Spiegel reported that after spying on its journalists, the CIA informed the German government's intelligence services coordinator, Gunter Heiss, of its suspicions of contact between Spiegel journalists and officials in the government, specifically Hans Josef Vorbeck, one of Heiss' deputies in the service. Vorbeck was subsequently transferred to a different position
"Spiegel editors were spied on by the CIA — and the federal government did nothing."
The revelation that the magazine had been spied upon extends the known reach of the NSA's espionage activities in Germany from the German government to the media; in October 2013 Spiegel itself reported that officers from the NSA used the US Embassy in Berlin as a base to monitor cellphone communication in the German government.
One of the cellphones allegedly bugged was that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On Thursday Wikileaks released communication between the Chancellor and her personal assistant which was intercepted by the NSA in 2011, detailing the content of Merkel's conversations on EU financial affairs, and the Greek debt crisis.