Category: Germany

Wherever German Chancellor Angela Merkel goes, protests follow. So when she landed in Lisbon two days before the Southern European general strike on November 14, 2012, the international press expected similar scenes to that which took place in Athens when tens of thousands demonstrated against her visit to the Greek capital.

Unfortunately, the demonstration on that Monday afternoon only attracted a couple of hundred leftists under the banner “Fora Merkel!” – Merkel must go. Riot police and metal fences separated protesters from the Presidential Palace where Merkel met with members of the Portuguese cabinet.

In Athens, placards and posters read, “Merkel in Athens is like Hitler in Paris.” These would be echoed later in Cyprus where teenagers took to the streets earlier in 2013. [Read the full article]

Worth to have look. This op-ed raises some interesting questions while it approaches the topic from a broader and different angle.


It looked like a scene from a Cold War spy thriller. 24 hours after his release, Oligrach Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who ended a 10-year sentence, appeared in Berlin wearing a heavy duty Russian air-force jacket and smiling broadly. It was, however, the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about Khodorkovsky’s early release which caught a lot of people by surprise. A global media spectacle followed. Journalists and commentators scrutinised whether Putin’s decision symbolised a political strength or weakness, whether Khodorkovsky admitted his guilt, and whether he is going to become a political opposition figure or remain in exile. Media outlets appeared to be outpacing one another in applying dramatic labels to the momentous event.

A reflection on the media coverage along with the analysis of Khodorkovsky’s interviews of the past few days, however, paints a more ambivalent picture and suggests that the dichotomies and sensational labels applied are often not fitting. The “surprise” label attributed to Putin’s decision, the “disappointment” characterising public reaction at Khodorkovky’s apparent disinterest in re-entering Russian politics, and the “Dissident versus Despot” dichotomy applied to the Putin-Khodorkovky’s relationship, bear closer scrutiny. A closer look at his latest interviews highlights Khodorkovsky’s complex personality and well-formed, but somewhat, contradictory political views. [Read the full article]



The Federal Commission for the Stasi Archives – the East German secret police – was born shortly after German reunification. The agency’s employment of ex-Stasi members is fuelling fear that records of its wrongs will be lost in the annals of history.

The commissioner in charge of the agency admitted in a recent interview that 37 ex-Stasi staffers remain.

“There are still 37 of them here. Five [out of an original 48] have been moved on, five have left for age reasons, and one of them has died,” former dissident journalist and current commissioner Roland Jahn told Germany’s Tagesspiegel newspaper on Friday. [Read the full article]


A 'nest' of surveillance cameras at the Gillet...NSA secretly accessed main Google, Yahoo data center links | Salon

Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks have not only revealed the vast reaches of the U.S. government’s surveillance operations, but in so doing they have revealed an ideology at the heart of the national security surveillance state: A megalomaniacal hoarding complex that de facto treats every and any individual as a potential threat. How many times will we hear that it’s about being able to “connect the dots”?

So again with the latest bombshell revelation: The NSA, the Washington Post reported Wednesday from documents leaked by Ed Snowden, has secretly intercepted the main links connecting Google and Yahoo data centers around the world. “By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from among hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot,” the Post reported. [Read the full article]

NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say | Washington Post

The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.

By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.  [Read the full article]

Boris Johnson defends Guardian over NSA revelations | The Guardian

Boris Johnson has issued a staunch defence of the Guardian’s “salient and interesting” revelations showing the extent of mass surveillance by US and UK intelligence agencies.

The mayor of London told an audience at the World Islamic Economic Forum on Wednesday that it was important that governments and their spies were held to account by a “beady-eyed” media. [Read the full article]

Germany’s Merkel sends intelligence delegation to US | BBC

The chancellor’s foreign policy adviser and Germany’s intelligence co-ordinator will hold talks at the White House.

The head of US intelligence has defended the monitoring of foreign leaders as a key goal of operations. [Read the full article]

NSA director hints at scaling back some surveillance of foreign leaders | The Guardian

The director of the National Security Agency conceded on Wednesday that it may need to scale back some of its surveillance operations on foreign leaders, in the wake of an international outcry.

