A leading ally of Angela Merkel has critically responded to the US government to provide adequate guarantees on its spying tactics.
The expectations of making some progress in the bilateral talks have been set to the next month as the German leader visits Washington.
According to the classified information, provided last October by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, US intelligence agents were able "to bug” Ms. Merkel’s mobile phone from a listening post on the US Embassy roof. This caused outrage in Germany, where any surveillance actions are particularly sensitive because of the link to the East German Stasi secret police and the Nazis.
Berlin demanded explanation from Washington and subsequently tried to discuss a “no-spy” deal, but the United States clearly try to avoid any commitments providing the assurances Germany wants.
"The information we have so far is insufficient,” - commented Der Spiegel one of Merkel's closest cabinet allies, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. "U.S. intelligence methods may be justified to a large extent by security needs, but the tactics are excessive and over-the-top,” he added. Maiziere’s expectations on further talks on this subject before Merkel’s visit to President Barack Obama in early May are low.
Last month during his European visit Obama tried to reassure his allies that he was taking actions to meet their concerns in regards of US global data gathering programs. Already in January Obama criticised the American secret services surveilling leaders of close allies, however added that they would continue to gather information about the intentions of other governments.