Merkel says snooping “sows distrust” amongst allies in address to German parliament
In a major address to parliament to mark the start of her third term as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has warned the UK and the US about mass spying, as revealed by the leaks of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
She said that GCHQ and National Security Agency snooping “sows distrust” amongst allies, whilst suggesting they were hacking other nations for economic advantage, not just for national security.
“A programme in which the end justifies all means, in which everything that is technically possible is then acted out, violates trust and spreads mistrust,” she said, according to a report in the Guardian. “In the end, it produces not more but less security.”
Merkel was said to have had her mobile phone hacked by US intelligence agents, according to Snowden leaks handed to Der Spiegel. After the revelations, she had demanded a full explanation.
President Obama recently announced the NSA would stop spying on allied leaders, as part of reforms to the surveillance operations of the US. Yet he gave no timeframe for the changes, with many deriding his plans, saying they would still allow for mass spying on innocent citizens.
Meanwhile, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said yesterday that the Edward Snowden leaks had severely damaged American surveillance operations.
“What Snowden has stolen and exposed has gone way, way beyond his professed concerns with so-called domestic surveillance programmes,” Clapper said, speaking to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“As a result, we’ve lost critical foreign intelligence collection sources, including some shared with us by valued partners.”