“If the information is correct,” Macron said during a statement to the press after a virtual Franco-German summit, these practices are “unacceptable among allies, and even less acceptable among European allies and partners.”
Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the tapping of Merkel’s cellphone by the US National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 after she shared documents with The Guardian, showing that a US official called the agency 200 phones Numbers were assigned, including phone numbers of world leaders. Agency for Monitoring.
Denmark’s independent public service broadcaster, DR, published a report on Sunday stating that the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE) launched an internal investigation into whether the NSA used its partnership with FE, and Danish Internet cable inside and outside Denmark, according to Reuters, to spy on senior European officials.
The DR spoke to close to nine unnamed sources of the FE investigation, Reuters said.
In a statement sent to CNN, Denmark’s Defense Minister Trine Bramsen said, “The Danish government can and will not comment on speculation in the media concerning our intelligence services.”
“The Danish government’s position is clear – systematic targeting against our close allied partners is unacceptable. Clearly, this is a well-established principle that Danish authorities follow,” she said.
The FE completely declined to comment on the report. The NSA also declined to comment.
Merkel said on Monday that she agreed with French President Emmanuel Macron’s claim that wiretapping between allies was unacceptable. Citing the initial claims raised in 2013, Merkel said, “Nothing has changed in our stance for the clarification given by the predecessor at that time.”
“We focus on current and trusting relationships. And what was right at that time still persists today,” she said.
Merkel said, “I am relieved that the Danish government, the defense minister, said very clearly what she thinks about these things and to that extent I am not only to clarify matters, but to be a truly trustworthy I see a good basis for building a relationship. ” .
Germany’s federal government “is in touch with all relevant international and national authorities to gain clarity on this issue,” Merkel spokesman Stephen Seibert also said at a government press conference in Berlin on Monday.
Senior officials in Sweden, France and Norway were also spied on using Danish information cables, the DR investigation found, according to Reuters, apparently confirming earlier findings made in Snowden files
The DR report also found that the NSA spied Germany’s then foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now the country’s president, and former German opposition leader Pir Steinbrook, Reuters reported.
DR reported that the intelligence was collected through analysis of software called Xkeyscore developed by NSA. Reuters reported that the agency “intercepted both telephone, text and chat messages from officers’ telephones in neighboring countries, citing the DR report.”
Ivana Kottasova, Amy Cassidy, Alex Marquardt and Colin Ivory Mayer of CNN contributed to the reporting.