05:45 GMT +323 January 2020
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    Recently emerged reports reveal that Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, had systematically spied on friends and allies around the world to a much greater extent than previously reported on, and on its own accord, not simply at the request of the NSA, according to Der Spiegel magazine.

    The scale of Germany's intelligence agency BND spying activities on the US and European allies was much bigger than it was revealed before.

    In many of those instances, the BND had been doing so of its own accord and not at the request of the NSA.

    In October, it was revealed that BND used to spy on EU and US government agencies and embassies for years.

    The search terms used by the BND in its espionage included communications lines belonging to US diplomatic outposts in Brussels and the United Nations in New York. The list even included the US State Department's hotline for travel warnings.

    The information obtained by the German Der Spiegel magazine also showed that the spying activities went further and BND also spied on US Department of the Interior and EU interior ministries, including the ones of Austria, Croatia, Denmark and Poland, as well as on a number of NGOs, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.

    The magazine added that BND also monitored a broader number of embassies on the country's territory, including the one of Vatican City. This became possible due to the loophole in the German legislation that does not protect non-citizens from BND surveillance efforts.

    Earlier this year, German media revealed that US spies used BND's Bad Aibling listening post in southern Bavaria to spy on European targets, including political figures and corporations. A German parliamentary commission initiated an investigation into this case.

    Related:

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    Germany Justifies Investigation Into Journalists Who Disclosed Spy Targets
    New Data on NSA Spying on Germany Shows US Hypocrisy Toward Allies
    Tags:
    spying, surveillance, European Union, United States
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