Angela Merkel Slams U.S., U.K. Surveillance

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 29 2014 6:12 PM

Angela Merkel: Widespread U.S. Surveillance Leads to Less Security

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a session at the Bundestag on January 29, 2014 in Berlin.

Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama wasn’t the only world leader with a major agenda-setting speech this week. On Wednesday German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her inaugural address to Parliament as she kicked off her third term. Unlike Obama, Merkel used her airtime to criticize U.S. government surveillance. Translation via the AP:

"Actions in which the ends justify the means, in which everything that is technically possible is done, violate trust, they sow distrust. The end result is not more security but less.”

But Merkel, who herself was the target of such digital surveillance, also urged partnership with the U.S, insisting the two countries remain strong allies and that Germany not pursue retaliatory political moves such as suspending talks of a free trade deal between the regions.

And because NSA stories now come in threes, two other Snowden stories from the day: (1) A pair of Norwegian politicians have nominated Edward Snowden for a Nobel Peace Prize. The two, who are members of the country’s socialist left party, said Snowden’s revelations “contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order." (2) Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence director James R. Clapper, during a congressional hearing today, called on Snowden and his "accomplices" to return outstanding NSA documents that have not yet been revealed.