Launching a public defence of the NSA for the second time in as many days, Alexander acknowledged that limiting the program may be necessary in order to maintain diplomatic relations. “I think in some cases the partnerships are more important,” he told an audience in Washington. [Read the full article]

The NSA Spied on Angela Merkel—and the Rest of Us, Too | The Nation

Of all the spying activities conducted by the National Security Agency and disclosed by Edward Snowden, the one provoking the most alarm in Washington is the revelation that the agency monitored the communications of at least thirty-five world leaders, including Angela Merkel. Suddenly there is concern that the agency has overstepped its authority regarding foreign dignitaries—but not necessarily when it comes to American citizens.

After an outcry from Europe, the Obama administration indicated it may order the NSA to stop monitoring the heads of American allies. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a prominent defender of domestic surveillance, said in a statement that Congress was not “satisfactorily informed” about the program. “With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of US allies…I am totally opposed,” she declared. [Read the full article]

Obama, Congress Owe Snowden Thanks, and a Pardon | truthdig

Now we know that even the president needs leaks from Edward Snowden to be fully informed about the dastardly acts of his own top spy agency. It was Snowden’s recent revelations that led Obama to order an investigation into spying on private communications of 35 world leaders, including our closest allies, a clear betrayal of the trust needed to establish a more peaceful world.

According to a Wall Street Journal account from senior U.S. officials, the president had been kept in the dark as to the extent of the NSA spy program: “President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them. They added that the president was briefed on and approved of broader intelligence-collection ‘priorities,’ but that those below him make decisions about specific intelligence targets.” Huh? [Read the full article]

NSA chief defends agency amid U.S. spy rift with Europe | Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the National Security Agency defended his beleaguered organization on Tuesday, saying it acts within the law to stop militant attacks and calling reports that the NSA collected data on millions of phone calls in Europe false.

Army General Keith Alexander, testifying with other U.S. spy chiefs before the House of Representatives Intelligence committee, sought to defuse a growing controversy over reports of NSA snooping on citizens and leaders of major U.S. allies. [Read the full article]

NSA Scandal: Parliamentary Spying Inquiry Poses Challenges | Spiegel

The list is long: There have been 39 investigatory committees in the history of the German Federal Republic. Soon that number may rise to 40. The center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), the far-left Left Party and the Greens have insisted on a parliamentary inquiry into the activities of US intelligence agencies in Germany. The conservatives are committed, at the very least, not to hinder such a probe. That leaves the door wide open for one.

All participants know that such an investigatory committee would be unprecedented in that it would be dealing with the fundamental problems of the digital age. It would be different from prior committees. And because there is a desire to send a multi-party signal of protest to Washington, it is hard to get around it. [Read the full article]

Congress vs the President: Who Should Make the Calls on NSA? | DefenseOne

Watching the latest episode of NSA: The Reckoning, off the C-SPAN live-stream, I found myself asking this question: Do members of Congress believe that it’s a problem, really, that the National Security Agency managed to tap the cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2002?

Or was the problem simply that they’re members of Congress, and not members of the executive branch? [Read the full article]

White House offers tentative support for plans to rein in NSA surveillance | The Guardian

The White House indicated on Tuesday that it would support at least some of the congressional efforts to rein in the controversial surveillance practices of the National Security Agency, as political opinion in Washington hardened against the country’s embattled intelligence community.

The administration revealed that an internal government review in the wake of revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden had already led to changes in US intelligence-gathering activities – thought to be a ban on eavesdropping on the leaders of friendly governments and a curb on surveillance at the United Nations. [Read the full article]

NSA chief says NATO allies shared phone records with the U.S. spy agency | Washington Post

The director of the National Security Agency on Tuesday dismissed as “completely false” reports that his agency swept up millions of phone records of European citizens, and he revealed that data collected by NATO allies were shared with the United States.

Gen. Keith Alexander said foreign intelligence services collected phone records in war zones and other areas outside their borders and provided them to the spy agency — an operation that was misunderstood by French and Spanish newspapers that reported that the NSA was conducting surveillance in their countries. [Read the full article]

Robinson: The NSA is out of control | Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON — Let’s get this straight: The National Security Agency snooped on the cellphone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel? Perhaps for as long as a decade? And President Obama didn’t know a thing about it?

