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.

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.
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.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 5:34pm

    Its still good that they are moving forward.

    Sometimes we have to support the small steps for others to feel comfortable (and supported enough) to go forward with the big steps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Jake, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 5:46pm

    You know, a hundred years ago they'd have declared war over this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 5:49pm

    I'd like to hear more about this alleged phone tapping evidence on the Chancellor. German authorities must have more evidence than simply the Ed Snowden leaks, because the those leaks also state the German people were under mass surveillance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Tom Stone, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Merkel Surveillance

    Merkel and Obama are Rulers. Rules are made by them for the little people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    bill of laden, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 10:04pm

    Merkel is a Babe

    I wonder if wire tapping charges will be brought against Alexander or Clay. We can dream right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 10:32pm

    Re:

    Strange we are not also hearing about the spying on the rest of the German politicians that was reported to be going on as soon as Merkel was promised that the US would end spying on her.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2014 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Merkel is a Babe

    Might as well have fun and give them a reverse exile like George Bush has - if they go out of the country they will be arrested.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    justsomebloke (profile), Jun 7th, 2014 @ 12:17am

    Those evil folks at NASA

    Well you can hardly blame poor old Harald Range for it. As far as he is concerned the NSA is innocent. GCHQHCQG he's not sure about.

    He apparently has evidence that it is the evil NASA operating the dragnet...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovb6u0cdVXU

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 12:25am

    I find it amazing that all this spying stuff is necessary.

    Feel much the same way about datamining on the internet. Speaking of which, the Firefox addon Disconnect shows that 25 attempts have been made here with one screen refresh. That's repeat attempts from 11 dataminers present on this site.

    If it's not the government, it's ad companies and data brokers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 12:37am

    Nobody likes it when people have info on you that they shouldn't have. NSA/GCHQ hate Snowden for his surveillance of them. Merkel hates the NSA. Us? Who cares about us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 12:53am

    "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."

    Hit the nail on the head

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Felix Atagong (profile), Jun 7th, 2014 @ 2:07am

    Merkel

    That is because the German (and Dutch, and French, and English...) secret services are exactly doing the same on their own people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 2:20am

    so, because she is the head of Germany, it is important that she is protected from surveillance done by any country, including, i assume, her own. but no one else matters? it isn't important to get the surveillance of every single person on the planet stopped, as long as something can be done to stop it being done to Merkel? nice going guys! shows that all us mere mortals are good for is working our nuts off and filling the coffers of whoever wants the money that's made!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 4:31am

    Another fine piece of "journalism" from Glyn Moody.

    How about mentioning that Germans have mandatory procedures to follow once prosecutor is formally notified of a crime?
    Or am I asking too much?


    What they also have at state and federal levels is private bill of indicment (a citizen handling prosecution in criminal court). Just ask GW Bush.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Nicholas Weaver (profile), Jun 7th, 2014 @ 6:06am

    They aren't investigating because they cooperate..

    The German government is a user of the NSA X-KEYSORE (the main Internet wiretap) software as well. They outright participate in the bulk monitoring of their citizens. The Stazi would be proud.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    GEMont (profile), Jun 7th, 2014 @ 8:19am

    Global fascism

    "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. "

    Seems to be saying.......

    Hell, that's precisely what they are saying, and in truth, that's pretty much globally government policy. Peasants, taxpayers, human resources are not VIPs and deserve no special treatment unless and until they revolt, at which point policy dictates massive violent force be applied immediately.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    David, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 8:30am

    On a different tack

    A German satirist speculated that wiretapping on the private phone of the German chancelorette was not as much done for political than internal reasons: two weeks of eavesdropping duty on her was likely used as punishment for egregious misbehavior.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2014 @ 9:44am

    So spying is only bad if it's done on der untermensch?

    /subtle Godwin

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2014 @ 1:31pm

    "we need more evidence before we could possibly risk upsetting the US."

    Well yeah, duh. Doesn't anyone remember WWII? :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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