Germany has stepped out of a surveillance agreement with the US and Britain in reaction to their data spying practices revealed by American whistle blower Edward Snowden.
Germany suggested the cancellation of the privacy pact, which dates back to the 1960’s, is aimed at putting an end to the unwarranted surveillance on its citizens by Washington and London.
“The cancellation of the administrative agreements, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a necessary and proper consequence of the recent debate about protecting personal privacy,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.
It is not clear whether the move affects the current intelligence cooperation between the two and Germany, especially taking into consideration Snowden’s claims that Berlin was complicit with the US and Britain in the electronic espionage of US’s National Security Agency (NSA).
Back in June, German Justice Minister had demanded explanation from London over reports that British intelligence services had been tapping global internet traffic and phone calls, saying the allegations were a “nightmare out of Hollywood”.
The Guardian revealed at the time that the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was secretly accessing the network of cables, which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic and has been sharing the data with its American counterpart the NSA.
The paper cited documents leaked to it by Snowden as showing that GCHQ had been running the operation codenamed Tempora for the past 18 months.