Debate about dealing with espionage affair

Republican Sensenbrenner proposes no-spy agreement, Bosbach for breaking off TTIP negotiations

After it became known that U.S. intelligence services had spied on the German Federal Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Defense, a debate has broken out about how to deal with the affair. Republican Congressman Frank James Sensenbrenner, one of the fathers of the Patriot Act, passed after the attacks on the World Trade Center, surprisingly proposed in the German news magazine Der Spiegel a bilateral treaty that would oblige both the U.S. and Germany to stop such espionage activities.

The U.S. has concluded such no-spy agreements with the so-called Five-Eyes states, with which it cooperates closely in intelligence matters: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Obama administration has not yet commented on Sensenbrenner’s proposal. Rand Paul, the most likely Republican presidential candidate in 2016, also did not respond to a Telepolis inquiry about how he would deal with the ie. In recent days, other U.S. politicians and media have repeatedly pointed out that it is not possible to give up spying in Germany because the 9.

Frank James Sensenbrenner. Photo: United States Congress.

CDU member of parliament Wolfgang Bosbach, on the other hand, also suspects tangible economic interests behind the intelligence activities, which he believes could harm German industry. He therefore advocates the suspension of negotiations on a transatlantic free trade agreement between the EU and the USA. The possibility of such a TTIP moratorium had previously been raised by German Justice Minister Heiko Maas of the SPD. However, he met with indirect criticism from within his own party, where Bundestag parliamentary group leader Thomas Oppermann had "Anti-Americanism" warned.

In addition to a debate about measures directed against the U.S., there is now also a discussion about whether German intelligence services’ own organizational failures are not also a contributing factor when secret information is leaked abroad: According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, an inquiry by the Verfangsschutz about a Defense Ministry employee who had been exposed as a spy landed on the desk of Markus R., who also sold secret information. R. is said to have forwarded the request to the Russian Consulate General in Munich without any special security precautions, thus showing his worth as a mole.

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