World Bulletin / News Desk
The National Security Agency systematically spied on the communications of European allies for nearly two decades according to freshly leaked documents released Wednesday by whistle-bowing website WikiLeaks.
The classified documents, which WikiLeaks is calling “The Euro Intercepts”, showcase a long-term initiative to spy on the communications of German and French economic and government officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal assistant.
One document shows that the NSA and its British counterpart snooped on the conversations among German leadership as they dealt with Greece’s economic crisis in 2011.
"Today's publication further demonstrates that the United States' economic espionage campaign extends to Germany and to key European institutions and issues such as the European Central Bank and the crisis in Greece,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said in a statement.
The site also leaked a list of 69 German government phone numbers that the NSA considered valued targets for interceptions. Some of the officials served in the late 1990s, showing that the program dates back to at least the Clinton administration. The list includes fax numbers, showing that the agency targeted the now-outdated communications technology.
The timing of the leak coincides with the German government’s dropping of an investigation into NSA spying on Merkel, as well as a perceived collaboration between Merkel and the agency by many German citizens.
Assange also believes information collected with the spying program helped the U.S. convince European countries to reject a bailout plan for Greece by the global development bank BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
“Our publication today also shows how the UK is assisting the US to spy on issues central to Europe,” Assange continued. “Would France and Germany have proceeded with the BRICS bailout plan for Greece if this intelligence was not collected and passed to the United States – who must have been horrified at the geopolitical implications?"Last Mod: 02 Temmuz 2015, 11:10