Latest in Angelamerkel

Image credit:

NSA may have spied on 122 foreign leaders

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 29, 2014
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

We've known for a while that the NSA has spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other international leaders, but it now looks like that surveillance was just the tip of the iceberg. Der Spiegel and The Intercept have published an Edward Snowden leak revealing that the NSA snooped on as many as 122 foreign heads of state in 2009, ranging from Merkel to Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. A custom search system, Nymrod, helped the US agency both locate transcripts of those leaders' communications as well as secret reports. The National Security Council tells The Intercept that President Obama's administration hasn't tracked Merkel and doesn't plan to start, but it also didn't deny that the German leader had once been under close watch.

That's far from the only espionage to have taken place in Germany, however. Der Spiegel adds that Britain's GCHQ reportedly conducted wide-scale surveillance of German communications firms, including satellite providers Cetel and Stellar as well as equipment provider IABG. As with its Belgian monitoring operation, the UK looked for network administrators, executives and other "access chokepoints" it could use to infiltrate the companies' systems and spy on key suspects. GCHQ isn't commenting on the leak other than to say its actions are "authorised, necessary and proportionate." Germany begs to differ, though -- its Federal Prosecutor is investigating the possibility of espionage charges related to the breaches.

[Image credit: Remy Steinegger / World Economic Forum, Flickr]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Apple will replace unresponsive iPhone 11 screens for free

Apple will replace unresponsive iPhone 11 screens for free

View
The first phone with an under-display camera goes on sale December 21st

The first phone with an under-display camera goes on sale December 21st

View
The best Cyber Week tech deals you can still get today

The best Cyber Week tech deals you can still get today

View
Amazon’s free news app on Fire TV now features local stations

Amazon’s free news app on Fire TV now features local stations

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr