Trust in the NATO alliance has been further eroded after the Der Spiegel newspaper revealed that Germany has intercepted telephone calls made by US Secretary of State John Kerry, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and NATO ally Turkey.
Although a security service source has insisted the calls by Kerry and Clinton were intercepted by mistake in the course of otherwise ordinary security work, this news comes only a month after Germany expelled America’s top spy from the country.
The CIA official who acted as the liaison for that organisation to the American embassy was given his marching orders after controversy surrounding double agents, and extensive wiretaps on the telephone of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Turkey has reacted with anger at the news they have been under extensive surveillance by Germany at least since 2009. The Turk foreign ministry called the revelation “absolutely unacceptable” and have summoned the German ambassador to present an explanation.
The United States is party to an agreement over spying known as the ‘Five Eyes’ with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Dating back to the Second World War, this network of Anglophone nations flourished during the Cold War. The combined territory, colonies and dependencies of these nations gave shared access to listening stations that covered the whole globe.
Although Germany is broadly considered to be a valued partner of the United States and United Kingdom, their requests to join the Five Eyes have so far been turned down, reports the BBC. As the group is based upon a heritage of either being the United Kingdom or one of her former colonies and the shared language, legal system, and culture this imparts this makes German accession is unlikely.