I’ve been working on a longer post about the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the United States and the European Union, but recent allegations that US intelligence services have been bugging diplomatic missions of several of our European allies are threatening to put the entire project on ice. Der Spiegel, which broke the story this weekend, is now reporting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is “furious” and other officials are calling the monitoring “unacceptable” and “abhorrent“. European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding stated that “We cannot negotiate over a big trans-Atlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators.”, Der Speigel further reported.
So far the Obama administration has not had much to say in response. Initial statements from the President and Secretary of State John Kerry amount to “what’s the big deal, everybody does it” — a stance unlikely to reassure the Europeans.