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

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

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.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityAngela MerkelU.S. National Security AgencygovernmentBarack Obamainternetprivacy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?