS that has not been analysed for problems, accidently placed there by the NSA.

You have a big deficit. Don't you think it would be more wise to treat your customers better instead of spitting them in the face repeatedly and muse about our naivity publicly on /. ? Yes, even most of us geeks did not expect the scale of your schemes. We did know about some spying and even about echolon. But the extend of the surveillance activities proved even some of our sceptical geeks wrong and proved the tin foil hats right. Let this sink in. Let us start to shift our friends and fanilies away from american companies while we are "fixing" there computers when the next virus hits. You know how that goes. Most machines have no problem hosting a windows machine in a vm when absolutely neccessary for some work. Most people do not care about their email providers as long as it collects the mails sent to their old address, slowly shifting to a more trustworthy email- and cloudprovider. posteo.de is having many new customers.

That is strange. Oh, wait, maybe not.

Re:Shocking (5, Insightful)

mwehle (2491950) | about 10 months ago | (#45218777)

Yours is a more lengthy and more thoughtful response than usually found on Slashdot. Unfortunately many American Slashdot readers, as Americans everywhere, have very little context from which to view our government's activities, hence the automatic and unfounded reaction that "everybody does it." There's a hubris here that is hard to communicate - an assumption of the US being first among bullies. I flew back to the US from Berlin in August and before getting through customs was already being harangued by officials who treated passengers as if we were prisoners, or cattle, a contrast to the politeness I'd been treated with in Germany. My impression is that many Americans don't see the NSA and other "public servants" as civil servants at all, but rather as hired guns of a sort, who for the best reasons "step outside the law" like innumerable rogue television cops.

Re:Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218787)

Germany really might not be, as you say, but I assure you that France spies on the US, both for national intelligence and for business espionage, to the maximum extent that they can get away with.

Re:Shocking (3, Insightful)

echnaton192 (1118591) | about 10 months ago | (#45219023)

This is known to me. When I found out that the password for posteo.de was stored on a french server by an app to give me push notifications for posteo on iOS, I deleted the app and replaced my 32 character password which encrypts CardDAV and CalDAV immediately.

That was a pain in the ass and costed me hours. All britain and french providers must be considered compromised, their intelligence agencies are completely out of control. Both spy on us big time (wiretaping merkel herself might be a bit to stark, but yes, they spy) but have you heard of any service provider in those countries that would lure foreigners into using them? I didn't.

Google, iOS (in the beginning, while the other smart phones were laughable at best), iCloud and gmail are cool, that made us use them in the first place. We actually bought the equipment to spy on us ourselves and felt cool because we owned them. Even George Orwell did not see that coming...

Re:Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219255)

Everything the NSA is accused of doing to Americans, Germany is doing to you [theregister.co.uk] , and first, too.
From 2002 - when they were stupid enough to get caught doing it.

Also, for all of you that think switching to German email systems will help? Read this. [arstechnica.com]

prist fost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45217865)

I will take first post thank you very much

And no one anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45217867)

... is surprised.

'murica!

Shocked (1)

fldsofglry (2754803) | about 10 months ago | (#45217883)

I am shocked that they are shocked.

Re:Shocked (1)

Murvel (2924285) | about 10 months ago | (#45217975)

Really? Would you say its safe to assume Germany is tapping the white house?

Re:Shocked (1)

DrData99 (916924) | about 10 months ago | (#45218001)

No doubt at least trying...

Re:Shocked (4, Interesting)

echnaton192 (1118591) | about 10 months ago | (#45218603)

You should get out of your country from time to time. Not trying, because that would be against our interest and the poltical will to be an accepted menber of the international community. The persons responsible for such an attempt would piss their pants if it ever came to light. No pension, no longer being a bureaucrat, no longer being paid more than the average citizen.

Our lame inelligence services trying a stunt like that? No fucking way.

Re:Shocked (3, Funny)

Traksius Egas (12395) | about 10 months ago | (#45218173)

Really? Would you say its safe to assume Germany is tapping the white house?

This has been done for hundreds if not thousands of years. Even Bill Clinton was accused of secretly tapping at least one of his interns.
--- Nothing to see here, move along.

Out of any other country, an act of war... (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#45217885)

How is it that no nation is treating all these discoveries this with the gravity they deserve?

