Merkel Barack Obama Edward Snowden

US spying row escalates as Angela Merkel claims personal mobile phone was hacked

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By John Glenday | Reporter

October 24, 2013 | 2 min read

Britain’s ongoing phone hacking investigation into the actions of rogue reporters illegally intercepting calls looks to be overshadowed by claims that German chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal mobile phone had been tapped by US agents for years.

The damaging accusation is the most serious to emerge since former National Security Agency operative Edward Snowden first began leaking details of the extent of the US’s covert activities.

Merkel phoned president Barack Obama to demand a personal assurance that her phone was not being bugged, prompting Obama to promise that US intelligence ‘is not monitoring and would not monitor’ her communications.

Significantly however the White House did not rule out the possibility that it had done so in the past.

The German government believes the NSA had targeted Merkel’s phone in order to obtain diplomatic intelligence, an act which her spokesperson said would amount to ‘a serious breach of trust’.

German diplomats say they are not satisfied with the White House’s response and are demanding further clarification over whether the chancellor had been spied on in the past.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said: “Today President Obama and Chancellor Merkel spoke by telephone regarding the allegations that the US National Security Agency intercepted the communications of the German chancellor.

“I can tell you that the president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor.”

Merkel Barack Obama Edward Snowden

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