Merkel's ObamaPhone Scandal Escalates: US Ambassador Summoned By German Foreign Minister

Tyler Durden's picture

The diplomatic farce in the aftermath of the most recent revelations that Obama had tapped not only Hollande's but Merkel's cell phone as well, continued when moments ago Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain if it was indeed true the NSA "may be spying" on Merkel, a ministry spokeswoman said. They used the word "may" loosely.  John B. Emerson, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Germany, will meet Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Thursday afternoon.

But while the latest diplomatic escalation will have zero impact whatsoever on either US spying intentions, mostly of US citizens let alone foreigners, or German-US relations, what is missing is that had this "scandal" happened four short months ago, the farce would have been truly complete as the summoned US Ambassador would be none other than former Goldman senior director and head of Goldman Germany, Philip Murphy, who alas stepped down in August. Had that been the case someone may have just put two and two together.

From the WSJ:

The German government's position will be clearly presented to [Mr. Emerson]," the spokeswoman said. The U.S. Embassy referred questions back to the German Foreign Ministry.


Germany's Parliamentary Control Committee, which oversees the intelligence services, will meet for an impromptu session on the cellphone scandal at 1200 GMT, said the head of the committee, Thomas Oppermann.


Ms. Merkel spoke by phone with President Barack Obama on Wednesday to discuss the claims that the U.S. monitored her communications. The chancellor made clear that surveillance among allies would be "fully unacceptable" and a "grave breach of trust," her spokesman said in a statement released late Wednesday in Berlin.


The White House said Mr. Obama assured Ms. Merkel in the call that the U.S. "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications. "The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

In other news, the German Parliament security committee meets today on merkel phone tap, German govt spokesman Seibert comments in text message. A text message which it goes without saying, was intercepted by the NSA.

And here is Angie herself showing just where the NSA's bug was planted:

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Disenchanted's picture

Enjoy your stay in the global gulag bitchez...

hungarianboy's picture

Finally something starts to happen against the uber arrogance of the US

uno's picture

MSM will attack the victims, just like they did with Slick Willie's accusers.  US is just full of zombies now, just today I saw this:

In the fourth quarter of 2011, 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.

This included 82,457,000 people--or 26.9 percent of the population--who lived in households in which one or more people received Medicaid benefits.

- See more at:

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Snowden avalanche, bitchez!

Doña K's picture

All we need now is Snowden to release a transcript of some Merkel phone chats and texts and start a cat fight with Michelle. Then Obama will come back with "If you want your gold you now must wait 14 years." 

smlbizman's picture

hurry..get me 2 fainters  stat.......

Confused's picture

I'm nearly certain that Raygun stole that from the Russians. 

chubbar's picture

First of all, no ambassador is going to have a clue who the NSA is spying on. What do the Germans think, that ambassadors are given a NSA briefing every month? Secondly, Snowden already told us that every congressman, judge and even the president himself is subject to NSA surveillance, who gets to make that decision that is an elected representative? Answer, no one. This agency is controlled by a person or persons that are not elected officials and not accountable to anyone, it's a rouge agency, period.

Confused's picture

That is all for show. The Government in Germany needs to show the people in Berlin they are taking this serious. Because the people in and around Berlin do. I can't speak for everyone in the country, but I imagine, given their history most feel the same. 


What if Germany just said, "fuck you, we are closing your military bases." 


Check. And mate. Further embarrassing the assclown in chief. 

Dapper Dan's picture

chubbar  This agency is controlled by a person or persons that are not elected officials and not accountable to anyone, it's a rouge agency, period.

How many of the 535 con grease people have publicly questioned the events of 911?


"The real rulers of Washington are Invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes."

 - Justice Felix Frankfurter - US Supreme Court Justice


MarcusLCrassus's picture

It would be great if this caused Germany to demand back ALL the gold the US is holding for them instead of the small portion they are currently demanding.  Watch Jamie Dimon shit himself in trying to figure out how he's going to come up with all that gold that no longer exists.  


