The chief of staff for German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with the ambassador for the United States today to talk about allegations that U.S. spies bugged senior government ministers.
"The Chancellor's Chief of Staff has invited U.S. Ambassador John Emerson to a meeting because of the new bugging revelations. The conversation is due to take place on Thursday afternoon," a source told Reuters.
Privacy is a particularly sensitive issue in Germany due to its experience of extensive surveillance by the Stasi secret police during the Cold War and the Gestapo in the Nazi era. The scandal, triggered by revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has caused a chill in relations between Berlin and Washington.
Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily and broadcasting network ARD reported that the NSA targeted 69 telephone and fax numbers in the German government administration. They based their reports on documents released on the Wikileaks website.