Steffan Seibert, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, cautioned that it is important to wait until the allegations are investigated before action is taken. He then advised US Embassy staff in Berlin to “keep physical distance from” the light fixtures, even if they are emitting a barely-audible tone, seem to be broken or appear to have tiny cameras installed in them.
The European Commission joined the outpouring of indignation. “If these claims of spying are true, then our transatlantic ties will suffer,” spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said. “Allies don’t spy on each other. They don’t peep on each other, not even a little bit.” She added: “Just one small piece of advice for American officials staying in the Sofitel Hotel in the Brussels city center. There’s no need to bring your own laptops. Hotel staff will provide you with one that you can return at your convenience. Free Wi-Fi included.”
Even Russia, a nation once known to have sophisticated surveillance devices in all of Moscow’s foreign embassies, condemned the US. “Times have changed,” said Kremlin representative Dimitri Peskov during a scheduled visit to Rome. “The Cold War is over. The days of massive spying programs are finished. We can only hope the Americans will grow up.” As he spoke, members of his security detail lingered near the entrance to the press room, brushing off from their sleeves what appeared to be lint. “And just something I forgot to say earlier to the reporters gathered here. If you have the sensation that little mites are entering your skin, don’t be alarmed. It is just the quality of [the] water in your hotel shower.”