German lawmakers plan investigation into US spying

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Associated Press

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 20 at 11:34 AM

BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers have agreed to launch an inquiry into surveillance conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency and other foreign intelligence services, including the tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

Merkel's governing coalition and opposition lawmakers both voted Thursday to establish a parliamentary probe.

It will explore the scope of spying on Germans' private communications by America and its allies in the so-called "Five Eyes" network — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — and the extent of German officials' own knowledge of these covert operations.

The probe is expected to start next month.

Opposition lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele said parliamentary investigators should seek to question NSA leaker Edward Snowden, even though U.S. officials might object.

German federal prosecutors are mulling whether to open their own investigation into NSA activities.

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