Re:Out of any other country, an act of war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45217941)

Because some country is ran by a bunch of inbred hillbillies with a giant supply of nukes and an army they're far too eager to deploy for no reason at all that's just itching to shoot a bunch of civilians because they look or sound different.

Re:Out of any other country, an act of war... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218123)

China may now be more trust worthy than the USA.

Re:Out of any other country, an act of war... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218679)

Yet more proof that crack doesn't smoke itself.

Re:Out of any other country, an act of war... (2)

HiThere (15173) | about 10 months ago | (#45219185)

Given that trustworthy means "You can predict how they will react to any particular situation.", you may be right.

Do I think they do less spying? No. But they they don't pretend to be friends, either.

Re:Out of any other country, an act of war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45217965)

How is it that no nation is treating all these discoveries this with the gravity they deserve?

1. They do the exact same thing.
2. It's not a good idea to start a war with a country that can bomb you back to the stone age.

Re:Out of any other country, an act of war... (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45217977)

But they do! They are all "shocked" [youtube.com] by these discoveries.

Because they do it too (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 10 months ago | (#45218349)

Every government in the world spies on everyone else. You don't think Obama's Blackberry hasn't been the subject of at least a concerted wiretapping effort? Everyone seems so surprised that we have [scary music] spies working in our intelligence bureaus.

That and, lets face it, most nations don't have the cash to pick a winnable fight with the US and the one that does depends on us to buy all of the shit they make.

Re:Because they do it too (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 10 months ago | (#45219237)

I think you overestimate China's dependence on the US. Certainly China is quite willing to use us for it's benefit, but dependence means that we produce something they need, and the only such thing is dollars, of which they already have more than they can expect to use.

OTOH, China directly and through middle men probably owns over half of the US. It's hard to be sure. Certainly more than 30%. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if they "own" over half of the politicians at the federal level.

Leader of the free world (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45217919)

Not so different from Russia and China, now are we.

Re:Leader of the free world (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45218267)

More effective at evil, but whether that is an advantage is a good question...

The USA isn't monitoring but what about.. (4, Insightful)

number17 (952777) | about 10 months ago | (#45217931)

I don't think they asked the right question or got the correct response. The fact that the United States isn't monitoring her does not mean that the private company Booz Allen Hamilton isn't.

Re:The USA isn't monitoring but what about.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218151)

Perhaps this is why Huawei equipment was banned, it didn't have the right backdoors for the NSA to monitor everything and they were unable to force the company to put them in.

THAT is probably the real security threat, the NSA could not spy as effectively.

Re:The USA isn't monitoring but what about.. (2)

HiThere (15173) | about 10 months ago | (#45219275)

Others have reported that the quality of the software was such that no backdoors would be needed. I haven't examined the equipment myself, so I don't know, but don't let your paranoia lead you to make foolish decisions. The NSA having a backdoor is one thing. Every cracker who feels like it having a backdoor is something a bit worse.

Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45217943)

- Do you use electronics to communicate?

- Do you live on Earth?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then you can assume that yes, the NSA is monitoring you.

Re:Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45218033)

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then you can assume that yes, the NSA is monitoring you.

Along with the Chinese, Russians, French, British, Canadians, ...., and just about everyone else in the local neighborhood.

Re:Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45218129)

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then you can assume that yes, the NSA is monitoring you.

Along with the Chinese, Russians, French, British, Canadians, ...., and just about everyone else in the local neighborhood.

I really like that pool you have in your backyard, and all the video will be useful on the black market, if you catch my drift ...

Re:Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45218511)

Now if only there was the slightest bit of proof that sort of thing was even an occasional occurrence regarding the treatment of US citizens by the NSA.

Re:Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45218705)

There's lots of proof, but you're not cleared to see it, and the use of warning letters specifically disallows you from talking about it after you've seen it.

(caveat: due to quirks in NATO regs I'm not bound by the same restrictions)

Re:Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45218813)

If that were true I would expect it would be pretty high priority for Greenwald to leak, and there is nothing like it so far from him, or anyone else for that matter. Due to the total lack of supporting data I'm going to call this a wild fabrication.

