The United States’ National Security Agency and Great Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters have been exposed yet again.
Documents provided by whistle blower Edward Snowden reveal the agencies spied on private German companies as well as more than 100 world leaders. (Via Flickr / Fraktion DIE LINKE)
Der Spiegel reports Britain’s GCHQ spied on three German companies: Stellar, CETel, and IABG.
Stellar is a teleport service provider. The company says it specializes in "connecting America to the Middle East, Africa and Asia."
CETel is also a teleport service provider. Its network "extends to almost 2,000 remote sites in more than 50 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia."
IABG provides automotive, aeronautics, defense and security services. (Via YouTube / IABG)
GCHQ reportedly tapped into these companies to gain "wider knowledge of Internet traffic flowing through Germany."
In addition, a system called Nymrod monitored as many as 122 world leaders.
A writer for The Intercept says Nymrod’s purpose is to " 'find information relating to targets that would otherwise be tough to track down.' ... Nymrod sifts through secret reports based on intercepted communications as well as full transcripts of faxes, phone calls, and communications collected from computer systems."
This news comes amid tension caused when it was revealed that the U.S. was tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone calls.
Despite the leaks, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council told The Intercept the Obama administration is not monitoring Merkel’s communications. (Via Wikimedia Commons / א)
All of this surveillance could get the U.S. and Britain into some international legal trouble.
The Guardian reports German lawmakers may open an investigation into potential espionage crimes.