US spy agency asked German intelligence to snoop on Siemens: Report
Iran Press TV
Sun May 10, 2015 8:49PM
The US National Security Agency asked German intelligence service to spy on the European country's technology giant Siemens, a new report reveals.
The NSA suspected that Siemens was providing communications technology to a Russian secret service, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday, citing unnamed US intelligence sources.
The report added that it is not still clear whether Germany's intelligence service BND had in fact delivered any intelligence on Siemens to the NSA or not.
A Siemens spokesman told the newspaper that the company was 'not aware of any facts in the company's area of responsibility' that would give excuse making it a target of such surveillance.
The report comes a month after the BND was accused of helping the NSA target the Airbus Group, the French government and the European Commission.
The revelations have sparked a heated debate in Germany about the role of the intelligence agency and the damage that the scandal can cause for the country's relations with other European nations.
Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, began leaking classified intelligence documents in June 2013, revealing the extent of the NSA's spying activity.
The disclosures have revealed that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of millions of Americans and foreign nationals as well as political leaders around the world.
Snowden, who lives in Russia where he has been granted asylum, has said that US government surveillance methods far surpass those of an 'Orwellian' state, referring to George Orwell's classic novel "1984," which describes a society where personal privacy is continuously invaded by spy agencies.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries and their leaders, which included bugging German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone for a decade.
The revelations prompted Brazil and Germany to draft a United Nations General Assembly resolution aimed at restraining the NSA's surveillance programs against other nations.
Snowden told Germany's news weekly Spiegel that the latest reports of spying show that 'massive surveillance is a reality'.
'Industrial espionage is practiced and the intelligence services are working beyond the control of the representatives of the people and of justice,' he said.
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