Either somebody’s lying or Obama needs to acknowledge that the NSA, in its quest for omniscience beyond anything Orwell could have imagined, is simply out of control. [Read the full article]

Germany and Brazil want UN vote on NSA spying | Deutsche Welle

Germany and Brazil have started an initiative to pass a resolution against spying on electronic communications. Diplomats confirmed to German news agencies on Tuesday (29.10.2013) that the German and Brazilian delegations had already started work on formulating a text, and it was possible they would be able to send the draft resolution to the UN Human Rights Committee by the end of this week.

Political scientist Günther Maihold told DW that the two states had chosen this path because they “didn’t want to get into a constellation that would give the US the option of a veto.” Maihold explained that “Brazil’s main interest is that this should result in international regulation by the UN.” [Read the full article]

Spying Scandal Makes Clear That Europe Must Declare Independence | truthdig

The crisis caused in Europe by American intelligence interceptions of its allies’ electronic communications derives from a problem Europeans have known and put up with since the Second World War. The time has come to call a halt.

It can only be solved with drastic actions that assert European sovereignty and a salutary shock of defiance to longstanding American presumptions of international impunity and repeated acts in disregard of international law, as well as of commercial and diplomatic convention and tradition. [Read the full article]

Spying tests trust between Obama, Merkel | AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama visited Berlin in June, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a point of showing him a balcony in her office overlooking train tracks that crossed the border of her once-divided country — a symbol of her upbringing on the east side of the divide, where eavesdropping by secret police was rampant during the Cold War.

The private moment between the two leaders underscores the degree to which Merkel’s personal history has influenced her outrage over revelations that the National Security Agency was monitoring her communications. The secret spying threatens to damage the close relationship between Obama and Merkel, which, until now, has been defined by candor and trust. [Read the full article]

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A 'nest' of surveillance cameras at the Gillet...Obama Reportedly Unaware of World Leader Phone Tapping | abc news

U.S. officials responded Sunday night to a report that the National Security Agency ended a program used to spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders only after an internal Obama administration review started this summer exposed the operation.

An unnamed senior official told The Wall Street Journal that the White House “cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven’t been phased out completely yet.”

The NSC issued a statement late Sunday noting that the administration is reviewing the spy program, but it did not address the specifics of the Journal story. [Read the full article]

Spain summons U.S. ambassador over spying | Chicago Tribune

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to discuss allegations of spying on Spanish citizens that it said could break the climate of trust between the two countries if proved true.

Earlier, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo said the NSA had recently tracked over 60 million calls in Spain in the space of a month, citing a document which it said formed part of papers obtained from ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. [Read the full article]

US on Spying Scandal: ‘Allies Aren’t Always Friends’ | Spiegel

Jon Stewart knows how to twist the knife. “So you guys are all upset we’re spying on you,” America’s most popular TV satirist told an imaginary European audience. “But I just have one question: Have you met us? Meddling in your affairs for our national self-interest is kind of our thing.”

That’s no joke — especially not this week when the tremors of the alleged US surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel will finally reach Washington. A German intelligence service delegation is traveling to the US capital to find answers to the array of question this scandal has thrown up. [Read the full article]

Greenwald: U.S. Spying on Allies Shows ‘Institutional Obsession’ | truthdig

As a delegation of French and German lawmakers press in Washington for answers to allegations of U.S. spying in their home countries, the journalist who spearheaded reporting on the leaked documents that led to those disclosures comments on the NSA’s goal to “eliminate privacy worldwide.”

“There have been a series of reports,” Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald said on “Democracy Now!” on Monday, “in Germany, really over the last three months, mostly co-authored by Laura Poitras, the American filmmaker with whom I’ve been working on the Snowden story from the start, about systematic and bulk spying on the people of Germany, and, more recently, targeting the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, that has caused a very significant political controversy and underscoring the principal point—is what these stories do—which is that it really is the goal of the NSA, as I’ve said many times before, to eliminate privacy worldwide by ensuring that all forms of human electronic communication are subject to its ever-growing surveillance net.” [Read the full article]

All the Chancellor’s Phones | The Atlantic

BERLIN– German magazine Der Spiegel reported last week, citing documents from Edward Snowden, that a mobile phone used by Chancellor Angela Merkel may have been hacked into by the United States National Security Agency.

