US closes out no-spy deal with Germany
4 July, 05:30 -- The United States will not sign a no-spying agreement with Germany as it attempts to settle the diplomatic fallout from the US National Security Agency's surveillance on Chancellor Angela Merkel, a White House official said Thursday. 'We're not going to have a no-spy agreement,' deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said in response to a question from dpa, during a White House briefing with foreign media. 'We don't have no-spy agreements with any country.' Rhodes said it would 'just take time and a healing process through dialogue' to address the issue, but that the US had to find a balance between fresh limits on espionage and the need to gather intelligence.
The US has no-spying agreements with just four countries: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Germany is still smarting at revelations, based on documents from US whistleblower Edward Snowden, that Merkel's phone was monitored for years by the National Security Agency.
A deep rift remains between the US perspective that spying is no sin and the German view that states must abstain from the unsupervised eavesdropping practiced by fascist and communist dictatorships in Germany. Merkel said in May at the White House that the US and Germany 'have a few difficulties yet to overcome' on intelligence-gathering policies.
Former White House aide John Podesta travelled last week to Berlin for a US-German 'cyber dialogue' reports DPA.
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