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Transatlantic Relations Between Germany And U.S. Are At Stake

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The alleged spying on behalf of the National Security Agency by an employee of Germany's intelligence agency and the transmission of state secrets and classified information to the CIA, as well as the newest reports of an additional case of spying, provide troubling evidence of the American intelligence community's terrible activities against democratic institutions in Germany.

Germany's federal prosecutor has now been called upon to make a rapid and comprehensive investigation and to expose the extent of these affairs.

At the behest of the Social Democratic Party faction in German parliament, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee is now busy clarifying the matter without delay. It is vitally important to carefully follow up on the allegations and attain a clear picture of the current situation.

But clarification alone isn't enough. We have to go beyond that and carefully analyze our options regarding Germany's future position on espionage and counterespionage.

Nobody wants a global digital arms race. Nobody wants global data mining.

Germany can't sit idly by as even the friendliest nations surveil German citizens as a matter of course and spy on the government's internal affairs. This has to end! It's just not appropriate. The U.S. needs to finally put its intelligence services on a tighter leash.

In addition to increasing the defensive capacity of security agencies, adequate measures must be taken to counter the efforts of foreign spies and spying attempts. The counterespionage of Germany's intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Military Counterintelligence Service must be intensified and improved.

We need 360-degree vision. And in the future we can't rule out investigating the intelligence operations of allied nations. What's certain is that we need to redefine and readjust our own activities.

The current case shows that we urgently need to improve transatlantic relations. Many Germans have come to distrust the U.S. and are critical of American arrogance. German-American relations suffer from these incidents. In the past the U.S. has always been one of our most reliable partners. This should remain the case in the future as well. Breaches of trust don't help in that regard.

This article was translated from German and was originally published on HuffPost Germany.