Germany Cool to Obama NSA Reforms

Pledge to restrict snooping on foreign leaders doesn't placate ally

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government isn’t satisfied with President Barack Obama’s pledge on Friday to curb the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs, saying the restrictions don’t go far enough to stop U.S. spying on German government officials.

Obama’s pledge to stop NSA eavesdropping on allied world leaders is “no answer” to Germany’s concerns, a Merkel spokesman said Monday, according to Bloomberg. Under Obama’s plan, U.S. intelligence agencies will still gather information from foreign governments, and the NSA hasn’t been ordered to stop spying on Merkel advisers.

“The fundamental question is, should security services be able to do everything they’re technically able to do,” Norbert Roettgen, chairman of Germany’s lower house foreign affairs committee, said Sunday. “Obama essentially said ‘yes.’”

Reports that the NSA had tapped Merkel’s phone caused an uproar in Germany, and the nation’s Federal Prosecutor’s office is deciding whether to open an investigation into the NSA’s mass surveillance of emails and phone calls in Germany.