German Opposition Accuses Merkel of Failing to Control Spy Agency
14:14 27.04.2015(updated 14:30 27.04.2015)
NSA reportedly passed a list of 800,000 IP addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to the German BND for monitoring, including the IP addresses of European companies and politicians.
BERLIN (Sputnik) – Chancellor Angela Merkel's office does not have enough control over the activities of Germany's BND foreign intelligence service that allegedly helped the US NSA to spy on European politicians and companies, a German Green Party member said Monday.
Last week, German media reported that the BND could have been spying on European targets upon requests from NSA. According to Zeit newspaper, NSA passed a list of some 800,000 IP addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to the BND for monitoring. It turned out later that some of the IP addresses belonged to European politicians and companies, including the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).
In the light of these reports, the chancellery representatives were invited to speak before a parliamentary commission. Following the meeting, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said 'technical and organizational deficiencies' were identified in the work of the BND. He stressed, however, that there was no indication of mass espionage against Europeans.
'We need to find out if the BND intelligence lied to us, and this fact has practically been confirmed, but was the chancellor's office aware of it? The chancellor's office executes direct control over the BND… so it is the question to the chancellor, to which extent she controls her office,' Hans-Christian Stroebele, also a member of a parliamentary committee on security services, said in an interview with German ZBD television.
The Green lawmaker stated that it is crucially important to find out whether the BND had passed information on people and companies from the NSA list to the United States.
'It is obvious that if this work was conducted with the consent of the chancellor's office it violated German law,' he said.
Cybersecurity concerns in Germany remain high since the spying scandal of the summer of 2013 when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that Washington was eavesdropping on European politicians.
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