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Germany investigates claims that it helped the US spy on Europe

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 3, 2015
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Germany is more than a little nervous about US surveillance these days, and it's now anxious enough that it might just file charges. Federal prosecutors say they will investigate claims that the country's foreign intelligence outfit broke the law by helping the US' National Security Agency spy on European companies and governments for over a decade. Among other concerns, the NSA reportedly gave German spies 40,000 surveillance targets (such as internet addresses and phone numbers), several thousand of which were illegal.

A spokesperson stresses that the case is only in its "preliminary" stages. However, it's likely to gain momentum when Airbus is filing a complaint over the same surveillance, and a parliamentary committee is also looking into the scandal. If the investigation does take off, the US may find itself in even more trouble with one of its bigger allies -- and that, in turn, could cost it valuable business.

[Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

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