The US stands accused of snooping on the phone calls of several world leaders, including Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel – perhaps even David Cameron.
An outraged Merkel personally contacted President Obama for an explanation, with much at stake between the two allies.
He reassured her that The US National Security Agency was not monitoring her calls and would not do so in future. Yet the US President did not say whether her calls had been ever monitored in the past.
Hoping to hold further talks with the US to settle the matter, Merkel told the BBC: “I’ve made it clear to the US president that spying on friends is not acceptable.”
MM took to the streets of Piccadilly to ask the people of Manchester how they’d feel about having their phone hacked by someone they trusted.
Could you forgive someone you trust for listening in on your phone calls?
Ken Whitfield, 60, a retired engineer from Salford, said: “It’s an invasion of privacy, underhand and sneaky. What would they be doing with the information they’re gathering? They should have more respect.”
Rachel Jordan, 23, a trainee primary school teacher from Bury, believes the US should definitely be reprimanded, but isn’t so firm when it comes to her own phone calls.
She said: “It would depend on the situation, but I’d feel a bit disappointed.”
Bill Kohler, 65, holidaying in Manchester from Nevada, agreed and said: “I don’t think I could trust them again.”
Carl Fitzsimmons, a 53-year-old CCTV operator from Failsworth, said: “It’s like being burgled. They have entered the privacy of a private world. I’d want nothing to do with them.”
Sales assistant Jackie Raggett, 45, from Blackley, said: “I wouldn’t be impressed. I’d be really annoyed.”
Ellen Whittle, 58, a retired nurse from Fallowfield, would forgive if it was done for the right reasons, such as if she was in danger.
However, she added: “If it was to spread horrible gossip, no! It’s one of the reasons I don’t like Facebook.”
Nichola Whittle, 42, a baker from Oldham, said: “A phone call is private. Friends shouldn’t have to spy – they should be able to ask you something to your face.”
But fellow baker Charlotte Whittle, 21, said: “I never hold grudges against anybody. Life’s too short to have enemies.”
Picture courtesy of Thomas Levinson, with thanks.