Re:Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45218897)

People called the Yakima Listening Center a wild fabrication back when I toured it in the 80s, but it was still there and still listening until it recently closed.

Look, you can pretend all you want, but I personally know what we do, and I've known it for a long long time.

You learn how to correlate data as part of tradecraft when you start. The fact that you personally have not seen such letters or such data is meaningless, because you never were supposed to see such things, and you have no idea how you find out. Nothing bad about that, but commenting on it not existing is just a sign you're incredibly naive.

Re:Quiz: Is the NSA Watching You? (2)

Cyfun (667564) | about 10 months ago | (#45219309)

Hell, the "Earth" thing probably doesn't even apply as I'd be willing to bet they have access to NASA's radio transmissions, too. After all, their acronyms are only one letter apart.

Don't get caught (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45217959)

Call it what you want, when close allies catch you spying on their head of state, you're handing them a bag of bargaining chips.

How it happened (4, Funny)

Megahard (1053072) | about 10 months ago | (#45218015)

When GWB gave her a backrub, he must have been secretly planting a bug.

Re:How it happened (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45218517)

When GWB gave her a backrub, he must have been secretly planting a bug.

I'm pretty sure that GWB didn't give her either the flu or crabs. I'm sure we would have heard something about that.

Re:How it happened (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 10 months ago | (#45219135)

Wow, best reverse-porn ever. How much would you pay to not see that?

I wonder what their real understanding is (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 10 months ago | (#45218065)

These governments have all known about this spying for a long time (as has anyone who reads the news carefully). Maybe they feel the need to pretend to be surprised, but I wonder what the real understanding between governments is. When is it ok? How much is too much? What are the lines?

Re:I wonder what their real understanding is (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45218299)

The head of state of a friendly government is completely off-limits for spying. That is only permissible for enemies and even there highly problematic as it can be considered an act of war. Those responsible in the NSA must have lost their minds completely and worked themselves into a mind-set where everybody is the enemy. There also cannot have been any oversight that deserves the name.

It's only metadata (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45218103)

Metadata that just happens to involve who she talked to, what keywords they used, what the tone of her voice was, and all the secret project names for hiding the money Germany stole from Greece during WW II.

I don't see the problem ...

This is what NSA should be doing. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218141)

The United States fought two wars against Germany. There is no reason why that couldn't possibly happen again. Things can change quickly and we might not be allies forever. If Germans don't like then either get in on the spy game or go into your corner and cry like a baby.

Re:This is what NSA should be doing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218739)

That's why I'm relieved that our boys at GCHQ have bugged the Oval Office. Can't really trust those treacherous rebels against their lawful monarch, even if it's necessary to play along with their illegal regime for now.

Re:This is what NSA should be doing. (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 10 months ago | (#45218767)

PASS AUF!

I am sendink meine Panzers out to get you!!! Schutzstaffel!

So what ? (4, Insightful)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 10 months ago | (#45218157)

What's the reccurent argument that we hear from politics, probably including A. Merket or at least some CDU/CSU people ? Something like "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear." Does she has something to hide ?

Re:So what ? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45218323)

Judging from the history of CDU/CSU chancelors, presidents and other high-ranking politicians: Oh, yes! She will have a lot of things to hide, including things that would cost her her office and maybe things that would have worse consequences if they ever came to light. Not that the SPD politicians are that much better...

BTW. it is "Merkel".

it is now obvious (5, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 10 months ago | (#45218203)

that the NSA is not doing all this spying for looking for terrorists, it is espionage, they are wanting to steal data for their fascist criminal friends that run the military/industrial complex (private sector) for profits, it is basically theft of various sorts (whatever they can get their greedy hands on)

Re:it is now obvious (2)

argStyopa (232550) | about 10 months ago | (#45218805)

Or they're performing the BASIC function of an elint organization, that is, gathering any and all intelligence on other states that they can or possible threats to the US.

You *do* know that the US has military plans for fighting any country in the world, including our friends, right?

This is for-keeps geopolitics. This is not playground tiddlywinks.

Re:it is now obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219029)

Or they're performing the BASIC function of an elint organization, that is, gathering any and all intelligence on other states that they can or possible threats to the US.

