“We should learn as soon as possible if the list of these 69 telephone numbers were also included in the list submitted to the BND by NSA for surveillance”, Stroebele told reporters at the parliament.
Part of the political uproar is the belief of German lawmakers that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff may have given the German foreign intelligence agency authorization to assistance NSA spies to monitor European businesses and government officials, according to German news outlets.
In the wake of the report, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was important for Germany to continue to work closely with the United States on many worldwide issues including negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, but that he hoped for a quick explanation from Washington.
Speaking to German daily Bild, the country’s finance minister chided the U.S. for its apparent eavesdropping practices, but said his ministry used secure means of communication for sensitive conversations.
According to Wikileaks, the NSA has been tapping the phone lines of high-ranking German public officials involved with commerce, finance, economics and agriculture.
“This government has done nothing since it came into office”, Schaeuble said in a speech to the lower house of parliament during a special session on the Greek crisis.
Three weeks ago Rangedropped an investigation into reports that Merkel’s own phone had been targeted by the NSA, citing a lack of evidence.
“Merkel’s fear was that Athens would be unable to overcome its problems even with an additional haircut, since it would not be able to handle the remaining debt, ” the report adds”.
American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 showed that a private mobile phone number of Merkel had been on a monitoring list of the NSA.
Similarly, Ned Price, a spokesman with the National Security Council, told Ars last week that his agency would not “comment on specific intelligence allegations”. The news provoked Hollande, and he later spoke on the telephone with his US counterpart Barak Obama, who in turn pledged his commitment to cease all acts of espionage between the two allies.
“Our desire is not to have any strain on the relationship”, State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing.