It's a shocker....at least to a German. Today, the Suddeutsches Zeitung (a liberal paper in Germany)....claims that the eavesdropping onto Chancellor Merkel's cellphone....may have occurred from the US Consulate there in Berlin.
Evidence? There's not much there, and that's really the other side of this shocking news. Basically, they simply look at the options and how the eavesdropping would work, and then note the locations.
I pulled area up on Goggle World, and you can judge for yourself. When the US came to realize that a new united Berlin would exist there in the late 1980s, and that the Bundestag would open in the same old location....they wanted prime real estate to show the great relationship between the two. Germany.....over twenty years ago...made a decision to put the new consulate (to be built a decade later)....less than one thousand feet away. It was prime real estate....worth hundreds of millions.
So, for reference....on the center of the top of the map is the building with the round top, next to the river....the Bundestag.
The four-lane road cutting across the park left to right? That leads to the Brandenburg Gate. Just south of the Gate....maybe 200 feet...is the US Embassy.
The problem here....is that there's no actual evidence....just speculation. So, this feeds the German imagination. The political figures will ask the technology folks and they will simply state that if you operate a Blackberry or unsecure phone....within that thousand feet area.....yes, it probably can be compromised. Did the US conduct eavesdropping? No one has yet to show any of this to be factual.....just imagined.
We have a hyped out German public.....a couple of political parties feeding off the chaos.....all feeling negative about President Obama, the massive NSA machine, and fallen American standard of the 1960s that they knew and loved.
What next? Secure phones for all the political folks? Maybe a jammer parked on the street in front of the US Embassy? German eavesdropping trucks parked at all four corners of the US Embassy? One could go run through some crazy scenarios, and just laugh over how we got this far into a fairly screwed up mess.
You can't move the US Embassy. You can't move the Bundestag. The Russians and Chinese have to both be laughing their ass off at the various games being played out. No one seems worried that both might be spying on both the Germans and the Americans.
This weekend ought to be interesting for the German political chat enthusiasts. The evil Americans, the failed Presidency, the spies, the eavesdropping, a chaotic NSA, etc. Man, you'd think it's 1936 all over again. Duju Vu!