The following are edited excerpts from Google.Translate's English version of Der Speigel's report. The original article in German is available here.
On Tuesday, while attending a meeting of the "Atlantic Bridge," Former US President Jimmy Carter said, with reference to recent revelations about US National Security Agency spying on US citizens and allies alike, "America has no functioning democracy now."
Previously, the Democrat had been very critical of the practices of U.S. intelligence. "I think the invasion of privacy has gone too far," Carter told CNN. He also stated that the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden were "likely to be useful because they inform the public."
Carter has repeatedly warned that the United States has sharply declined in moral authority due to excessive restriction of civil rights.
Carter was the 39th President of the United States, holding office from 1977 to 1981. During his tenure, he tried to align U.S. foreign policy to better serve human rights. After his retirement from active politics he received the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work.
The President lamented the growing political divide in the United States, the excessive influence of money in U.S. election campaigns and the confusing American election rules.
Carter spoke of the triumphs of modern technology that had brought democratic progress to countries of the Arab Spring, but noted that these developments are endangered by the NSA spying scandal causing major U.S. Internet platforms such as Google and Facebook to lose credibility worldwide.