03:45 GMT28 November 2020
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    Data collection is only a small part of the NSA’s intelligence tasks. The main goal of the US’ intelligence agencies is to control politicians and managers in Europe, former head of the Austrian Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Gerd Polli, said in an interview with DWN.

    US espionage activities are designed to reinforce American interests and control European politicians and industry, the former official claimed.

    The key understanding of the NSA mission profile lies in US national economic interests. The main objective of US intelligence activities is no longer "national security" as it was before 9/11, but economic and industrial espionage against Europe, Polli said.

    Such a paradigm shift shows the strong interest of the United States in major European companies, especially in the transport, energy, telecommunications, critical infrastructure and IT sectors. The US pursues its long-term, strategic economic goals and seeks to eventually control these industry sectors.

    The French newspaper Libération recently reported that around one hundred major French corporations are affected by NSA spying activities. So it would not be surprising if the situation in Germany is similar, the former official stated.

    Espionage on European enterprises gives the US advantages in its strategic orientation. It helps to get insight into the primary markets of major industrial corporations, their domestic and international partners, their projects and their weak points.

    Another dimension of the US’ activities is the so called preparation for "Cyber War". These include the identification of IT weaknesses in industries responsible for the operation of critical national infrastructure.

    The US’ espionage activities have spread far beyond Europe. The latest scandal involving the NSA involved spying on Japanese cabinet officials. Japan has become the latest close US ally, joining France, Germany and Brazil to be revealed as a target for the NSA’s mass surveillance of high-ranking government officials.


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