According to a Danish radio report, the National Security Agency collected information from politicians in Germany, France, Sweden and Norway through the Danish intelligence services. In addition to Merkel, the then head of German diplomacy, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and opposition leader Per Steinbrueck were the subjects of American concern. According to Reuters, a spokeswoman for Merkel said that he had heard the report from the media and declined to comment.
A similar accusation arose in 2013, when a former CIA collaborator, Edward Snowden, released a number of classified information that exposed a large extent of US electronic and phone espionage. The surveillance covered tens of millions of Americans and politicians from other countries, including Merkel. The White House did not fully deny the allegations at the time, but said that the German chancellor’s phone had not and will not be tapped.
An internal investigation by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service began, according to the doctor, in 2014. This was due to concerns raised by Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s operations. According to a DR report reported by several European news agencies, the NSA gained access to text messages and phone calls from several prominent personalities by calling Danish internet cables in cooperation with Danish foreign intelligence.
A procedure called “Operation Dunhammer” by the NSA, according to Dr. DR, allowed data collection after politicians’ phone numbers were found.
Neither the Danish Ministry of Defense nor intelligence officials responded to the latest report. Likewise, the National Security Agency did not respond to a request for comment, while the DNI office declined to comment on the matter, according to Reuters.
Snowden said on Twitter after the report was released on Sunday that incumbent Joe Biden was “deeply involved in the scandal” at the time, adding that the whole matter should be declassified. Biden was Vice President at the time.
In the United States, Snowden is accused of stealing government property, unauthorized disclosure of state defense information, and intentional disclosure of classified intelligence. So he took refuge in Russian exile. Before publishing information on the extent of US espionage, US intelligence officials insisted that the NSA had not intentionally collected it.