Moreover, Bild am Sonntag reported in late April that Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had been aware of the espionage activities since at least 2008 but kept silent when responding to lawmakers’ requests.
“I think what’s important here is that friends do not spy on each other. The answer is that it should not be so. We are at the disposal of respective parliamentary bodies, the Chancellor’s office is ready to provide all necessary information. This process is already under way. We are also consulting the United States,” Merkel said during a press briefing with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
The NSA is believed to have passed a list of some 800,000 IP addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses to the BND for monitoring, some of which belonged to European politicians and companies.
Revelations about BND involvement in spying activities follow a major scandal in 2013, when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed a large-scale US Internet and phone surveillance program. Snowden also revealed that the NSA monitored the calls of 35 world leaders, including those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.