THE GERMAN PUBLICATION Der Spiegel has reported that the German Chancellor’s mobile phone may have been monitored by the US as far back as 2002.
Reuters reports that the President Barack Obama told the German leader that he would have stopped it from happening had he known about it.
Der Spiegel said Merkel’s mobile telephone had been listed by the United States’ National Security Agency’s Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002 – marked as “GE Chancellor Merkel” – and was still on the list weeks before Obama visited Berlin in June.
The magazine cites a document stating the agency said it had a “not legally registered spying branch” in the US embassy in Berlin, the exposure of which would lead to “grave damage for the relations of the United States to another government”.
Der Spiegel quote from a 2010 document which says such branches existed in about 80 locations around the world, including Paris, Madrid, Rome, Prague, Geneva and Frankfurt.
These revelations come days after Merkel slammed the US for such actions stating that spying should not happen amongst allies.
The spying allegations are said to have damaged US/European relations, with US authorities stating that there was tension between the countries involved.
Germany is sending its top intelligence chiefs to Washington in the coming week to get some explanations about the spying allegations, and a “no-spy” agreement is being put together.