German intelligence agency restricts cooperation with U.S. partner

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BERLIN, — Germany‘s Foreign Intelligence Service (BND) has restricted cooperation with its U.S. partner in response to a scandal over their alleged joint spying on European interests, German media reported on Thursday.

According to the reports, the BND has stopped sharing internet surveillance data with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) since the start of the week, and its listening station in Bad Aibling in the southern German state of Bavaria is passing on only information from fax messages and telephone calls.

Berlin has demanded that the NSA provide justifications for each online surveillance request, the reports added. Such a rule is believed to have long been in place for fax and phone surveillance conducted by the BND for the NSA.

German media reported earlier that the BND had targeted European interests for surveillance on behalf of the NSA for years. Their targets included not only suspected extremists and criminals, but also European companies and government leaders as well as EU institutions.

The German government has so far declined to release a list of the NSA’s requested search terms, citing its ongoing consultations with Washington.

(Xinhua)

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