Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service (FE) assisted the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on senior European officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel between 2012 and 2014, as reported this Sunday by several European media.
The medium Danmarks Radio has published this Sunday a report in collaboration with other European media in which it is pointed out that the NSA accessed text messages and phone conversations from senior European officials from Germany, France, Sweden and Norway via Danish telecommunication cables with the help of the FE.
These types of accusations arose in 2013 when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked this type of information to the media.
Snowden has commented on the news and accused the President of the United States, Joe Biden, of being involved as he was vice president of the United States at the time of the alleged surveillance and to be “well prepared” to respond to these accusations before Europe.
“Biden you are well prepared to vouch for this when you visit Europe soon since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time, “said Snowden on his Twitter account.
Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around.
There should be an explicit requirement for full public disclosure not only from Denmark, but their senior partner as well. https://t.co/TJL7gr6dy8
– Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 30, 2021
Snowden rose to fame in 2013 after revealing the NSA’s secret global spy programs to the press. After initially fleeing to Hong Kong, took refuge in Moscow where he spent several weeks in the transit area of Sheremetievo airport, until receiving asylum in August 2013 for a year, which was later extended until recently, when Russia gave him an indefinite residence permit.
What is known
Following the scandal uncovered in 2013, successive journalistic revelations brought to light these practices, which the NSA had been running since the 1990s and which affected other European leaders as well, as well as the European Central Bank (ECB).
According to new information, Denmark was aware of these activities and presumably cooperated with the United States to carry them out. This investigation ensures that the Danish Government became aware of these events in 2015, at which time they began to collect information about the FE’s cooperation with the NSA.
As collected DW, Danish intelligence He also helped the US agency spy on Danish Foreign and Finance Ministersas well as a Danish arms manufacturer.
Faced with this alleged finding, the Danish Government forced the entire leadership of the FE to resign in 2020.
Who were they spying on?
FE’s cooperation with the NSA made it possible not only to eavesdrop on Merkel’s mobile phone but also that of his then foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, current German president, and Peer Steinbrück, one of the leading figures in the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
In addition, it has also been known that on the list of spied on are other leaders of European countries such as France, Sweden and Norway, whose names are unknown at the moment.
What consequences has it brought?
The wiretapping scandal in 2013 marred relations between the two great transatlantic allies, Berlin and Washington. Merkel expressed her displeasure to the then president, Democrat Barack Obama, and called “unacceptable espionage among friends.”
The new information compromises Denmark, in its dual capacity as a neighbor of Germany and a partner of the European Union (EU), the European media point out.
France has already announced that will verify if some of its senior officials were spied on by the United States through Denmark, which if proven would be “extremely serious”, according to his Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune.
For the moment the German government has made no statementsBut a spokesperson confirmed that neither Merkel nor Steinmeier had “knowledge” of the spy operations carried out by Danes and Americans.