Obama to Germany's Merkel: US not monitoring your phone
By Justin Sink - 10/23/13 02:11 PM ET
President Obama has assured German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the United States “is not monitoring and will not monitor” her phone calls, the White House said Wednesday.
The reassurance was offered in a phone call between the two leaders on Wednesday in which Merkel told Obama that the monitoring of her phone would be unacceptable.
A spokesman for Merkel earlier on Wednesday said the German government “has received information that the chancellor's cell phone may be monitored by American intelligence.”
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert in a statement obtained by the Associated Press said Merkel told Obama that “she views such practices, if the indications are confirmed ... as completely unacceptable.” Carney looked to downplay the potential rift, saying Obama offered assurances that the U.S. is not monitoring her calls.
He added that the U.S. government was “reviewing the way we gather intelligence to ensure the balance the security concerns.. with privacy concerns.”
But he sidestepped a question about whether the chancellor's cell phone conversations may have been inadvertently swept or monitored as part of the agency's regular top-secret surveillance programs. He said the two leaders agreed to “intensify further cooperation” on intelligence matters.
Merkel is just the latest U.S. ally to express worry about the NSA’s monitoring of phones.
Brazil’s president put off a state visit to the U.S. after reports of U.S. spying, and France’s government condemned NSA surveillance earlier this week.