12/03/2021 05:42:07 pm

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German Agent Suspected of Spying for US

NSA spying on German leader?

(Photo : REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met recently at the G7 Summit in Brussels June 2014. Merkel had earlier called Obama to discuss reports of US spy agencies hacking into her cellphone and doing other surveillance activities in Germany.

German police have arrested an employee of the country's foreign intelligence service BND on suspicion of spying for US intelligence, collecting documents related to the investigation of alleged US espionage activities in Germany, and passing them on to American agents.

The 31-year-old employee male employee was arrested Wednesday, according to a statement of the federal prosecutor's office.

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A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office only confirmed the arrest, but would not give out further information.

German media outlets later mentioned the suspect worked for BND, and was caught spying while monitoring proceedings in parliament's investigation of American espionage activities on German officials, agencies, and even private citizens.

The reports did not say whether BND knew of his alleged links with the American spy agency.

Last year, stories about the US National Security Agency (NSA) spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel circulated among German media, after a former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked several batches of sensitive NSA documents to a number of media contacts.

Among the documents are records of spying activities allegedly made by the NSA on the German chancellor, including tapping into Merkel's mobile phone. 

Snowden's revelations are part of the basis for the German parliament's investigation, which started only last month.

The whistle-blower is believed to be still in Russia after the country granted him a one-year asylum starting in August last year.  

Meanwhile, German IT professionals are up in arms against the NSA after public broadcaster ARD revealed that the intelligence agency has been targeting an international group of hackers in its spying activities.

ARD published an analysis of the NSA's programming code suggesting that the agency had hacked into the servers of Chaos Computer Club (CCC) which advocates freedom of information and transparency in government, and campaigns for the universal access to computers.

The broadcaster did not reveal how it got access to the NSA code, leading German media to speculate that there could be another leak source aside from Edward Snowden.

Snowden is believed to be in Russia after the country granted him a one-year asylum starting in August last year. 

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