German media reported that from 2009 until this past summer, Merkel had been using a Nokia 6260 Slide (really) for business related to her Christian Democratic party, and that this phone was reportedly compromised. [Read the full article]

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A 'nest' of surveillance cameras at the Gillet...


Frenemies: Spying on Allies Fits Obama’s Standoffish Profile | Spiegel


US President Barack Obama was scheduled to visit the Church of Our Lady cathedral in Dresden during a June 2009 whistle-stop visit to Germany. Diplomats from the German Foreign Ministry had painstakingly planned every last detail. They were looking forward to the photographs of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the US president in front of cheering crowds.

But the White House bristled. The president didn’t want to do that — that was the word in Washington. He reportedly placed little value on such photo ops, and he had to leave as quickly as possible, to get to an appearance at the Buchenwald concentration camp. The haggling went back and forth for weeks, and in the end the White House gave in, but only a little. Obama raced through Dresden. After their visit inside the church, Merkel had to shake hands with visitors by herself. The president had already disappeared. [Read the full article]


Merkel: US spying has shattered allies’ trust | AP


BRUSSELS (AP) — European leaders united in anger Thursday as they attended a summit overshadowed by reports of widespread U.S. spying on its allies — allegations German Chancellor Angela Merkel said had shattered trust in the Obama administration and undermined the crucial trans-Atlantic relationship.

The latest revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency swept up more than 70 million phone records in France and may have tapped Merkel’s own cellphone brought denunciations from the French and German governments.

Merkel’s unusually stern remarks as she arrived at the European Union gathering indicated she wasn’t placated by a phone conversation she had Wednesday with President Barack Obama, or his personal assurances that the U.S. is not listening in on her calls now. [Read the full article]


Mr. Abe’s undemocratic secrecy bill | Japan Times


The Abe Cabinet today is submitting to the Diet a bill designed to protect state information that the government deems vital to national security. The bill, which will give the heads of administrative bodies discretionary power to designate an extremely wide range of information as “special secrets,” will greatly limit the ability of the general public and mass media to access relevant information, thus undermining freedom of the press and the people’s right to know. If the content of the bill is closely scrutinized, it becomes clear that it will undermine the foundation of Japan’s democracy. We strongly urge Diet members, whether they belong to the ruling or the opposition bloc, to oppose the bill and defeat its passage.

Since the bill will enable the bureaucracy to hide an enormous amount of government information from the public, it appears to violate the basic principle of the Constitution that “sovereign power resides with the people.” Under the bill, the heads of administrative bodies will have discretionary power to designate information as special secrets in the areas of defense, diplomacy, prevention of “special harmful activities” (mainly intelligence activities by foreign countries) and prevention of terrorism if they think the information merits special protection. National public servants who are charged with leaking such secrets could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment. [Read the full article]


NSA chief: Stop reporters ‘selling’ spy documents | Politico


The head of the embattled National Security Agency, Gen. Keith Alexander, is accusing journalists of “selling” his agency’s documents and is calling for an end to the steady stream of public disclosures of secrets snatched by former contractor Edward Snowden.

“I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000—whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these—you know it just doesn’t make sense,” Alexander said in an interview with the Defense Department’s “Armed With Science” blog. [Read the full article]


The National Security Agency, Narcissism, and Nationalism | The Daily Beast


I spent Wednesday afternoon meandering across the web, looking at how the American media were covering allegations that the National Security Agency had spied on yet another foreign leader. “Don’t Tap My Phone,” screamed the banner headline at Huffington Post, above a grim-faced German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Obama to Merkel: We’re Not Spying On You,” announced the lead story on Then I tacked right, to see how the websites of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Red State, National Review, and The Weekly Standard were handling the story. They weren’t. None of them featured the allegations at all, though it had been the subject of a Jay Carney White House press briefing just hours before.

