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Iran Press TV

Germans' anger at NSA spying picks up

Iran Press TV

Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:52PM GMT

Mass protests against spying programs of the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) have gripped Germany more than any other European countries with Chancellor Angela Merkel's patience wearing thin over the issue.

Not a day passes without new aspects of the NSA's spying programs also targeting ordinary citizens are not discovered.

Merkel's responses to questions on the spying program did not reveal anything new, and she had finally to acknowledge that she herself had learned about the affair through media.

She noted that she has held talks with US President Barak Obama and top European Union officials about the program.

She advised the Germans to undertake any measures necessary to protect their personal data.

Most officials in Germany believe that Obama's words are mainly designed to calm down the American society, ignoring the growing concerns in European countries. Therefore, the European governments have to find solutions for themselves.

A German journalist said Obama's speech on the spying program has been more like a show and indicates that the program will continue.

While Merkel was trying to not focus on NSA spying programs in Germany in her reelection campaign that began few days ago, every day new reports emerge about citizens' phone calls and electronic transactions.

According to reports, head of Germany's BND Federal Intelligence Service Gerhard Schindler told the parliament on August 10 that the BND had been giving US officials access to mobile numbers of suspects in the Middle East for years.

The US officials had used the information to locate the targets of their drones.

Hans Christian Strobele, German lawyer and a member of the Green Party, told media that many innocent people are killed in these attacks, describing BND as an accomplice.

Strobele added that the German government must be held accountable for these actions.

Other German lawmakers argue that such a significant issue, which threatens the privacy of people and the country's political as well as economic security, must be treated indifferently.

The Social Democrat Party, the biggest rival of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, has increased pressure on the government, calling on the chancellor to appear in the parliament in order to respond to question about the country's intelligence agencies.

The Germany daily, Der Speigel, reported earlier that the country is a target of US surveillance Program, a software called XKeyscore, that operates from a facility in the city of Hesse.

The US spying services are reported to have been using giant eavesdropping systems in southern Germany to spy on Russia. The bugging devices are controlled by BND and NSA.

German government officials have said that the German chancellor exercises no control on these activities and the NSA presence in southern Germany could trigger reactions.


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