German govt accused of lying to parliament about NSA spying

German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) headquarters in Berlin (Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch)

Angela Merkel’s government has been accused of lying to the country’s parliament after it was alleged that it knew German spies were conducting economic espionage for the NSA. Revelations show that some spooks were even spying on German companies.

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, who is a close ally of Chancellor Merkel denied on Wednesday that he had lied to parliament about the German Intelligence Agency (BND) cooperating with the National Security Agency (NSA). He said that the allegations are untrue and he could disprove the claims through documents, which need to remain secret. German government accused of lying to parliament over spy claims http://t.co/YipQRD6GOu #BND #NSA #spying #Germany pic.twitter.com/Gi8ZsdlV2P – Sputnik UK (@SputnikNewsUK) April 29, 2015 Bild newspaper ran a report Wednesday saying that he had been “lying in black and white” with regards to the case; a picture of the minister with Pinnochio’s long nose was used to convey the message.

nsa-whistleblower“I do follow the rules,” Maiziere said in a statement Wednesday. “That’s my understanding about the treatment of top secret information. It is in my own interest to clear these accusations up. They are not true and the documents would show that.”

On April 14, the Interior Ministry had released a statement saying: “We have no knowledge of alleged economic espionage by the NSA or other US agencies in other countries,” in response to a question from the opposition Linke (Left Party).

However, last week it emerged that the NSA had asked Germany’s intelligence agency, the BND, to obtain sensitive records, such as email and IP addresses as well as telephone numbers to help the American agency spy on certain European companies. Germany spied on France for US’s NSA Germany’s BND secret services spied on French and other European companies…