• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
New report: NSA did more than just tap Merkel’s phone
Ban Ki Moon and Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

New report: NSA did more than just tap Merkel’s phone

The Local · 23 Feb 2016, 08:40

Published: 23 Feb 2016 08:40 GMT+01:00

The secret files seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) show that the NSA listened in as Merkel had private conversations with other European heads of government and with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon.

One of the stolen documents seen by the SZ contains details of a meeting between Merkel and then French president Nikolas Sarkozy with the ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2011.

The document describes how at the meeting the French and German leaders put pressure on Berlusconi to enact financial reform.

Information from this meeting seems to have been lifted from Berlusconi’s advisor Valentino Valentini who was quoted directly in the report, describing the mood as "very unfriendly."

In a conversation with Ban Ki Moon in 2008, Merkel discussed climate change and expressed hope that the EU could make progress on common environmental goals at a summit in Poland.

It is unclear how the NSA obtained the details of this conversation. But another document obtained by Wikileaks relating to the same time period shows that senior UN officials were seen as potential eavesdropping targets by the American spooks.

German-US relations were badly strained after fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed widespread US foreign surveillance.

DON'T MISS: Two years after Snowden: what we know so far

But Germany dropped a probe into the alleged tapping of Merkel's mobile phone in June 2013 for what was described as “a lack of evidence.”

Meanwhile, MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) are conducting their own inquiry into NSA spying and German security services' co-operation.

Story continues below…

Its chairman has himself been the target of an apparent hacking attack.

In 2015 it also became known that German intelligence service the BND had provided information to the NSA which allowed them to spy on senior European politicians and businessmen.

Critics have charged the German government with staying silent on the NSA’s activities for fear of damaging its close relationship to Washington.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Analysis
How Merkel reacts to crises better than other leaders
Photo: DPA

It is of critical importance for a country how a leader chooses to react to an act of terrorism. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cool head sets an example for the rest of the country.

Turkey demands Germany extradite Gülen supporters
Fethullah Gülen. Photo: DPA

Ankara called on Germany on Thursday to extradite supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of plotting a failed coup earlier this month.

German police raid 'hotbed of radicalization'
Police entering one of the residences. Photo: DPA

A mosque and eight residences were searched.

Germany boasts Europe's best value beaches
This beach just got named Europe's cheapest. Do you know where it is? Photo: DPA

Forget Mallorca or the Costa del Sol - the best beach bargains can be found in Germany. But where?

After rampages, Merkel says again: Wir schaffen das
Photo: DPA

Speaking for the first time after a Syrian refugee blew himself up in southern Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her commitment to helping refugees on Thursday.

The Local List
Germany's five most mind-boggling conspiracy theories
What's the point of this mysterious tower at Tempelhof Airport? Photo: DPA.

Think that wacky paranoid types only exist in the USA? Here’s a few crazy German conspiracies to prove you wrong.

Munich shooting
Gunman's friend arrested for 'planning school attack'
File photo: DPA

Police found chemicals and instructions for making explosives, as well as evacuation plans of his school in the youth's possession.

Bremen mall evacuated due to escaped psychiatric patient
Police outside the mall. Photo: DPA

The man had reportedly made worrying statements relating to Isis and last week's shooting in Munich.

German ambassador to Turkey left out in cold
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

The Turkish government has been giving German ambassador Martin Erdmann the cold shoulder for weeks, after German parliamentarians passed a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Ansbach suicide bomber was interviewed by Bulgarian TV
Photo: DPA

A Syrian who blew himself up outside a German music festival at the weekend was interviewed twice by Bulgarian television while living there in 2013, footage showed on Wednesday.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
11,042
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd