DThe Danish secret service has reportedly helped the US secret service NSA to wiretap German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and other top European politicians. The Danish foreign and military intelligence service Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE) enabled the NSA to use the secret listening station Sandagergardan near Copenhagen, reported the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and other European media, including NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung, on Sunday.
According to joint research by broadcasters and newspapers, the NSA was able to tap into an important Internet hub for various submarine cables there between 2012 and 2014. The wiretapping was directed against leading politicians from Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and France. In this country was therefore next Merkel and the current Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also affected the SPD candidate for Chancellor at the time, Peer Steinbrück.
Telephone calls and internet communication
According to Danish Broadcasting, the NSA had access to SMS, phone calls and internet activities, including research, chats and messenger services. DR said its information came from nine sources that had access to classified FE information. The research was also confirmed by several independent sources.
According to the research, the cooperation between the NSA and the Danish secret service in monitoring neighboring European countries was documented in an internal FE report in 2015. Danish community service and IT specialists created this so-called Dunhammer Report after the revelations by the former US secret service employee Edward snowden.
Danish government: “Unacceptable”
The Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen, who has been in office since June 2019, was informed of this in August 2020, according to the DR. She told the broadcaster that “systematic wiretapping of close allies” was unacceptable.
Steinbrück said the research network of NDR, WDR and “SZ” that he only found out about the wiretapping against him through the reports. “Politically, I think that’s a scandal.” He does believe that Western states also need functional and efficient intelligence services. But show this type of wiretapping between partners “that they lead quite a life of their own”.
The federal government had no idea of the spying on leading government members from Denmark. “The subject of your research became known to the Chancellor through your inquiry,” said a government spokesman. Federal President Steinmeier also stated that he had not known anything about the wiretapping operations from Denmark.
Former NSA employee Edward Snowden published thousands of top-secret documents in 2013 about the surveillance practices of the US intelligence services. The revelations sparked outrage around the world.
Merkel responded with the sentence “wiretapping among friends – that is not possible” to the fact that the NSA is said to have also tapped her cell phone. However, the Federal Prosecutor stopped the investigation in 2015.