And then watch the price of gold get slammed again so they can pick it up on the cheap.


Gold bitches 

RazvanM's picture

If you have a debt of 10.000$ to a bank and cannot pay, you have a problem. If the debt is of 100 million $, then the bank has a problem.


If US has a debt of 1.000 tonnes of gold to Germany and the gold was long ago rehipotecated, it's Germany that has a problem. This situation descends fast toward a 1984-style world: 3 beligerent continents that fight each other.

ziggy59's picture

iTrojan...its on everyones list!

stocktivity's picture


malek's picture

I mean das Merkel really upped the ante from

  "Nicht hilfreich" (~not helpful/conducive, on the Sarrazin book)
  "Nicht zielfuehrend" (~not expedient, on Euro bonds)

to now
  "fully unacceptable"

Some people must be shaking in their shoes now

drdolittle's picture

They're pretending they didn't already know. What, all our citizens too? (under breath, can I gets me some o that information cappin I'llbombya?)

nmewn's picture

I think its high time we turn the tables on the Ruling Class and its Predator State.

How often are we, the public, treated to the banal..."If you have nothing to hide, why worry about it?"...statist meme.

Well, whats the problem with spying on Angie, Barack, Biden then? ;-)

Gumbum's picture

You don't think they are being monitored by their masters as well?

nmewn's picture

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Ranger4564's picture

Paul Auster already dealt with this question in the NY Trilogies, in the story Ghosts. Great book.

Nothing but the truth.'s picture

 Silly of the US to piss the Germans off  - Germany could now demand the return of their gold holdings in Fort Knox. Is it still there ?

moonstears's picture

"Is it still there?" Yes, some of it, likely so, but they need to call the FED RESERVE, who actually owns it. Since they have a central bank in Germany, too...well, good luck gettin' your gold, Germans!

RazvanM's picture

"you don't own it if you don't hold it"

Snoopy the Economist's picture

As long as O' says that he hasn't been spying then I believe him...we all know he is good for his word

/sarc off

Doña K's picture

Well... He did say "I know that Americans are concerned about civil liberties" and when he was asked how, he replied: "I read their emails."

DeliciousSteak's picture

Scandal? What scandal? No one will even remember this in a week. Maybe that's stretching it a bit. This will be forgotten by tomorrow.

Winston Churchill's picture

It has legs like a millipede.The rest of the world was looking for an excuse to dump the US

leadership role..

This will do until they find a better one.

Ghordius's picture

"No one will even remember this in a week"... in the New World, possible. yet you seem to forget what kind of long memories Old Worlders have. Sure, we might even forgive. But forgetting is not among our strenghts

having said that, the picture of Angela holding what looks like an iPhone with a "Federal Eagle" on it is priceless. how disappointed she looks! The Chancellor's Phone was bugged. you could nearly think that it's an institution, like the Red Phone Line used during the Cold War.

"behold, the Most Excellent Chancellor's Phone is entering the room. oh, and the Chancellor too..."

btw, "Obama did this, Obama did that..." isn't it a bit childish? the NSA did that. all this personification of power only diverts scrutiny from the fact that big orgs (be them gov or private) are damn difficult to control. they are beasts of a special kind

imho this is all connected to the ongoing negotiations about that damn Atlantic Trade pact that Cameron and Obama so dearly want. it's not uncommon to take out all the dirty washing for all to see during this kind of negotiations

this is also connected to the new EU law (see Data Protection Directive) which severely restricts what companies like Google can "think to own" when it's about personal data. if enacted properly, personal data is really personal, in the EU, including the "right to be forgotten" and so forth

and of course another gift from the box that Snowden opened for all to see

highly debtful's picture

Impressive. Never judge a book by his cover.