This is part of the reason America is struggling as a superpower: our nationalists don’t give a fig about the nationalism of anyone else. American conservatives sometimes say that unlike American liberals, who believe in surrendering power to global institutions, they believe in the nation as the sole legitimate source of authority in international affairs. And that’s true when defending our nation’s prerogatives. Had news broken that Germany was tapping our president’s cell phone, Limbaugh would be musing about fire-bombing Dresden again. But the American right is indifferent, if not hostile, to non-Americans defending their nation’s honor. NSA spying on foreign leaders is only the latest example. In Colorado, they’re now issuing drone-hunting licenses so Americans can shoot down any airborne spy planes that trespass their property. And yet there’s scarcely any sympathy on the right for the Pakistanis and Yemenis who are upset that the U.S. sends drones over their countries, though those drones regularly kill people. [Read the full article]


Europe falls out of love with Obama over NSA spying claims | CNN


On July 24, 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed tens of thousands of Germans on the avenue that leads from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. In a pointed reference to the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush, he promised a new era of “allies who will listen to each other, who will learn from each other, who will, above all, trust each other.”

One German present among the hugely enthusiastic crowd said the occasion reminded him of Berlin’s famous “Love Parade.” No U.S. politician since John F. Kennedy had so captured Europeans’ imagination. [Read the full article]


NSA’s Italy op exposed: ‘Millions’ of private communications intercepted with govt awareness | RT


Everyday communications of Italians are also on the watch list of the US National Security Agency, a new report has revealed. While an Italian parliamentary committee seeks clarification of NSA activities, local security sources defend the snooping.

Italy’s spy watchdog COPASIR has recently learned details of large-scale monitoring of Italians by the US intelligence agency NSA, according to a report published by Corriere della Sera. [Read the full article]


Euro Parliament axes data sharing with US – the NSA swiped the bytes anyway | The Register


The European Parliament has voted to halt the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP), an agreement to share data on financial transactions in the Continent with the US – after documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed the NSA was hacking the system anyway.

“Parliament stresses that any data-sharing agreement with the US must be based on a consistent legal data protection framework, offering legally-binding standards on purpose limitation, data minimisation, information, access, correction, erasure and redress,” the resolution reads. [Read the full article]


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BERLIN — It’s the day before the German election, and Stefan Liebich, a member of the Bundestag for the far-left Die Linke party, is standing on the sidewalk at a busy intersection, smiling and shaking hands. He has a boombox and an assistant who fills up crimson balloons that say “Really Red” — to differentiate them from the slightly-less-red balloons being inflated by their rivals, the Social Democrats (SPD), who have a similar setup just a few feet away.

He’s in peak campaigning mode, yet he takes a 45-minute break to talk to a group of foreign journalists, including me, who can’t vote and don’t speak German. [Read the full article]


A 'nest' of surveillance cameras at the Gillet...

The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet | The Atlantic

It turns out that the NSA’s domestic and world-wide surveillance apparatus is even more extensive than we thought. Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we’ve learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it’s easier that way.

I have one message to the executives of those companies: fight. [Read the full article]

The Surveillance Speech: A Low Point in Barack Obama’s Presidency | The Atlantic

Jon Stewart once reacted to a Barack Obama speech by marveling that “at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race as though they were adults.”

On Friday, President Obama spoke to us about surveillance as though we were precocious children. He proceeded as if widespread objections to his policies can be dispatched like a parent answers an eight-year-old who has formally protested her bedtime. He is so proud that we’ve matured enough to take an interest in our civil liberties! Why, he used to think just like us when he was younger, and promises to consider our arguments. But some decisions just have to be made by the grownups. Do we know how much he loves us? Can we even imagine how awful he would feel if anything bad ever happened while it was still his job to ensure our safety? * [Read the full article]

Does the Chief Justice Have Too Much Power? | The Atlantic

John Roberts has a way of inserting himself into almost every political setting. He upstaged Barack Obama at his first Inauguration; he made his the most important single vote cast in the 2012 election; he has upended 2014 politics with his opinion gutting the Voting Act. Now it turns out he has assumed a key role in the War on Terror.

So it seems entirely reasonable for The New York Times’s Linda Greenhouse to suggest that “we have given the chief justice — any chief justice, not just this one — too much to do.” [Read the full article]

Can Americans ever trust their spies? | The Week

If capital-C Change comes to the NSA, it will take two forms. The first is: what it does will be more transparent to the courts and to Congress, as well as to interested Americans. The second is that the agency’s definition of accountability will be gutted, replaced by one that more closely approximates a legitimate accounting and reckoning of mistakes, both deliberate and unavoidable. What won’t change: what the NSA actually does.

That’s why, as Shane Harris, one of the best reporters on the NSA beat observed Friday, President Obama wants Americans to be “comfortable” with the NSA at it is. [Read the full article]

Ally and Target: US Intelligence Watches Germany Closely | Spiegel Online

German intelligence services cooperate closely with the NSA, but the country is also a target of US surveillance, as a document seen by SPIEGEL makes clear. The spy software XKeyscore is operated from a facility in Hesse, with some of the results landing on President Obama’s desk.

The US military compound in Griesheim, near Frankfurt, is secured with a tall wire fence topped with barbed wire. The buildings are relatively modest and surrounded by large areas of green space, which has long led local residents to suspect that many of those working at the facility spend much of their time underground — and that they are engaged in espionage. [Read the full article]

US could exploit trade deal to expand spying | Deutsche Welle

US spying on Europeans will be expanded if the Transatlantic Trade deal gives a free pass to PRISM’s enablers, writes Jeff Chester, and urges the EU not to allow the privacy of its citizens to be negotiated away.

The giant US-based technology companies alleged to have helped the National Security Agency (NSA) digitally eavesdrop on the public through its PRISM program – Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, and AOL – have positioned themselves as largely helpless in opposing the release of their user data for national security purposes. [Read the full article]

Obama’s Intelligence Chief Will Head Up the Promised NSA Review | The Atlantic Wire

Last Friday, President Obama promised a review of current government surveillance practice by an independent group of outside experts. Turns out that the review group will be established by the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who’s come under fire from Congress for erroneously telling legislators that the U.S. doesn’t “collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of million of Americans.”

Here’s the memo from Clapper: [Read the full article]

What NSA Reforms? | truthdig

President Obama’s message about the government’s massive electronic surveillance programs came through loud and clear: Get over it.

The president used more soothing words in his pre-vacation news conference Friday, but that was the gist. With perhaps the application of a fig leaf here and a sheen of legalistic mumbo jumbo there, the snooping will continue. [Read the full article]

Deutsche Telekom launches ‘NSA-busting’ encrypted email service | The Register

Deutsche Telekom and United Internet have launched a super-secure German email service that they claim defeats the data-sniffing shenanigans of the likes of the NSA.

The partners announced that they were starting an initiative for “secure email communication across Germany”. [Read the full article]

Voters mad about NSA spying face uphill battle | Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Charlotte Scot isn’t one to take things lying down — like the time President George W. Bush was re-elected and she moved to Canada in protest.

So when the 66-year-old artist from Old Lyme, Conn., heard that major telecommunications providers have been turning over data about every Americans’ phone calls to the government since 2006, Scot demanded that her own phone company tell her what, if anything, it had shared about her. [Read the full article]

Investigating the investigators at the NSA | The Jerusalem Post

The short answer to whether the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) programs for reviewing emails and telephone calls as well as metadata (pieces of information about communications like when and from where an email was sent) arising from them is legal would appear to be: yes.

Unlike some past controversies about the balance between protecting the nation’s security and privacy rights, no one is saying that the executive branch went out completely secretly on its own (though the scope of the program has shocked many even in Congress) with the new far-reaching checks into people’s personal lives. [Read the full article]

Germany denies phone data sent to NSA used in drone attacks | The Guardian

Germany’s intelligence agency, the BND, has denied that mobile phone data it sends to the NSA could be used in drone attacks carried out in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Chancellery minister Ronald Pofalla told a closed parliamentary committee that GSM data, which the BND has admitted sending to other foreign secret services, was not specific enough to pinpoint exact locations, according to Left Party politician and committee member, Steffen Bockhahn. [Read the full article]

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