COPENHAGEN (ANP / AFP / RTR) – The US National Security Agency (NSA), in cooperation with Danish intelligence, spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European figures. This is written by DR Danish Public Radio on the basis of an yet to be published internal investigation by the Danish intelligence service. The National Security Agency used the European Network of Internet Cabling, of which there are significant nodes in Denmark.
There are several important terminals for submarine internet cable in Denmark, operating to and from Germany, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, among others. These cables allowed intelligence services to view text messages and phone conversations, and, for example, use the Internet as search history. At least from 2012 to 2014, Denmark and the United States had benefited from this network. This information was not collected only from Angela Merkel. Notables in France, Norway and Sweden are said to have been spied on by the National Security Agency. Additionally, former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is said to have been spied on as well.
The spying discovery was already described by the NSA in cooperation with Denmark by broadcaster DR last year. The Danish Minister of Defense, who assumed this position in June 2019, was briefed on the espionage practices in August 2020. I found this to be “unacceptable”. The Danish National Security and Intelligence Agency has yet to respond to these allegations. The Norwegian and Swedish defense ministers say in local media that they are taking the revelations seriously and are asking for more information.
The head of the Danish intelligence service was arrested in August 2020, along with three other employees, for committing grave breaches. These violations were completed by an independent investigation. In response, the Danish government has launched an investigation that is due to be completed by the end of this year.
The German government says it has also seen the letter and wants clarification. A government spokesman said, “We are in contact with all relevant national and international bodies in this regard.” And stresses that the German authorities, in principle, never go into details on “matters related to the activities of the intelligence services.”