Germany most-spied-on EU country by US - leaked NSA report
Germany appears to be the most snooped on EU country by the US, a map of secret surveillance activities by the National Security Agency (NSA) shows. EU officials are to question their US counterparts on data snooping in Europe.
The color-coded map of secret surveillance activities by the NSA ranks countries according to how much surveillance they are currently undergoing - green for the least and red for the most watched.
While all EU member states boast variant shades of green, Germany stands out, color-coded orange.
The source behind the revelation of the top-secret NSA surveillance program, already referred to as one of the most significant intelligence leaks in US history, was uncovered late last week. 29-year-old Snowden asked The Guardian to reveal his identity, having fled to Hong Kong to escape retaliation by the US authorities.
"The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting,” he told The Guardian.
“I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authority to wire-tap anyone … even if you are not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded,” he added.
The ‘Boundless Informant’ documents show NSA collecting up to 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013, according to The Guardian. The tool reportedly allows users to select a country on a map, view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against this or that state.
Germany’s Interior Ministry had already been in contact with US officials to find out whether there had been any infringement of German citizens’ privacy lately. Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to raise the issue of the NSA’s eavesdropping on Germany with President Barack Obama, who said the monitoring program is a means of defense against terrorism.
"We need to step back here and say clearly: mass surveillance is not what we want," Reuters quoted Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green lawmaker in charge of overhauling the European Union’s outdated data protection laws as saying.
EU rattled over US’ PRISM
The EU Parliament is considering a substantial overhaul of its almost 20-year-old data protection rules, which when were established without taking the internet into account.
"It is time we grasped the nettle here and put our minds to ending the program," Reuters quoted Martin Ehrenhauser, an Austrian independent member of the European Parliament, who was referring to the SWIFT and the airline data agreements.
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