Germany To Begin Formal Investigation Into NSA Surveillance -- But Only Of Angela Merkel
from the one-rule-for-them,-one-rule-for-us dept
The German government has been trying to avoid upsetting either the US by denouncing the large-scale surveillance being carried out by the NSA in its country, or the German people by not denouncing it. It finds itself in the same quandary as regards opening a formal investigation into the spying, which is probably why it has held off for so long. But now, the German authorities have come up with a sort of compromise, as GigaOM reports:
Germany's federal prosecutor has launched the country's first formal investigation into the activities of the NSA in Germany, specifically the U.S. intelligence agency's reported bugging of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.
Leaving aside the question just how much evidence the federal prosecutor needs before he investigates whether the German people have been subjected to US surveillance -- a signed confession from President Obama perhaps? -- the other issue here is the astonishing lack of sensitivity this move displays. The German government seems to be saying that spying is outrageous and must be investigated immediately if it's directed against the powerful; but if it's against the little people, then, well, sorry: we need more evidence before we could possibly risk upsetting the US.
Harald Range said on Wednesday that the other potential avenue of investigation -- that of the surveillance of the German people -- remained open, though no investigation was being launched yet due to a lack of evidence.