From 2012 to 2014, the United States spied several European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the help of the Danish intelligence services. Danish and European media reported this on Sunday.
Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) reports that the US intelligence agency NSA tapped Danish internet cables to spy on prominent politicians and senior officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway and France. The NSA made good use of a surveillance collaboration with the Danish military intelligence service FE.
It was suggested some time ago that the United States was spying on various European countries by tapping the Danish cable. DR then, together with the Swedish channel SVT, the Norwegian channel NRK, the German channels NDR and WDR, the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and the magazine Le Monde investigated possible espionage practices.
According to DR, Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen, who took office in June 2019, would have been informed of the matter in August 2020. Bramsen told DR that ‘systematic espionage by allies is unacceptable.
The list of people tapped by the NSA includes Angela Merkel, the then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the then opposition leader Peer Steinbruck, according to DR. The Americans would have had access to text messages phone calls and internet traffic, including searches, chats and e-mail services.
The espionage was detailed in a classified internal report codenamed “Operation Dunhammer” and presented to the top management of the Danish intelligence service in May 2015, DR said.
Berlin, Stockholm and Oslo also say they have asked for explanations, albeit in less forceful terms than Paris.