A report by the Danish Radio and Television Corporation revealed that Washington, in cooperation with Danish intelligence, had spied on prominent European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The report said that the US National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropped Danish internet cables to spy on leaders and high-level officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway and France. The US agency had access to mobile messages, phone calls, and the Internet history that includes searches and chat services. Read also Protection systems do not exclude anyone .. What you should know about the new regulations to combat espionage in China Stratfor: Economic espionage is the weapon of the future in the hands of totalitarian regimes Spyware partners … The program “What is hidden is the greatest” reveals the wiretapping operations on the phones of media professionals and activists
The Swedish Defense Minister also called on Denmark to provide clarifications on the issue of espionage, which media reports said was coordinated by the US National Security Agency and the Danish intelligence.
In the first German reaction, Patrick Zinsberg, head of the parliamentary committee formed to investigate the case, was not surprised by the matter, and said that such eavesdropping cases are common practices and the intelligence services system must be understood, as he put it.
For its part, the Danish Ministry of Defense said that systematic wiretapping, in general, on close allies is unacceptable.
The Danish Radio and Television report stated that the US National Security Agency took advantage of a partnership with a foreign intelligence unit in Denmark to spy on senior officials in neighboring countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The authority said, citing 9 unnamed informed sources, that this is the conclusion of an internal investigation by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service into the role of the US National Security Agency in the partnership.
According to the investigation, which covers the years from 2012 to 2014, the US agency used Danish information cables to spy on senior officials in Sweden, Norway, France and Germany, including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, and former opposition leader in Germany Pierre Steinbrück.
Denmark, a close ally of the United States, hosts a number of undersea Internet cable drop-off stations to and from Sweden, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The Radio and Television Corporation said that the internal investigation of the Danish Defense Intelligence Service began in 2014 after concerns raised by the leaks of Edward Snowden in the previous year that revealed the modus operandi of the US National Security Agency.
The US agency exploited the “cable agreement” concluded between Denmark and the United States to spy on European officials.
The report indicated the existence of this espionage and the knowledge of the Danish intelligence about it in 2015, after one of the leakers warned against the Americans’ exploitation of very secret cable lines for communication between the two sides.
And the “cable agreement” concluded between the two countries, in the late 1990s, stipulates that Denmark will allow the United States to access telecommunications cables that pass through Denmark for the purpose of monitoring Russia and China.
In Washington, the US National Security Agency did not respond to a request for comment, and the director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. A spokesman for the Danish Defense Intelligence Service declined to comment.