According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which is quoted by Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Barack Obama learned this summer that foreign heads of state and government, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were being spied on by the NSA.

The Swiss daily claims that the US President immediately ordered the cessation of these monitoring programmes, and that the activities of the NSA began to be subject to tighter controls in the wake of the disclosures by Edward Snowden. For the NZZ

… setting aside the fact that secret activities are never negotiated in public, the fact that, to date, no member of the Obama administration has taken the time to state a position on this matter is a testament to American indifference. Everything that we have learned has come from hearsay or from anonymous sources within the administration.