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Chancellor Merkel’s Trust for the U.S. Diminished
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trust in the U.S. has clearly diminished because of the U.S. National Security Agency, and their apparent eavesdropping on her cell phone. When Merkel reached the summit of leaders of the European Union in Brussels, she showed her feelings towards the situation. CNN notes that Chancellor Merkel commented, “We need trust, and now that trust has to be reestablished. Spying among friends is never acceptable.”
This past Thursday Chancellor Merkel asked the White House to clarify whether or not her personal cell phone was monitored. A spokesman for the White House, Jay Carney, commented that “The White House does not comment on every alleged surveillance activity.” He went on to say that President Obama assured Chancellor Merkel in saying, “the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor her communications.” White House spokesman Carney followed up with reporters and told them, “When it comes to specific allegations about intelligence matters, we have diplomatic channels we use to discuss these issues.”
Apparently Germany is not alone in its feeling of being spied on by U.S technology. The French daily newspaper Le Monde says that the U.S. NSA “intercepted more than 70 million phone calls in France over the course of a month.”
To control those issues and fears, new laws regarding data protection reform will be on the agenda for the EU’s leaders from now until spring of 2014. Vice president of the European Commission, Viviane Reding, “Called for EU nations to commit to adopting a data protection law in light of the recent spying scandals.” She feels that big data protection has to cover all citizens, as well as Chancellor Merkel’s phone. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault mentioned at the French National Assembly that France would push its agenda of questioning electronic surveillance. EU leaders across different countries will be expected to consider the plausibility and necessity of data protection – in terms of citizens and their privacy, as part of their concerns in the debate over issues in the digital economy.