The Socialist Democrat (SPD) Secretary General Yasmin Fahimi told Bild on Tuesday they had given the chancellery until June 8 to disclose the lists of so-called selectors – email addresses and phone numbers – that the NSA passed on to its German colleagues in Bavaria. SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel said this was not an ultimatum, but added that he expected Merkel to comply.
An unnamed US National Security Council spokesperson denied the suggestion, saying Obama has never contemplated threatening Berlin with skipping the Bavarian summit. But a US security source told Bild they considered an aftermath of a possible disclosure to be potentially more detrimental to the US-German intelligence cooperation than the 2013 Snowden scandal.
A spying scandal erupted in summer 2013 after documents posted online by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was snooping on world leaders using the Bad Aibling facility and had even bugged Merkel’s private cellphone. Despite the chancellor’s pledge of a no-spy deal with Washington, German media learned in April that unlawful surveillance by the NSA using German resources continued into 2015.