Exactly. They are clearly indiscrimintately (by design) grabbing every piece of data they can. In the past, one could criticize this tactic by claiming that it would be impossible to crunch it all down in to useful intel. Today, it may well be possible.

Whatever one feels about the NSA cataloging info, the constant whining about the de-facto evilness of intelligence gathering is ridiculous.

Re:it is now obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219155)

Whatever one feels about the NSA cataloging info, the constant whining about the de-facto evilness of intelligence gathering is ridiculous.

A few of us have this silly idea that real freedom is worth more than defending against imaginary threats. Fascist pieces of shit like you are the real threat.

Re:it is now obvious (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45219151)

You don't think there are more possibilities than your binary choice? They can only be either looking for terrorists or "industrial espionage for fascist criminal gangster military/industrial complex profits"?

How do you know it might not have been for diplomatic intelligence given the growing possibility of the EU splitting up over the financial crisis and problems between Greece and Germany?

Railing against the 'Fourth Reich': Anti-German Mood Heats Up in Greece [spiegel.de]

How do you know it wasn't regarding internal policy discussions about Germany's recently revealed ethnic problems, one that will become relatively more important in the coming years?

Kohl wanted to reduce Germany's Turkish population by one half [www.dw.de]

Especially in light of the fact that Germany was home to one of the 9/11 terror cells?

The Hamburg connection [bbc.co.uk]

German prosecutors said the Hamburg cell consisted of eight members: three suicide pilots, three logistical planners and two others whose role remains vague, but who might also have become suicide pilots. The cell was active and embarking on the plot to attack US targets by the summer of 1999, the prosecutors said. Mohammed Atta, a wealthy Egyptian, is believed to have been a key figure in the Hamburg cell, but also the ringleader of all 19 of the 9/11 hijackers.

Or perhaps there was a concern about government links to neo-Nazis?

Germany shocked by secret service link to rightwing terror cell [theguardian.com]

An agent working for Germany's answer to MI5 was at the scene of one of the 10 murders carried out by neo-Nazi terrorists, the domestic intelligence agency has confirmed, fuelling speculation that the killers' movements were known to the authorities during their 13 years on the run.

Perhaps there is a concern about another country developing WMD with assistance from German companies?

HALABJA / ANFAL 1988 - 2013 [wadi-online.de]

in 2010 the German government stated in response to a parliamentary enquiry: “The responsibility for the events of Halabja lies with the past Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein.” Many documents and sources, though, not only suggest that German cooperation was essential for the Iraqi poison gas program. They also show that there was already some awareness about this in Germany back then. All the same, the relevant goods were delivered. ....

The German government is jointly responsible for the suffering of the people of Halabja. 70 percent of the equipment for Iraqi chemical weapons plants were delivered by German companies. German foreign intelligence service personnel had been present in at least one of these companies. Most parts to enhance Iraq’s rockets, grenades and missiles were delivered from Germany.

Since you want to follow conspiracy theories, how do you know that it wasn't a possible crypto-communist [youtube.com] in the administration deliberately undertaking high risk activities with the US intelligence apparatus that were likely to be discovered, to expose it and cripple it prior to the end of the administration?

There are certainly many more possibilities than just the two you propose. The one thing obvious to me is that you are not a serious person.

Smart diplomacy (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 10 months ago | (#45218343)

Is this the 'smarter diplomacy the buffoons Obama and Hillary talked about? Kinda creepy if you ask me?

New handset... (1)

XB-70 (812342) | about 10 months ago | (#45218345)

Time to switch to BlackBerry!

recorded phone conversations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218353)

President Francois Hollande claimed to have issued a stern rebuke to President Obama in a phone conversation

Which was carefully recorded and filed along with the rest of his phone conversations.

Thanks again Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218411)

You douchebag!

Oh, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45218437)

Calm down, Angie, we're not tapping your phone specifically.

We're tapping everyone's phones.

How to care... (1)

tachin1 (763958) | about 10 months ago | (#45218503)

Sure, some people are not shocked, but nobody cares about their outrage either so... shouldn't they still be asking if this spying was performed thanks to the extended powers they got so they can catch Terrorists?
Because then this would be a misuse of these powers right?

and why it is like it is (2)

FudRucker (866063) | about 10 months ago | (#45218507)

the governments are above the law, they can do whatever the hell they want to do, until a force bigger than them kicks their ass and says otherwise, it has been that way throughout history and thats the way it always will be

it's like he was psychic (3, Funny)

themushroom (197365) | about 10 months ago | (#45218589)

President Obama 'assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor' her communications.

The NSA had informed him that she was going to ask him if she was being monitored.

NSA (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | about 10 months ago | (#45218637)

Let's take it one step further and identify the REAL PROBLEM.

The NSA isn't saying they want to have all information to be free and accessible to everyone uniformly -- they are saying they want to have it forever for their own purposes (whatever those might be).

But when Snowden does the same exact thing as the NSA -- according to them he must be punished as a traitor.

Laws are not therefore uniform. They apply only to some... and when that is happening there is no society. There is only the law of the insect colony and a fat queen riding the heap.

Re:NSA (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 10 months ago | (#45218833)

> Laws are not therefore uniform. They apply only to some...

Sorry, but...
can't resist, to say...

NO SHIT Sherlock.

Re:NSA (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45219299)

Laws are not therefore uniform.

Yeah, specifically, laws in the US don't apply to chancellors in Germany. I know, it's a hard concept.

Re:NSA (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 10 months ago | (#45219317)

I think you don't understand insect colonies very well. Just because one particular insect is called the Queen, doesn't mean she has any control. Generally she has less control than do the workers, even at an individual level.

Of course, you *could* be asserting this about the heads of state, but it didn't sound like it.

Blame Bush? (1)

mveloso (325617) | about 10 months ago | (#45218707)

If it wasn't for that other guy, I would never have even thought about tapping your phone. But since he build the framework that allowed me to do it, of course I did it.

NSA: your intelligence partner (1)

mveloso (325617) | about 10 months ago | (#45218761)

In a surprise move, it was discovered that the NSA has secretly been moonlighting by outsourcing its collection abilities to third-parties, including foreign governments.

"It's a natural fit," said James Clapper, embattled NSA chief. "We spend billions of dollars yearly on collection, computation, storage, and analysis. By leveraging these investments, we provided intel capabilities to foreign governments at a fraction of their retail cost - and at a significant profit." Intelligence analysts pointed out that by providing these services the NSA was essentially hamstringing foreign intelligence services. "What they don't do they can't get better at" said one anonymous intel source.

While the NSA refuses to break out specific numbers, it is believed that revenue from this operation runs in the billions.

Why write this article... (3, Insightful)

Coditor (2849497) | about 10 months ago | (#45219087)

...and not mention what kind of phone it is? The people who want to argue want to know.

What is she going to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45219089)

Write us a sternly worded letter? We are doing the same thing they are doing, make no mistake, they are trying to do this to us as well, we're just better. That nazi should be on her knees kissing our boots that we did not nuke their disgusting nation for starting two world wars.

are French authorities retarded? (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 10 months ago | (#45219229)

Can anyone honestly believe the the US isn't spying or trying to spy on them? Countries will spy to try to get a strategic or tactical advantage ... that is what they do, some better than others, the US better than most.

EU voted in encryption bypass .. (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about 10 months ago | (#45219257)

"Chancellor Angela Merkel .. views such practices .. as completely unacceptable"

Then Chancellor Merkel shouldn't have voted in leglisation that compelled the phone manufacturers to build back-doors into the encryption modules.

just a thought. (1)

chr1st1anSoldier (2598085) | about 10 months ago | (#45219477)

The NSA has been caught, granted, but what about other countries like China? They are known for having a cyber army division as a part of their offense/defense. Other countries have the same, recognized and funded divisions of their military devoted to cyber warfare and defense. How deep do their fingers go?

What the POTUS said and what he didn't (1)

ynoref (3297285) | about 10 months ago | (#45219489)

The Whitehouse statement says, "The President assured the Chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel." Soooo from this the POTUS can say we know what phones you use, and we are not listening to them right now, or going forward?? Is he saying that yeah, sure we listened to your calls in the past and since you're ticked now we'll only listen to your staff's calls?? Words are funny and the POTUS has no quote on record.
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