20:18 GMT +322 October 2019
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    German flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File)

    German Government Knew About NSA Espionage on Its Soil Since 2001

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    New secret dossiers of the German government published by WikiLeaks last week revealed that the Federal Government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was informed - "very early and in detail" - about espionage operations of the US and Great Britain on German soil.

    It turned out that the information about spy activities of the US and Great Britain was known to the German government since 2001.

    "As early as in May 2001, twelve years before the revelations made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, German security authorities knew about the spying activities of the US intelligence agency NSA and the British intelligence service GCHQ," German magazine Der Focus wrote, referring to WikiLeaks documents.

    According to the documents, on May 11, 2001, Secretary of State in Germany's Ministry of Interior Claus-Henning Schapper was informed about the fact that Washington and London were tapping the Chancellery, Ministries and the Bundestag.

    Another document stated that the US and British intelligence services carried out "targeted" espionage activities to learn more about political decisions made in the German capital. In particular, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Police knew about the existence of the camouflaged aerials in the embassies of the USA and Great Britain, with the help of which the governmental quarter could have been extensively spied on.

    The documents showed "that not only was the NSA spying on the whole world, but it had also partnered with the intelligence services of particular states to spy on their citizens and those of the surrounding regions. One of these countries is Germany, which has had a close relationship with the US in military and intelligence matters since its occupation by US forces in WWII. The US has been shown to use its bases in Germany and its relationship with German intelligence to spy on German citizens as well as European Union institutions," a WikiLeaks statement said.

    Last April, an espionage scandal gripped Germany as local media uncovered that the BND had provided technical assistance to the US National Security Agency (NSA) in spying on European targets, including top political figures and corporations. The BND is believed to have spied on some 800,000 IP addresses, phone numbers and email addresses at the request of US intelligence.

    Recently, WikiLeaks published 2,400 documents on the NSA spying affair, according to which Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) was involved in the creation of the spy software that was later used by the NSA to tap top-ranking officials. It was also said that BND used the software in its work.

    Related:

    US Says Germany Remains Crucial Partner Despite Espionage Scandal
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