NSA and BND, Who Is Spying on Whom?

Wo is spying on whom? (Image: Erdfunkstelle_Raisting_2_By Richard Bartz via Wikimedia Commons)
Wo is spying on whom? (Image: Erdfunkstelle_Raisting_2_By Richard Bartz via Wikimedia Commons)

Just as the news of the U.S. spying on Germany is becoming a faint whisper in the minds of many, a new case pops up. This time, it’s Germany’s BND that’s being accused of helping America’s NSA spy on European politicians.

Some fear that the coalition between U.S. intelligence agency NSA and Germany’s BND might have also been used to commit industrial espionage.

Chancellor Merkel defends German intelligence cooperation with NSA. (Image: Screenshot/Youtube)

Chancellor Merkel defends German intelligence cooperation with NSA. (Screenshot/Youtube)

Just recently, chancellor Angela Merkel defended the German intelligence agency against spying for NSA claims.

Apparently, Germany’s intelligence agency BND illegally helped the U.S. spy on European firms and officials.

Merkel said that in order to tackle the threat of international terrorism, it is necessary to collaborate, even among intelligence agencies. In her first official comment on the matter, Merkel said: “This ability to carry out its duties in the face of international terrorism threats is done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies—and that includes first and foremost, the NSA.”

According to former NSA contractor and U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, the “transatlantic intelligence collaboration” between BND and the National Security Agency has possibly been going on for at least a decade.

It was recorded that the BND shared sensitive records, including telephone numbers, email, and IP addresses it gathered, with the NSA.


Air France Airbus A318 F-GUGC. (Image: Philippe Noret—AirTeamimages/Wikimedia)

According to media, the French government and the European aviation giant Airbus have apparently fallen victim to this “intelligence coalition” and it’s activities.

In a statement, Airbus said: “We are aware that as a large company in the sector, we are a target and subject of espionage. However, in this case, we are alarmed because there is concrete suspicion of industrial espionage.”

Now, Austria has also filed a legal complaint against Germany’s BND and the United States’ NSA intelligence services. Apparently, their activities targeted authorities and companies, the Austrian interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said.

In a report, she was quoted saying: “Today, we have filed a legal complaint with the prosecutor’s office against an unknown entity due to secret intelligence services to Austria’s disadvantage.”

It seems that even high officials no longer can follow who is spying on whom. Mikl-Leitner also told Reuters recently: “Austria demands clarification”

All the news about espionage sounds like movie stuff. But the reality seems to call for people to come closer and begin trusting one another more.

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