German press published comments by fugitive US whistleblower, Edward Snowden, on just how “massive” international espionage really is.
During a video conference with Snowden on Friday, the scandal over Germany’s alleged joint spying with the US on European companies and officials took center stage.
Snowden tells Der Spiegel weekly, “Massive surveillance is a reality. Industrial espionage is practiced and the intelligence services are working beyond the control of the representatives of the people and of justice.”
The 31-year old former contractor for the US National Security Agency continues to live in exile in Russia. He’s been there since 2013 after revealing a mass spying program by the US and its allies.
Snowden points out that when he first made his revelations, many people doubted him, but, “then, the facts are there,” he said.
After revealing the extent of the NSA spy program, the US branded him a traitor and hacker, saying he’s endangered lives.
After this latest Germany scandal, German media are accusing the German BND intelligence service of helping the US spy on people and events such as the European Commission, the Airbus Group and the French presidency.
Snowden points out that the amount of the requests from the NSA to German BND, “could only exist in the context of massive surveillance,” adding that it was time to “attack the problem”.
According to Der Spiegel weekly, the German intelligence service, BND, who is accused of helping the US spy, is said to have “deleted 12,000 requests” targeting European officials.
The Spiegel said that a BND agent had, in August 2013, sifted through requests made by the NSA to the BND, as part of the two agencies’ anti-terror cooperation agreement, and found 12,000 which he referred to his managers.
The question now is to what extent did the BND willingly cooperate with the NSA and how much the government knew. Germany’s opposition kept its attack against Angela Merkel’s government, saying they did not do anything to stop its own foreign intelligence from spying for the United States.