Wikileaks: NSA spying on top German officials for economic reasons

Pierluigi Paganini July 03, 2015

Wikileaks reveals an extended economic espionage activity conducted by the NSA in Germany, the spies were particularly interested in the Greek debt crisis.

Recently we spoke about the last collection of data disclosed by Wikileaks on NSA massive surveillance, highlighting the cyber espionage operations of the US intelligence against principal security firms and the France politicians, today we will discuss new revelations made by the organizzazione.

The latest release of documents reveals an extended economic espionage activity conducted by the NSA in Germany, the spies were particularly interested in the Greek debt crisis. The US intelligence targeted German government representatives due to their privileged position in the negotiations between Greece and the UE.

Julian Assange, editor-in-chief at Wikileaks, released the following declaration on Wednesday:

“[it] further demonstrates that the United States’ economic espionage campaign extends to Germany and to key European institutions and issues such as the European Central Bank and the crisis in Greece.” “Would France and Germany have proceeded with the BRICS bailout plan for Greece if this intelligence was not collected and passed to the United States – who must have been horrified at the geopolitical implications?” 

Some of the interceptions are dated classified as highly sensitive and documents were cleared for distribution among the “US-led ‘Five Eyes’ spying alliance of UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The espionage activity conducted by the NSA on German officials and politicians was economic in nature, according to the Wikileaks press release the operations are dated back 1990s, when US spies targeted phone numbers of officials in the German Ministry of Finance, including sometimes the ministers themselves.
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The NSA was also interested in Merkel’s discussions of “the positions of French leaders, and of the heads of the key institutions of the Troika: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and IMF Director Christine Lagarde,” with regard to the Greece crisis.

“The list of high priority targets for Germany are mostly telephone numbers within the finance ministry, some within the ministry of agriculture, a few within offices responsible for European policy, and advisors who assisted Merkel ahead of G7 and WTO meetings. One of the targets was within the European Central Bank itself.” states the DW news.

The evolution of the Greek bailout appears as one of the topics of interest for the NSA agents that “intercepted talk between Chancellor Merkel and her assistant, the Chancellor talks about her views on solutions to the Greek financial crisis and her disagreement with members of her own cabinet, such as Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, on matters of policy.”

“The report refers to an overview prepared by German Chancellery Director-General for EU Affairs Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut. Germany was, according to the intercept, opposed to giving a banking license to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), however it would support a special IMF fund into which the BRICS nations would contribute bolster to European bailout activities.” reports Wikileaks, citing documents gathered by the British Intelligence (GCHQ) and shared among the FiveEyes.

In time I’m writing the German government still hasn’t officially commented the documents leaked by WikiLeaks.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Wikileaks, NSA)

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