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Germany says 'nein' to NSA hacking prosecution

Says it lacks evidence to pursue case against Merkel hackers

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Officials in Germany are not planning to pursue charges over allegations that the NSA was spying on German citizens and government officials.

According to a German media report, officials do not believe they have enough evidence to press charges, even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel is thought to have been one of the targets of the surveillance.

The report suggests that German authorities have not been able to convince the media outlets that broke the story, including Der Spiegel, to name their sources or provide the documents behind their reports. As a result, prosecutors are said to lack the evidence needed to move forward with a case.

Last year, reports surfaced that the Chancellor's BlackBerry handset was being tapped by the NSA and her calls may have been passing through US surveillance for years via a listening station at the US Embassy in Berlin.

Fallout from the report drew sharp condemnation from government officials in both countries and both called for the resignation of prominent officials.

When Der Spiegel first gave word of the surveillance, the paper cited amongst its sources information leaked by former US contractor and self-described government spy Edward Snowden. Subsequent reports claimed that the US went so far as to tap into Germany's satellite communications systems.

While actual legal charges may not be on the horizon, fallout from the incident is still being felt and will likely continue to have an impact on relations between Germany in the US in the coming years.

Since the reports surfaced, other countries have gone on to lob similar accusations at US foreign intelligence agencies, while Merkel has advocated for the establishment of secured domestic communications networks in the EU that would be safe from the prying eyes of American spies. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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