Press Esc to close
Thursday 30 October 2014
News updated at 7:34 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

U.S. taps half-billion German phone, internet links in month - report

Berlin, June 30, 2013 , Reuters:
  American and German flags hang together at Blair House across from the White House in Washington June 6, 2011. File Photo-Reuters

The United States taps half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month and has classed its biggest European ally as a target similar to China, according to secret U.S. documents quoted by a German newsmagazine.

The revelations of alleged U.S. surveillance programmes based on documents taken by fugitive former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have raised a political furore in the United States and abroad over the balance between privacy rights and national security.

Exposing the latest details in a string of reputed spying programmes, Der Spiegel quoted from an internal NSA document which it said its reporters had seen.

The document Spiegel cited showed that the United States categorised Germany as a "third-class" partner and that surveillance there was stronger than in any other EU country, similar in extent to China, Iraq or Saudi-Arabia.

"We can attack the signals of most foreign third-class partners, and we do it too," Der Spiegel quoted a passage in the NSA document as saying.

It said the document showed that the NSA monitored phone calls, text messages, emails and internet chat contributions and has saved the metadata - that is, the connections, not the content - at its headquarters.

On an average day, the NSA monitored about 20 million German phone connections and 10 million internet data sets, rising to 60 million phone connections on busy days, the report said.

While it had been known from disclosures by Snowden that the United States tapped data in Germany, the extent was previously unclear.

News of the U.S. cyber-espionage programme Prism and the British equivalent Tempora have outraged Germans, who are highly sensitive to government monitoring having lived through the Stasi secret police in the former communist East Germany and with lingering memories of the Gestapo of Hitler's Nazi regime.

A Spiegel report on Saturday that the NSA had spied on European Union offices caused outrage among EU policymakers, with some even calling for a suspension to talks for a free trade agreement between Washington and the EU. [ID:nL5N0F50KP]

In France, Der Spiegel reported, the United States taps about 2 million connection data a day. Only Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand were explicitly exempted from spy attacks.

Snowden, a U.S. citizen, fled the United States to Hong Kong in May, a few weeks before the publication in the Guardian and the Washington Post of details he provided about secret U.S. government surveillance of internet and phone traffic.

He has been holed up in a Moscow airport transit area for a week after U.S. authorities revoked his passport. The leftist government of Ecuador is reviewing his request for asylum.




Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Devotees offer prayers during Chhath festival celebrations at Galta Kund in Jaipur...

Devotees offer prayers during Chhath festival celebrations at Galta Kund in Jaipur...

Dipika Pallikal in action against Japan's Misaki Kobayashi in finals of JSW-PSA...

Dipika Pallikal in action against Japan's Misaki Kobayashi in finals of JSW-PSA...

Delhi Dynamos FC (orange) and North East United FC (white) players in action during...

Delhi Dynamos FC (orange) and North East United FC (white) players in action during...

President Pranab Mukherjee during the conference of directors of National Institutes...

President Pranab Mukherjee during the conference of directors of National Institutes...

Army personnel take position during a search operation of Lashkar-e-Taiba hideouts...

Army personnel take position during a search operation of Lashkar-e-Taiba hideouts...

Workers build the stage at the Wankhede stadium for the swearing in ceremony...

Workers build the stage at the Wankhede stadium for the swearing in ceremony...

Sri Lankan team during practice session before the match against India A...

Sri Lankan team during practice session before the match against India A...

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan with filmmaker Farah Khan, actors Boman Irani...

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan with filmmaker Farah Khan, actors Boman Irani...

Vehicles ply at Rajpath as fog covers it in New Delhi...

Vehicles ply at Rajpath as fog covers it in New Delhi...

A camel herder stands beside resting camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar...

A camel herder stands beside resting camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523