Ghordius's picture

thanks, fonz, interesting. yet I fear I'm too old for this. he is a good comedian, yes. but the whole concept of entering politics with a political magazine - while not believing in voting - strucks me as exactly what's wrong with his generation

yes, politics is dirty. mainly because people's wishes, desires and urges are dirty. in short, people are dirty

but this new generation's "elitism" smacks me of a kind of consumerism. a childish urge to do something noble and pure and have your parents to react to this calling and fix the world (he wants to fix the world) for him

criticism is important. I'm a fan of ZH because it's so critical. yet criticism alone is not enough. at a certain point you have to get dirty and propose a policy, and accept all the mud and dirt that comes with it

revolution, you say? no revolution without a change in policy proposal. history is quite clear in that. then those who make revolutions without policy proposals have nevertheless a policy proposal: their rule, naked and without strings attached

Doña K's picture

Fo one thing he is a great witty debater who can get Obama or any politician and reduce them to smitherins. He must however adopt his politics to being Libertatrian so he can have his freedom as well as his dope.

Zero Point's picture

Yes Dona. Unfortunately he's an Illumunati dupe, so all we'll get is communistic ravings.

booboo's picture

He calls for "massive redistribution of wealth" wake the fuck up Ztards, did you listen to the ravings of this lunatic. Yes under that rant against bankers was the heart of a common thief that wants a politburo to decide who gets what. You guys have a strange idea of what a solution may entail but it appears grasping at straws has become the alternative to thoughtful consideration.

NoDebt's picture

Gordo, the policy you would like to see proposed is going to have to start outside the US.  We can't stop this guy.  We've tried, we've failed.  This one needs some outside leverage applied.  

Demanding all your gold back NOW instead of waiting 10 years for it might be a good start.  Telling him to shove his free trade agreement up is rear wouldn't hurt either.

Obama is and always was well aware what the NSA is doing.  He's the guy who said he had no idea there were problems with the new Obamacare website until he heard about it on the news like everyone else a few days ago.  He lies.  A lot.  He is nobody's friend.  Not even one of our biggest allies.

Non Passaran's picture

Socialist fanatic!
Skip to 5min mark.

Overfed's picture

Russel Brand is a total statist. Fuck him.

55 men's picture

That was awesome Fonz, thanks for sharing

55 men's picture

Sorry .....double click

mumbo.jumbo's picture

if enacted properly, personal data is really personal, in the EU, including the "right to be forgotten" and so forth

data will only be personal when people learn digital self defense and start using tools to encrypt stuff, use digital signatures, and take care of their keys.

until then it's all just words and PR.

CaptainObvious's picture

Please, the NSA gets the keys directly from the encryption services.  This is why so many secure e-mail services are shutting down rather than cooperate.  Plug Lavabit and Silent Circle into your favorite non-Google search engine.  Data will only be secure when people learn to stop using digital methods of communication that can't be tracked by some yahoo wanking off to porn in the Utah data center.

honestann's picture

Adopting mainstream techniques is futile.


What people don't realize is... how easy it is to implement viable security if you "do it yourself", or have some smart computer geek do it for you.  This is indeed less convenient.  No question about that.

But get this.  The NSA can afford to buy a billion 8-core CPUs with 4096-core GPUs and set them to work cracking known encryption techniques.  What the NSA cannot afford to buy is a sufficient number of extremely smart programmers to figure out from scratch 50 million to 50 trillion independently developed encryption techniques... even if many of those techniques are simpler than existing technologies.

What I'm trying to say is this.  I and probably thousands or tens of thousands of geeks know how to create encryption that will keep your data and communications secure.  However, none of the infrastructure that exists to make encryption convenient (like on email clients and browsers for instance) will work with random one-off encryption techniques.  This doesn't much matter for saving then retrieving your own data, but is extremely relevant when you want to encrypt communications between indepenent people or companies.  Why?  Because everyone would have to deal with the many independent custom one-off encryption techniques that everyone they want to communicate with adopts.  That is a bonafide hassle.

