NSA Used German Intelligence to Spy on Offices of French President and other EU Allies
Intelligence spying involving the United States and Germanyis once again in the news, only this time the rift isn’t between the two allies.
Unlike the 2013 revelation that the National Security Agency had spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the latest snooping hoopla has the NSA using Germany’s electronic listening technology to spy on other European allies, including the leader of France. The American-German cooperation went on for at least a decade, according to a parliamentary investigation in Berlin.
The news is a major embarrassment for Merkel, who was so vocal two years ago about the NSA tapping her cell phone calls. “You don’t spy on your friends,” Merkel said at the time.
But Germany’s intelligence agency, BND, did just that beginning in 2002 by sharing intelligence gathered from its “largest electronic eavesdropping facility in Bavaria to monitor email and telephone traffic at the Élysée Palace, the offices of the French president, and of key EU institutions in Brussels including the European commission,” according to The Guardian.
The German official most at risk of losing his job is Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, who is close to Merkel and may have lied about the German collaboration with the NSA.
Der Spiegel reported that the NSA may have also used the Bad Aibling intelligence complex in Bavaria to monitor communications from European defense company EADS (now known as Airbus Group) and the helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter.