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German minister criticises US over NSA activities

Posted on Feb 01 2014 | IANS

Munich, Feb 1 : German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere here Friday criticised the secret surveillance actions of the US National Security Agency and described them as being excessive.

"We do not have any evidence. There are no finger prints. But after all, what we hear is that, what is done at the cost of German citizens is excessive," Xinhua quoted the minster as saying while speaking at the 50th Munich Security Conference.

Nearly 500 participants, including some 20 heads of states and governments and more than 50 foreign ministers and defence ministers are expected to participate in the Munich Security Conference, which will run through Sunday.

"I have no great expectations of a No-Spy Agreement. What is there to be regulated? And who is going to control that? " he said.

"What has emerged to harm German interests, is excessive. The explanation that we have received is inadequate. The political damage is greater than the security policy benefits across the Atlantic," de Maiziere added. "Of course, we will continue to negotiate, but a signal of the American side is required."

In addition, de Maiziere advised three actions to protect security, namely through legislation, technology and individual precaution.

The Munich Security Conference will focus on transatlantic relations under the shadow of the US surveillance scandal exposed by Edward Snowden, the Syria crisis, Iran's nuclear programme, and conflict in Ukraine, among other issues.

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