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Hold the line: Uncle Sam listens in to unsuspecting European allies

   People's Daily   14:06, June 11, 2021

Citing news from Danish state broadcaster DR, Reuters reported on May 30 that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) used a partnership with Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit to spy on senior officials of neighboring countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish media that he “demanded full information”. Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen meanwhile told the media that he took the allegations seriously. A spokesperson for the German chancellery said it only became aware of the allegations when asked about them by journalists, and declined to comment further.

According to the investigation, which covered the period from 2012 to 2014, the NSA used Danish information cables to spy on senior officials in Sweden, Norway, France and Germany, including former German opposition leader Peer Steinbrück who told media that he thought it was “grotesque that friendly intelligence services are indeed intercepting and spying on top representatives” of other countries. “Politically I consider it a scandal,” Steinbrück said.