back to article Germany says 'nein' to NSA hacking prosecution

Officials in Germany are not planning to pursue charges over allegations that the NSA was spying on German citizens and government officials. According to a German media report, officials do not believe they have enough evidence to press charges, even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel is thought to have been one of the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As usual... government is a bunch of pussies. Or maybe they don't want to be exposed for collaborating. Probably both.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As usual...

      The major western powers all have their hands dirty on spying, German citizens would be unhappy with how cooperative their government likely is with the NSA and GCHQ, and I think it is pretty certain such cooperation goes both ways. While I'm sure the US made sure it got the better end of the deal, I imagine most Americans would think too much information is being shared with foreign governments.

      The mutual threat of exposure of past cooperation is a good way to insure continued cooperation in the future. Sort of a MAD for spies. Germany was surely not happy about Merkel's phone being bugged, but I'll bet if they were able to bug Obama's phone and thought it wouldn't be detected they'd jump at the chance. If it came out the US would protest mightily, but nothing would be done because all sides have too much to lose if all their dirty laundry is aired.

      They're probably all praying that Snowden's cache doesn't include more damning information to be released in the future.

      I don't really care about governments spying on each other, they've been doing that since government was invented, I just have a problem with them collecting and trading information on me. Just because I have nothing to hide today doesn't mean I have nothing to fear tomorrow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As usual...

        "Just because I have nothing to hide today doesn't mean I have nothing to fear tomorrow." What a lovely retort. I shall have to use it next time someone pulls the nothing to hide argument out of their rear section.

      2. Omniaural

        Re: As usual...


        "Germany was surely not happy about Merkel's phone being bugged,"

        And if I remember correctly, this was the only point at which they expressed outrage, despite it already having been revealed that the general public in Germany was being listened to.

        Now that Obama has personally assured Merkel in public that they are not going to be monitoring her anymore then that is all they were really interested in and the status quo can return.

        I don't really expect any of the western governments to stand against the US on this issue as they all probably benefit from the surveillance programme in some indirect way, which is something Snowden probably knew when he sought safety in the most unlikely of places, as he knew he would be given up for the 'Manning' treatment otherwise.

        Intelligence co-operation IS good and SHOULD happen between allies, but the NSA has overstepped acceptable personal boundaries which people expect governments to protect. There may not be anything in our personal data that the current administration might object to, but it only takes one rabid right-winger to get into power for things to go horribly wrong. Can you imagine what Nixon might have done with access to this kind of technology and data on people?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Wie sprecht "The fix is in!" auf Deutsch!?

    Promises and apologies were exchanged between the political classes. As for the rest of us, we're on our own...

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Re: Wie sprecht “The fix is in!” auf Deutsch!?

      Marketing Hack, Das ist ja Schiebung! might come close.

  3. Christian Berger

    Well according to some experts this now means...

    ...that we can now use force to shut down the NSA. It apparently may now be legal to sabotage their equipment.

  4. wowfood

    Here's how it went down.

    Germany: We've found evidence of your listening station, we have names, dates, the whole shebang. You're going down.

    NSA: If we're going down we're taking you all down with us. We know about the 'accident' when your wife ran over that toddler TWICE! We know about your collection of horse porn, and you, we know the truth behind your wifes 'heart attack'

    Germany: *Shredding sounds*

    NSA: We also know about Merkels affair with Cameron, and we know where hitlers grand child is.

    Germany: Oh no, all our evidence just disappeared, guess we don't have a case after all

    NSA: Didn't think so.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's how it went down.

      So... they were just following orders ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting court decision..

    .. in a country where evidence obtained by illegal means is admissible in court.


  6. Warm Braw Silver badge

    What's Germany getting out of it?

    There may be insufficient evidence, but Germany is under no legal obligation to host a US Embassy (the alleged listening post), so they don't need "evidence" to remedy the problem.

    Indeed, any prosecution would have been symbolic since the accused would not have been available for trial, so this "investigation" is a futile sham.

    The German government has clearly decided it's in its interests for its citizens and leaders to be constantly monitored or it would have acted.

    Much more important than this particular sideshow is what those "interests" might happen to be.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: What's Germany getting out of it?

      The problem is, if Germany kicks out the US from German soil, they lose. They lose income from service personnel, they lose a safety net of additional military might in the region and the USA would retaliate by refusing to import German products - a large export market for Germany.

      The only way that would work is if the West and Asia all ostracised the USA at the same time, although consumers would bellyache because there would be no more Apple or Windows products and access to Google services and the iCloud and MS cloud would disappear, as would Netflix, Amazon...

  7. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Just to be sure ...

    I want to get this right...

    The persons who made intrusions under instructions from officials will not be prosecuted?

    Sounds reasonable enough - they could say

    "I was just following orders mate. See wot 'appened to Snowden and that other geezur"

    Is too much like what happened in the financial crash with finance sector putting us all in hock for the next 20 years or so and changing forever the course of development in Western worlds.

    And is too much like - well does it need to be made formal?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again

    Mein Government proves that it employs a rather unique interpretation of our Grundgesetz, our criminal laws and how a "democracy" works in general. It has now long been apparent that they will fight tooth and nail to prevent a proper investigation as it might expose not only that much of what foreign agencies do on our territory is perfectly legal due to post-war contracts that one would prefer not to talk about but also that Mein Government was well in the know about and maybe even accessory to the violation of our fundamental rights and the erosion of our sovereignty as a nation.

    Exposure of such hypothetical musings as fact would most certainly erode some of our beloved "ruhe und ordnung" (peace and quiet) – and high treason still comes with a lot of mandatory jailtime, even in Gemany.

    Luckily, most of my fellow Germans have been successfully depoliticised and are eagerly awaiting their overdue fix of world cup soccer instead of taking a stand for their rights. A quite disturbing sight but very helpful in finally understanding how certain things could come to pass in the 1930s – something that was always very hard to grasp on the "how the hell would people let that happen" level back in school, where we were taught again and again and again about how to identify threats to freedom and democracy but apparently not what to do about it.

    I am disgusted.

  9. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Hmm - I admire the Germanic nation, the Germanic peoples and Germanic culture.

    Look at those wonderful Christian traditions, the rise from ashes into (almost) superpower status.

    Sure, everyone and I suppose every nation makes mistakes but some of the biggest blunders are those rewrites of history made by the winners!

    Recent things (Snowden, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Vietnam, that other geezer presently doing jail for telling the world how disinformed the world is at US military stuff ... ) show that the winning West is or may not be the best but it manipulates information to make it appear that it is so no?

    Heck, there must be a few millions of public dosh tied up in UK civil serventia truth mismanagement?

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