Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger : Top Oppostion figure to be questioned in baby trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call back

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000

Read more

WEB NEWS

'Ice Bucket Challenge' angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

#TECH 24

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Read more

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

Europe

US has monitored Merkel's phone 'since 2002'

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-27

The US has monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone since 2002, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday. The US National Security Agency has denied reports that President Barack Obama had first-hand knowledge of the bugging operation.

The United States may have bugged Angela Merkel’s phone for more than 10 years, according to a news report on Saturday that also said President Barack Obama told the German leader he would have stopped it happening had he known about it.

Germany’s outrage over reports of bugging of Merkel’s phone by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) prompted it to summon the U.S. ambassador this week for the first time in living memory, an unprecedented post-war diplomatic rift.

The National Security Agency (NSA) on Sunday denied German press reports that US President Barack Obama was personally informed of NSA moves to tap German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phones.

NSA chief General Keith Alexander "did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel", spokeswoman Vanee Vines said, adding: "News reports claiming otherwise are not true." (Source: AFP)

 

Der Spiegel said Merkel’s mobile telephone had been listed by the NSA’s Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002 - marked as “GE Chancellor Merkel” - and was still on the list weeks before Obama visited Berlin in June.

In an SCS document cited by the magazine, the agency said it had a “not legally registered spying branch” in the U.S. embassy in Berlin, the exposure of which would lead to “grave damage for the relations of the United States to another government”.

From there, NSA and CIA staff were tapping communication in the Berlin’s government district with high-tech surveillance.

Quoting a secret document from 2010, Der Spiegel said such branches existed in about 80 locations around the world, including Paris, Madrid, Rome, Prague, Geneva and Frankfurt.

The magazine said it was not clear whether the SCS had recorded conversations or just connection data.

Obama apologised

Obama apologised to Merkel when she called him on Wednesday to seek clarification on the issue, Der Spiegel wrote, citing a source in Merkel’s office.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung also said Obama had told Merkel he had not known of the bugging.

Merkel’s spokesman and the White House declined comment.

“We’re not going to comment on the details of our diplomatic discussions,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council at the White House.

The rift over U.S. surveillance activities first emerged earlier this year after reports that Washington had bugged European Union offices and had tapped half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month.

But it appeared close to resolution after Merkel’s government said in August - just weeks before a parliamentary election - the United States had given sufficient assurances they were upholding German law.

Germany will send intelligence chiefs to Washington next week to seek answers on the allegations around Merkel’s phone.

Obama ordered a review of U.S. surveillance programmes after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents that raised alarm in the United States and abroad.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-10-27

  • USA - GERMANY

    Obama tells Merkel US is not monitoring her calls

    Read more

  • FRANCE - USA

    US spy chief says Le Monde allegations ‘inaccurate’

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Hollande, Obama discuss latest US spying allegations

    Read more

COMMENT(S)