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November 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Ironically, even as the telephone hacking trial in London revs up, reports emerged in London that the British government itself has been hacking the phones of German lawmakers from its embassy in Berlin. Relying on data leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the London Independent reported that the embassy set up a “concealed collection system” capable of intercepting cellphone and wi-fi signals as well as “long-distance communications across the German capital.” The revelation follows recent news that the U.S. had hacked Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. Although President Obama later apologized and insisted he had no knowledge of the hacking, German lawmakers have expressed outrage. The new revelations about British hacking has simply fueled the international firestorm. “The latest developments show that we need to sign a ‘no-spy’ agreement with the United Kingdom, as well,” Wolfgang Bosbach a member of the German parliament told the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel. Asked by the German newsweekly Der Spiegel whether the NSC explicitly withholds certain information from the president to avoid political risk, former National Security Council senior director Michael Allen replied, “That’s something that pops up in movies, plausible deniability. I don’t know how the Obama administration handles such things.”