Berlin put on back foot by German spying reports

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pictured here in Brussels on April 23, 2015, faces embarrassing reports of German spying on European firms on behalf of the United StatesLong portrayed as a victim of snooping by allies, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Monday grappled with embarrassing reports of German spying on European firms on behalf of the United States. The German chancellor’s office was informed in 2008 during Merkel’s first term of German involvement in US economic espionage but did not react, the Bild daily reported Monday, citing intelligence agency documents. Hard on the heels of media reports last week, questions have now arisen about the oversight and management of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency as well as its supervision at the highest political levels. The US National Security Agency (NSA) sought to spy on businesses in Europe such as Airbus via the BND’s monitoring station at Bad Aibling in the southern state of Bavaria, the mass circulation newspaper said.

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