Senior Merkel ally slams U.S. for lax data control

BERLIN (BestGrowthStock) – A top official in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said he was shocked how sloppily the United States policed sensitive data and that it had failed to live up to its responsibilities as a global power.

Volker Kauder, leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in parliament, told a German newspaper the WikiLeaks disclosures showed the United States needed to improve data protection.

“How can a world power be so sloppy in the way it deals with data protection? It’s irresponsible, and it’s not in the interests of the United States either,” he told Bild am Sonntag.

“It’s shocking when you find out that more than two million people in the United States had access to this sensitive data,” he added, referring to media reports that cite this number.

Revelations in the WikiLeaks reports have made headlines across the world, and details sourced from the U.S. embassy about Germany’s ruling center-right coalition have put Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle under pressure.

Earlier this week, it emerged that the man who later became office manager at the party headquarters of Westerwelle’s Free Democrats (FDP) had passed on information to the embassy during the talks leading up to the formation of Merkel’s government.

Weekly magazine Der Spiegel said Helmut Metzner, who has been moved to another job, had carried on supplying the U.S. embassy with information after the government took office. This prompted calls from the party for his removal at the weekend.

Kauder said U.S. ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy “would not have it easy” in the next few months, but added the government will not seek his removal.

Lawmakers needed to hold discussions with online providers of data about how to tighten security and that individuals needed to have a right to delete information, Kauder said.

“Google should not be able to do more than the state,” he said in an interview published a day after Merkel said on her weekly podcast that not enough rules had been set for the web.

Speaking ahead of an IT summit in the eastern city of Dresden on Tuesday, Merkel said the rights of the individual had to take precedence in legislation for the internet.

(Reporting by Dave Graham)

Senior Merkel ally slams U.S. for lax data control