Former NSA Director: 'Shame On Us'

In a SPIEGEL interview, former NSA director Michael Hayden, 69, discusses revelations of US spying on Germany made public in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, surveillance against German leaders and tensions between Berlin and Washington.

Michael Hayden, 69, served as the director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005. After leaving the NSA, he served as director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009. Today he is a partner at the consulting firm Chertoff Group in Washington, DC.

SPIEGEL recently sat down with the former US Air Force general in Washington for a wide-ranging interview on revelations from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, including allegations that the intelligence agency spied on the cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that have been the source of significant trans-Atlantic tensions.

SPIEGEL: General Hayden, let's speak about the future of the Internet. Are you concerned?

Hayden: I am very concerned. This may be the single greatest, most destructive effect from the last 10 months of what Mr. Snowden has revealed. The Internet was begun in the United States and it is based on American technology, but it's a global activity. We in the United States feel it reflects free people, free ideas and free trade. There are countries that do not want the Internet as we know it. Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia. The Snowden revelations will now allow them to argue that we Americans want to keep a single, unitary Internet, because it just helps us spy. My fear is that the disclosures may have set a motion in progress that ends up really threatening the Internet as we know it...


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