[JURIST] The German government summoned the US ambassador John B. Emerson [official website] on Friday after the arrest of a man who is claimed to be a US spy working surveillance throughout the country. The German foreign ministry [official website] believes that a 31 year old employee of the German intelligence service BND [official website] has been working with foreign intelligence services, specifically the US. It has been reported [Wall Street Journal report] that the intelligence related arrest has raised tensions between the US and Germany since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s [official website] cell phone was tapped by the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] for information regarding Edward Snowden [JURIST news archive]. Chancellor Merkel’s administration has stated that it will await the conclusions of the federal prosecutor and criminal police’s investigation. While the suspicions remain inconclusive, the US ambassador will continued to be involved in the investigation until a resolution is met.
The NSA has come under intense scrutiny and caused international tensions ever since Snowden leaked [JURIST report] top-secret NSA documents last year. In May the US House of Representatives approved a bill that would curb the power of the NSA to collect phone records. In January the PCLOB found [JURIST report] that the NSA’s phone surveillance program was illegal. Last year the ACLU in conjunction with the New York Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] filed suit [JURIST report] against the NSA challenging its phone data collection. Countries such as Brazil and Germany have passed legislation [JURIST report] aimed at eliminating privacy invasions due to excessive surveillance programs and data collection.