4 Aug 2013

Germany ends spy pact with US and Britain

10:00 am on 4 August 2013

Germany has cancelled a Cold War-era pact with the United States and Britain after disclosures about electronic surveillance operations.

The disclosures by former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, who has since obtained asylum in Russia, have sparked outrage in Germany, where elections are due next month.

The BBC reports the agreement cancelled on Friday gave the United States, Britain and France the right to request surveillance operations to protect their troops stationed in West Germany.

"The cancellation of the administrative agreements, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a necessary and proper consequence of the recent debate about protecting personal privacy," said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a statement.

Germany has strong data protection laws. The BBC reports mass surveillance under the Communist and Nazi dictatorships makes Germans particularly sensitive to perceived infringements of personal privacy.

The Foreign Office in in London said that the agreement had not been in use since 1990.