U.S. ignores Germany’s requests for NSA explanation

U.S. authorities have not responded to Germany's requests for information on NSA activities

U.S. authorities have not responded to Germany's requests for information on NSA activities

BERLIN –The United States has not responded to repeated requests for information on the NSA's surveillance activities, Germany's government said Wednesday. 

In a reply to a written question from the opposition in the Federal Parliament, the government said both the Ministry of Interior and former Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger had sent letters to U.S. officials without recieving any reply. 

Germany and the U.S. started preliminary talks on a possible “no-spy agreement” last year as part of efforts to mend realtions after the NSA scandal but no agreements have been reached and German deputies are increasingly angry at the reluctance of the U.S. administration to address Germany's concerns.

A special committee of inquiry at the Federal Parliament will meet for the first time on Thursday to examine the NSA’s phone and internet surveillance of senior German leaders and citizens since 2002.

U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 highlighted that the NSA had spied on various high-level politicians in Germany, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The cooperation between the German and U.S. security agencies has crucial importance for the security of Germany,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said last week. He called on the parliament’s newly formed NSA investigation committee to act in a responsible manner while investigating the allegations of the NSA’s secret surveillance in Germany.

Media reports show that NSA’s intelligence has also been useful for German security and intelligence bodies in the past to prevent several terrorist attacks.

According to a confidential German document published by the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, U.S. intelligence shared 7,976 intelligence reports with its German counterparts in 2012 which included information on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

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