Monday

27th Jun 2022

German spy scandal deepens

The German intelligence service has spied on European and American embassies in ways that may have been beyond its mandate, German media ARD and Spiegel Online reported on Wednesday (14 October).

The Bundesnachtrichtendienst (BND) reportedly targeted French and US institutions and eavesdropped on them to acquire information about countries like Afghanistan.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The news follows reports in April that the BND spied on France and the European Commission on behalf of the US' National Security Agency (NSA). But according to the new reports, BND also spied on allies on its own initiative.

For its spying programme, the BND used thousands of search queries, so-called selectors, including phone numbers and IP addresses, possibly queries the service chose itself.

"The question is … whether the used queries were covered by the BND's mandate”, MP Clemens Binninger of chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU party told ARD.

Binninger is head of the Bundestag's supervisory body that oversees the intelligence service.

The German media sourced their news at a secret meeting of the overseeing body on Wednesday evening.

The revelations are remarkable considering the criticism that followed revelations by Edward Snowden in 2013 that the NSA had spied on EU leaders, including Merkel.

"Spying among friends – that is just not done", Merkel said following the scandal.

The BND programme stopped around the same time as the Snowden revelations revealed the NSA practices, in the autumn of 2013.

German MPs are planning to interview staff next week at the BND headquarters in Pullach and review the list of search queries to determine if there has been any illegal practice.

EU opens door to Ukraine in 'geopolitical' summit

EU leaders will also discuss eurozone issues with European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, as more and more leaders are worried about voters' distress at soaring inflation.

News in Brief

  1. Possible terror attack halts gay pride in Norway
  2. Belgian PM: Gas shortage requires joint response
  3. Bulgarian MPs set conditions for lifting enlargement veto
  4. Latvia: We need a brigade-size Nato force to 'feel safe'
  5. Deal reached on controversial energy treaty reform
  6. EU carbon emissions from energy up 6% in 2021
  7. Germany step closer to gas rationing
  8. Albania: EU 'disgrace' at lack of enlargement progress

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU summit's uncertainty in the face of economic war
  2. Next winter's gas looms large at EU summer summit
  3. Ukraine becomes EU candidate after 120 days of war
  4. How to enhance EU cybersecurity
  5. Competing options for EU enlargement
  6. MEPs demand to exit 'ecocide treaty' after reforms 'fail'
  7. Finland optimistic in Turkey talks over Nato
  8. Hungary's global-tax veto seen as 'blackmail'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us