German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wrong to Tell President Obama NSA Activities Compare to Stasi

no neck rubReports out of Germany indicate that the German
chancellor, Angela Merkel, recently
President Obama about the NSA’s surveillance
activities. The Guardian

Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine that the
Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone,
Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: “This is like the

The newspaper also reported that Merkel was particularly angry
that, based on the disclosures, “the NSA clearly couldn’t
be trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean
them out.”

Indeed, US officials say
they may never know
how much information Snowden took, because
the facility he worked in wasn’t equipped with the kind of
surveillance (!) technologies that could track that. One unnamed
defense official claimed Snowden “stole…
literally everything.”

Merkel’s comparison of the NSA to the Stasi is way off the mark.
Merkel may have been born and raised in East Germany, but former
Stasi officials themselves say it would’ve been
a dream come true
to collect the amount of data on citizens
that the NSA does. Where the information collected by the Stasi
would fill an estimated 48,000 filing cabinets, were the
information the NSA Collects printed out it would take an estimated
42 trillion filing cabinets to store. You can see a visualization
of that difference here.

President Obama may make a lot of media appearances, but he
manages to avoid being confronted by uncomfortable truths, largely
friendly press
and cultivating friendly
. Have you seen the president take a tough
question on the revelations about the NSA’s spying activities?
Apparently he was outraged as you were when he read it in the
papers. Nevertheless, Obama has been getting an earful on the NSA
in private. Obama met with tech leaders yesterday to talk about the
failures of the Obamacare website and the NSA’s online
surveillance. Those tech leaders also said they were upset when
they found out about the NSA’s activities, and
told the president yesterday
the revelations about the NSA’s
online operations damage their reputations and the wider

Related: Watch Reason TV at the “Stop Watching Us” anti-NSA


from Hit & Run

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