A quid pro quo… seriously?
BERLIN, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) — Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) eavesdropped on calls made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, German media Der Spiegel and Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported on Saturday.
According to reports, the BND tapped a satellite phone conversation Kerry made in 2013 as part of its surveillance of telecommunications in the Middle East and also recorded a conversation between Clinton and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan a year earlier.
The three officials were reportedly not directly targeted with phone calls collected by accident within the context of other operations.
In addition, the media in Saturday’s report also cited a confidential 2009 BND document listing fellow NATO member Turkey as a target for German intelligence gathering.
If true, the revelations would be embarrassing for the German government, which has spent months complaining to Washington about alleged American spy activities in Germany.
In July, the German government asked the representative of the U.S. intelligence agencies in Berlin to leave Germany as consequence of a latest U.S. spy row. Great anger was sparked in Germany due to reports that the U.S. intelligence had led two employees of German authorities as spies.
Last year, revelations of U.S. data gathering practices by Edward Snowden, especially allegations about the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone, have led to explicit criticism in Germany and strained relations between Germany and the United States.
Editor: Yamei Wang