Merkel Calls Obama About Report of U.S. Monitoring Her Cell Phone

White House denies U.S. is monitoring German Chancellor's communications

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Barack Obama on Wednesday to ask about a report that the U.S. may have snooped on her cell phone, both governments said.

Merkel said the report, by the German magazine Der Spiegel, would be “a serious breach of trust” if true, the Associated Press reports. Obama told Merkel the U.S. is not monitoring her communications, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

“The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges,” Carney told reporters at the White House. “The United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the Chancellor.”

Der Spiegel based its report on documents from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Reports of U.S. government spying based on documents from Snowden have angered allies in both Europe and South America.

With reporting by Zeke J. Miller

19 comments
Sarah81472840
Sarah81472840

  <!--Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,...................................Buzz55.ℂℴm-->

drudown
drudown

How about a joint, independent audit of the NSA program by the Executive and Judicial branches of government on behalf of the People? The notion that 9/11 was the first time warrantless wiretapping was purportedly "justified" is a farce. There is ample case law expressly holding it is per se UNCONSTITUTIONAL. See, Scott v. United States (1978) 436 U.S. 128 ("every wiretap must be conducted in such a way as to minimize the interception of communications not otherwise subject to interception"). 

How is can the NSA seize such a vast amount of data, records and privileged communications in blatant disregard of precedent and the EXPRESS language of the 4th Amendment…with ZERO probable cause and ZERO limitations on course and scope of the intrusion?

"Wiretapping is a dirty business." - Chief Justice Taft

porkx
porkx

That statement is no denial. More like "as of five minutes ago, we are no longer tapping your phone".

keedyk87
keedyk87

Do not blame the President for this Teapubs? This was your neurotic creation due to to guilt over the murder of so many innocent Americans and so many other Human Beings all over the world!

victormanuelabreu
victormanuelabreu

Boy!! The Obama administration did the same thing to Dilma Rouseff, the Brazilian president. When will these breaches stop? This is downright degrading and wrong. I could never imagine that the United States President can stoop this low. I though we were the good guys.    

keedyk87
keedyk87

Like Merkel having a neurotic gluttonous sex maniac peering through her windows. Lusting after her innocent daughter and ALL of  her underthings!

Karl
Karl

I hope we have plausible deniability, that's all we need with the chancellor who recently has been put on the cover of a German magazine in a US general's attire. Apparently a reference to her decision to let US spying go with some light hand slapping. Personally I think we did it since we seem to have been doing it to everyone not in the Five Eyes (google the term if you haven't read it yet, it is important).

porkx
porkx

The constitution does not apply outside of U.S. borders, and from what's been revealed so far, their operations within U.S. borders are not wiretapping. They have simply been collecting phone company records that are available to law enforcement anyway through administrative subpoenas. The simply relocated them to a more convenient location where they can store them forever.

duduong
duduong

@drudown 

Unfortunately, the chances of an effective audit happening are exactly nil. This nation has lost all capabilities of self-healing. The abusive NSA program going unchecked despite the exposure is just the latest example. Kind of reminds me a terminally ill patient with rotting flesh all over.

drudown
drudown

@victormanuelabreu 

That's funny, it was the Bush Administration that put this NSA program in place. Come correct.

drudown
drudown

@Karl 

Why not have State Action comport with the Bill of Rights instead?

drudown
drudown

@porkx 

That directly contradicts all the evidence. Perhaps you need to revisit our Supreme Court's precedent on what constitutes a "search and seizure" under the 4th Amendment. See, e.g., Berger v. New York (1967) 388 U.S. 41 ("any blanket grant of permission to eavesdrop without adequate supervision or protective procedures to limit course and scope of intrusion is Unconstitutional"); see also Osborn v. United States (1966) 385 U.S. 323. 

I really don't think it is intellectually honest for you to even imply that the misrepresentations thus far to the People, Congress and Obama Administration about the ACTUAL COURSE and ACTUAL SCOPE of the NSA's activities- much less compliance with the Bill of Rights- actually coincides whatsoever to "what's been revealed so far". Moreover, away with this shopworn nonsense that "the Evil Doers cannot know how we are trying to catch them" blah blah blah. We are Nation of laws or we are not. 

As an aside, your assertion that the NSA's activities have any connection or even remotely compare to lawful subpoena duces tecum for phone records in other instances is absurd. What are you saying? That the "convenience" of violating the 4th Amendment is relevant to its Constitutional dimension? 

Enough of this "law according to the the Decider". 

Please cite one rational reason why the State is not LAWFULLY bound to follow our Supreme Court's precedent instead?

"I think, as Justice Brandeis says, that apart from the Constitution the government ought not to use evidence obtained and only obtained by a criminal act [i.e., warrantless wiretapping/electronic surveillance]…it is desirable that criminals should be detected, and to that end all available evidence should be used. It also is desirable that the government should not itself foster and pay for other crimes, when they are the means by which the evidence is to be obtained…we have to choose, and for my part I think it is a less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part." - Justice Holmes, Olmstead v. United States (1928) 277 U.S. 438

drudown
drudown

@duduong 

That is non sequitur. By your reasoning, the Separation of Powers is "powerless" to enjoin the most blatant breach of civil liberties in the entire history of our Nation. Like similar assertions that "our Privacy rights are gone because of the criminal acts on 9/11", such non sequitur logic fails to account for the FACT that our Founding Fathers were wiser and far more prudent than the (once mighty) Media conditions the People to believe. They put a system of Checks and Balances in place. It is up to a small number of upright, honorable citizens serving in different branches of our Federal government and/or the Several States to do what is right and true. What, our system of Criminal Procedure and 4th Amendment jurisprudence "went crashing down" with the WTC towers? Please. 

That is as absurd as the notion the State cannot "retroactively" capture Taxes owed to the State by Market Players or citizens to provide for the Common Defense and People's General Welfare. 

tok7131
tok7131

@drudown Wow, blame Bush. Do you liberals know any other song. If Obama had everyone is his cabinet rounded up and shot you would blame Samuel Colt. This buffoon has been in office for 5 years, when will you hold him accountable for anything? 

porkx
porkx

collecting phone records is not eavesdropping or wiretapping. end of story.

drudown
drudown

@tok7131 @drudown 

By your tortured logic, the victim of the fraud (e.g., the People) is as "culpable" as the perpetrator of the fraud (e.g., the Bush Administration). How is that any different than your logic here insofar that the Obama Administration had no "say" in the blatant violation of the 4th Amendment via the NSA program put in place by the last GOP President. 

"We pass for what we are." - Emerson