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German Interior Minister: NSA Spying 'Excessive' and 'Boundless'

In interview with Der Spiegel, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière says he has little hope US will make meaningful changes

The Federal Minister of the Interior of Germany Thomas de Maizière on the German Unity Day 2010 in Bremen (Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

The Federal Minister of the Interior of Germany Thomas de Maizière on the German Unity Day 2010 in Bremen (Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière slammed U.S. spying as "excessive" and "boundless" in an interview published Wednesday in German magazine Der Spiegel.

"If even two-thirds of what Edward Snowden has presented or what has been presented with his name cited as the source is true, then I would conclude that the USA is operating without any kind of boundaries," charged De Maizière.

De Maizière said he has "low expectations that meaningful changes will emerge from May talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama.

However, De Maizière refused to discuss use of Germany's own counterintelligence authority to expose NSA spying, stating, "Counterespionage work cannot be the subject of an interview."

The statement follows a trove of evidence that Germany was heavily targeted by U.S. and UK surveillance. This includes the revelation that Chancellor Angela Merkel is on an NSA list of world leaders targeted by spying, as well as evidence that the NSA spied on Merkel's mobile phone for up to 10 years.

Yet, German civil liberties advocates have also accused the German government of being complicit in NSA spying, even though it is targeted by this surveillance.

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