German ministers quiz web firms on US surveillance

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BERLIN (AP) — German ministers have questioned major Internet companies about U.S. tracking of web activity, days before a visit to Berlin by President Barack Obama.

Officials said Microsoft and Google representatives attended a meeting Friday along with German industry groups; Facebook sent a reply to a series of questions and Apple didn't participate.

German ministers already are pressing Washington for information following public disclosures by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of two NSA programs, which collected millions of telephone records and track foreign Internet activity on U.S. networks.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said European-based company representatives at Friday's meeting didn't have information on the tracking program.

Merkel plans to raise the issue with Obama when he visits Berlin next week.

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