News / USA

Germany Open to Talks With US Intelligence Leaker

German Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele holds letter from fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, Berlin, Nov. 1, 2013.
German Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele holds letter from fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, Berlin, Nov. 1, 2013.
VOA News
Germany says it would like to talk to U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden about what he knows about the vast American spying programs, including the alleged monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.
Berlin's top security official, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, said Friday Germany would welcome any information the U.S. fugitive, now living in asylum in Russia, could provide it, although it was unclear how that might occur.
His remarks came after German lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele met with Snowden in Moscow Thursday. Stroebele said the former national security contractor, who leaked a massive cache of classified documents, handed him a letter addressed to the German government. In the letter, Snowden attacked the U.S. for pursuing him for what he described as "political speech."
Key German and U.S. officials talked in Washington this week about the American surveillance. Friedrich said any information Snowden has could prove valuable to the Germans.
"I don't know what he [Stroebele] has discussed with him, but if the message is that Mr. Snowden wants to give us information and tell us something, then we gladly take that on, because any clarification and every information we can get is valuable."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday the American surveillance activities went "too far" in some cases, and has promised that will not happen again.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate intelligence committee approved legislation to tighten controls on what intelligence agencies can do with communications records. It would impose a five-year limit on how long those records can be retained.
The controversy has also made its way to Asia. Indonesia summoned the Australian ambassador in Jakarta following reports indicating that Australia has allowed covert U.S. surveillance programs to operate in its embassies in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and East Timor.
Greg Moriarty, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, spoke with reporters shortly after the meeting, saying only that "from my perspective, it was a good meeting and now I have to go and report directly to my government."
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa expressed deep concern over the allegations.
"We have sought clarification, we have sought explanation, both from Australia side as well as the United States government on the reported facilities at their embassies in Jakarta," he said.
Media reports said also that the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta was used for spying on its president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and other Indonesian leaders. They indicate the U.S. embassy houses wiretapping equipment that has been used to monitor other Indonesian leaders. The documents describe the facilities as carefully concealed within embassy compounds.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: nathan from: australia
November 03, 2013 3:54 AM
İt has long alarmed me that, besides paranoia, what passes for conventional wisdom in the states also contains a deal of fatalism and cynicism. İs it really so inevitable that your allies would treat you like an enemy??? That is what America has done and doing to nations with longer democratic histories than their own in order maintain a de facto imperialistic hegemony. İts not good enough to just claim national interest to justify a breach on another country's sovereignty.

by: Ian from: USA
November 02, 2013 3:11 PM
oh please !
You would be born yesterday to believe none of the countries in this big world commit spying on another .
This is as old as human in the cave start to spying on the cave next door .
Don't tell me the Germany, Russia, China, Israel... (the list of countries involve in spying would run out the supply from the paper mill) do not spying on other countries (including spying on the US) at this moment

by: chinnappan2010 from: India
November 02, 2013 7:46 AM
It is a good move by the German Govt. rather a respect to Snowden. Other allies of the US have to follow the Germans ... to know the truth.

by: charlie from: California
November 01, 2013 1:03 PM
They want to go to the horse's mouth to find out what else he knows that they've been kept in the dark about by the Five Eyes, the, US, UK and three dominions, Canada, Australia and N.Z.. Thanks to Snowden they and the rest of the world know the US has two tiers of alliances, the Five Eyes, who share info and don't spy on each other, and the rest, NATO, Japan, South Korea, Israel etc. Of course they want to question him. Wouldn't you if you were in a allied capital just now, not one of the Five Eye capitals, of course.

by: skiimaan from: usa
November 01, 2013 12:34 PM
Spying on friends, allies?
The shame of a nation was written in its name: United Spies of America.

by: Bill from: Ecuador
November 01, 2013 12:19 PM
If I was Snowden I would tell Germany If they want info and benifit from what he has done . They need to let the world Know if he was to show up in Germany he would be protected from the insane US DOJ and would be a free Man. Otherwise I would tell them they cannot use him then discard him just because they don't want to upset th e US

by: XonEarth from: USA
November 01, 2013 12:14 PM
Snowden is not a "leaker," he is a whistleblower and a celebrated hero to the people of the world for exposing the NSA crimes. It is done to bill U.S. taxpayers trillions in trumped up contracts. And it is not even remotely associated with "terrorism."

by: KyleCS from: China Spring, TX
November 01, 2013 12:10 PM
Some see this traiter as some sort of hero. What this clown is now doing is giving information for money. For all who think this guy is virtuous, his mouth will kill Americans and they are accomplices to traiterous murder. <><
In Response

by: gheng from: philippines
November 03, 2013 1:07 AM
either way patriot or traitor to some extent, there's a good or bad outcome in reviling the secrecy of the NSA that goes beyond the limit. some of the rules were violated in this case. all the country involve in the said issue should talk and make an agreement to what is good and what penalty in violating the rules and not let the issue reach wars against each it in a peaceful way
In Response

by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
November 02, 2013 4:42 AM
Snowden's name will go in the history book as a person who opened the world's eyes on the excesses of the intelligence agencies. If Germany wants to use his knowledge, let them first appoint him as Some official at EU. Otherwise, he should tell them to go take a hike.
KyleCS@---- you are entitled to your opinion, many in the US do not agree. Snowden could have made lot of of money if that was his objective. You don't know what you are talking about.
In Response

by: Phillip Moss
November 01, 2013 1:04 PM
"...(he) is giving information for money..."?? Would you care to back that baseless assertion up with some kind of evidence? You have not a clue what you are talking about. Snowden is not about money. You and people like you are the paranoid accomplices to the slow destruction and undermining of the noble values and moral high ground the United States of America once had. The endangerment of American lives? That is an easy mantra for the unthinking cowards among you. How about the endangerment of the American democracy and Constitution? Have you ever considered the implications of that or what you would do to protect that? Edward Snowden did.
In Response

by: Cheri Fox from: Dallas, TX
November 01, 2013 12:42 PM
@KyleCS Uh... no ... Snowden is not a traitor, he is a patriot.

The fact is that wholesale invasive spying on all Americans ... that includes you Kyle ... is totally unacceptable. It is far more harmful to us short- and long-term than can comprehend.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs