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The Lives of Other NATO Members: Germany Spied on its Allies Until Mid-2013

© AFP 2023 / JOHN MACDOUGALLA guest walks past a logo of Germany's intelligence agency the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND - Federal Intelligence Service)
A guest walks past a logo of Germany's intelligence agency the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND - Federal Intelligence Service) - Sputnik International
Germany's Federal Intelligence Service reportedly conducted surveillance on EU embassies until mid-2013.

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The German magazine Der Spiegel has reported that Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) spied on European and American organizations until 2013.

According to the Spiegel, the BND carried out surveillance on embassies and other bodies in several EU countries, as well as "other targets" in France and the United States, in what the Spiegel said was out of the area of the BND's work. 

The German newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, in turn, quoted sources in the German parliament, the Bundestag, as saying that at the time, the BND focused on collecting information related to the world's crisis spots, including Afghanistan.

Germany's snooping reportedly stopped in the summer of 2013, in a move initiated by Ronald Pofalla, then-Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs.

The Mitteldeutsche Zeitung claimed that the information was revealed during a meeting of Germany's Parliamentary Control Panel and the Bundestag's NSA Investigation Committee, which was attended by BND head Gerhard Schindler.

"It is clear that in any case the Office of Chancellor was in the know about what was happening, but they kept mum about it," the newspaper said.

Earlier it was reported that the US National Security Agency collaborated with Germany to spy on an array of European countries and their leaders.

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Among other things, the NSA tried to obtain information about the European Aeronautic Defence and Space company (now Airbus), as well as the French-German helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter. The NSA informed the BND about its surveillance activities, with the BND then briefing the Office of Chancellor on the matter.

The German media reported that the German Interior Ministry had given false answers to parliamentary questions about the scandal on several occasions. Separately, WikiLeaks disclosed information that the NSA tapped phone calls involving German Chancellors Angela Merkel, Gerhard Schroeder and Helmut Kohl.

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