There is no problem making digital devices, digital methods, digital devices and digital communications secure and essentially unbreakable for any practical purpose.  The problem is, anyone who creates a technique that is widely adopted defeats themselves.  Why?  Because the NSA and other rich predators can then invest the time and effort (and theft and spying when necessary) to break that technique... after which they can apply that breaking technique to millions or billions of people to amortize those substantial costs.

This is a huge problem with the current encryption techniques, as clever and spiffy as they are.  Plus there is the inherent problem that computer power grows so quickly that an n-bit encryption today is sufficient to make it "not worthwhile to break your communication", but in 5 years they will have the compute power to break all your old n-bit encrypted files that they've saved in Utah... even while all your new communications adopt 4n-bit or 8n-bit or 16n-bit encryption.  Anything below 65536-bit encryption is pointless in the long run, and eventually even a standardized 65536-bit encryption will be pointless.

I'm not sure how many people understand this, but EVERYONE knows the exact nature of the encryption algorithm that everyone encrypts with today.  EVERYONE, obviously including the NSA.  The only thing protecting information is two streams of only a few hundred or thousand bits called keys, which lets your communications partners (or NSA or anyone else) instantly and effortlessly decrypt your information.

This is a huge part of the current problem.  If the NSA had to both "figure out the encryption algorithms" for every communication (including how many different types of encryption were imposed on a given data stream), AND figure whether any "keys" might be involved, AND figure out how many of them, AND figure out how they are applied, AND figure out how and when the algorithms change from place to place in the stream... they don't have the compute power, and will never have the compute power.  Because the problem is no longer compute power, it is brain power, and there ain't enough brains around to handle so much work.

Most importantly, a great many ways to encrypt involve "extremely obtuse cleverness" of the geek to created each technique.  And the only practical way to figure that out is... with a whole freaking roomful of even smarter, craftier, more creative geeks.  So many geeks do not exist.  CPUs and GPUs and RAM and disks can be purchased by the billions with endless fiat money.  But smart, crafy, creative geeks flat out don't exist in sufficient quantities.

Thus, digital can definitely be made secure.  The problem is, any widespread implementation can probably be reverse-engineered and broken given enough geeks and brute compute power.  But make millions or billions of trillions of independent techniques... and the predators are defeated.

Note:  It is probably feasible for some group of geeks to create a sort of "random encryption technique generator" so every sender-receiver pair (or every individual communication) adopts a completely different and independent encryption technique.  Unfortunately, this only solves half the problem.  Each party must get the appropriate decryption programs (and/or keys) to every other parties they want to establish secure communications with.  But there is no current way with current technologies to send code and/or keys to anyone without the NSA and others being able to intercept them, which completely defeats the purpose (and is actually worse than no security, because you think you are secure when you're not).

So currently the only way to securely implement this technique is to personally and physically hand a "plain-old tamper-proof memory device" to your communications partners (like a PROM or plain-old flash memory chip with no other fancy circuitry the NSA might force manufacturers to embed).  Then as long as both parties assure the OS on their PC doesn't [recognize and] steal the contents of that memory device, they can have secure communications.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), this means people must certainly limit their communications activities to linux computers and devices, because large corporations like macroshaft and google will ALWAYS forward every bit of data ever inserted into your computer to the predators-that-be, especially if these kinds of alternative security techniques are widely adopted.  At this point in history, that is a virtual certainty.

mumbo.jumbo's picture

Please, the NSA gets the keys directly from the encryption services.


please, if you have no clue about something, then don't disseminate it!

encryption must happen on devices and sowftware that are under your control, this is more than basic. i've generated my own PGP keys myself, in a controlled environment.


MarcusLCrassus's picture

There is going to be an exodus of companies leaving the US and setting up shop in Europe (and embarrasingly enough, even Russia) where, unlike in the US, it is illegal for the government to spy on every single person. 


This will in turn be a huge blow to US dominance over the internet. Dumbasses slit their own throats. 

honestann's picture

Yes, some medium, small and new companies (and smart individuals) will continue to leave the USSA in droves.  But very few are stupid enough to set up shop in the EUSSA.  The predators-that-be in the EUSSA are at least as corrupt, and live within a much longer and complete history of fundamental belief in authoritarianism of every kind.  But yes, comparing infinities is a foolish game.

Anyone with a brain is starting to see that no large country is a viable place to achieve anything of significant value.  None are viable for honest individuals with anything important to achieve.

Ghordius's picture

honestann, I'd be at loss to prove that we have no corruption, here. we are humans, after all

yet the very fact that we did have our experiences with totalitarianism (of the extreme socialist and the extreme nationalist/conservative variants) is the reason why I think we'll somehow cope with this new wave of totalitarianism (of the liberal variant)

as I wrote, if properly enacted, this new EU law will force Big Data companies to either comply or pay humungus fines, based on their global profits

we do have some experience in megacorp bashing. ask Microsoft about the fines they had to pay for their monopolistic practices

meanwhile I doubt that extreme anti-authoritarianism can make a megacorp do anything. except yawn, perhaps

btw we aren't a large country. your "EUSSA" isn't a country, has no army, no fleet, no police, etc. etc.

honestann's picture

I don't mean to imply my comments apply to you or any other specific individual, but everyone I know and talk-to in Europe utterly and completely, to the core of their bones, considers it beyond debate that it is 100% appropriate and unquestionable that authorities have perfect rights to create pretty much any rules they want to enslave them.

I am certain that exceptions exist.  Also, the notion that somehow having a single super-powerful, completely-dominante slave-master that also abuses companies as well as individuals provides some kind of solution or safety or viability... is just completely wrong.

To be sure, even when people like me hide out in "non-large/dominant countries", or even places not claimed by countries (like the open ocean), a fair number of people are completely clueless, and accept authoritarian premises.  True enough.

But my comments still hold, because in certain [non-large/powerful] places on this planet, the predators-DBA-governments are just a bunch of clueless keystone cops, or distracted by other nonsense of some kind, and don't pay any attention to extreme outlier individuals or collaborations out in one of their boonies (a tiny remote island, the atacama andes, or similar).

In these sorts of places nobody is on the lookout for people doing odd things.  Hell, in the kinds of places I'm talking about, there's pretty much nobody around at all to notice anything.  In my case, for example, less than 25 people live within 125km of me (as far as I can tell).  And there is no road to my place (only access is by my little airplane).  Nobody knows I even exist, except store owners when I land behind their stores, come in, and buy stuff from them.  They don't know where I live, or what I do, or what I believe, or give a damn about anything except I pay for whatever I buy from them.

If you were to point out that not many people are as extreme outliers as me, you would be absolutely correct.  But I personally know quite a few people who have moved away from the country they grew up in, and moved to out of the way places.  Sure, many of them just want to be left alone, but aren't doing anything spectacular.  However, some of them are doing significant endeavors and projects, and their reasons for choosing an tiny, out-of-the-way, out-of-mind kind of place in the world is to avoid being near predators-DBA-governments who want to tell everyone what to do, and how to do it, and require permission for every action they take, and so forth.

And I see this trend growing.  It will continue.  And it happens in many ways.

PS:  You can call the EUSSA whatever you wish.  But you should call the USSA the same, because the federal government was established by the states simply to handle a few universal items for the states.  You see where that got, and we can all see where the EUSSA is going at blinding speed.

I don't want to tell any company what to do.  I only want to tell them NOT to: defraud me, or harm me or my property, or destroy me or their property.  I do not revel in the notion that I back some super powerful entity to "control companies for me".  Once any "powerful entity" exists, it is only a matter of time and speed how quickly the worst possible predators gain control over it, and screw you and everyone else in spades (whether you're stupid enough to approve or not).

eidohntno's picture

all ur phonez r belong 2 us, k thnx bye lol

6th of May's picture

Yeah, NOW they show a reaction... but they should have been more caring and concerned about the citizens weeks and months ago.


Too little, too late!