A Thursday report revealed that Germany’s foreign intelligence service spied on numerous official and business organizations in the United States, including the White House, for years.
Germany’s Spiegel weekly magazine claimed it has seen documents showing that Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, maintained a list of approximately 4,000 selector keywords for surveillance between 1998 and 2006.
According to The Local, the keywords included telephone and fax numbers, as well as email addresses at the White House and “U.S. finance and foreign ministries.”
Additional targets included military institutions such as the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps, NASA and the civic group, Human Rights Watch. The spying extended to hundreds of foreign embassies and the International Monetary Fund, Spiegel reported.
In 2013, Germany became outraged when information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed that U.S. agents were engaging in tapping worldwide, including of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.
Merkel contended at the time that “spying among friends is not on” even as she acknowledged Germany’s reliance on the U.S. regarding security matters.
Information later emerged revealing that the BND helped the NSA spy on European allies.
The scandal prompted Germany to approve new policies in June 2016 to limit the scope of the BND’s capabilities, including the implementation of greater oversight.
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