Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Obama, Merkel say they're still working on surveillance understanding

The two countries still have 'differences of opinion' on appropriate surveillance activities, Merkel says

Article comments

The U.S. and German governments remain far from an agreement on the appropriate level of surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency on German residents, leaders of both countries said Friday.

The two countries still have "differences of opinion to overcome" on the appropriate use of surveillance, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint press conference with U.S. President Barack Obama. The two leaders met in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss political unrest in Ukraine and other issues.

The German government in October 20133 said U.S. intelligence agencies may have spied on Merkel's mobile phone. On Friday, Obama said it "pains" him that the relationship between the two countries has suffered after the revelations.

"These are complicated issues, and we're not perfectly aligned yet, but we share the same values, and we share the same concerns," Obama said.

Obama called Germany one of the "closest allies" of the U.S., but he declined to back a bilateral no-spy agreement that some Germans have pressed for. "We do not have a blanket no-spy agreement with any country," he said. "We have gone a long way in closing some of the gaps [with Germany]."

Obama noted that he's "taken the unprecedented step" of telling U.S. intelligence agencies to consider privacy concerns of foreigners when they conduct surveillance. Most other countries do not consider the privacy rights of people living outside their borders, he said.

"We have shared with the Germans the [surveillance] things that we are doing," Obama said. "Ordinary Germans are not subject to continual surveillance. Our focus is principally and primarily on, how do we make sure that terrorists ... are not able to engage in those activities."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *