U.S. National Security Agency - German intelligence service
Snowden reveals NSA partnership with German intelligence service: report
BERLIN, July 8, 2013 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) worked closely with the German intelligence service, whistleblower Edward Snowden told German magazine Der Spiegel in a recent interview.
He alleged that German intelligence knew more about NSA activities in the country than previously known.
Snowden said NSA was "in bed together with the Germans" as well as most other western states, adding that NSA's "foreign affairs' directorate" was responsible for partnerships with other countries.
The interview, published on Sunday, was carried out before he fled to Hong Kong in May.
Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND) confirmed a partnership with the NSA in providing "analysis tools" for the BND's monitoring of foreign data in Germany.
Snowden said government decision-makers were protected by these cooperation programs which are organized in a way so that authorities in other countries can "insulate their political leaders from the backlash" if it becomes public "how grievously they're violating global privacy."
A recent report by Der Spiegel, citing classified documents disclosed by fugitive Snowden, said Washington was monitoring phone calls and Internet data connections in Germany as well as spying on the headquarters of the European Union and its offices in Washington and the United Nations in New York.
The report sparked widespread outcry in privacy-sensitive Germany. The German government has said that Berlin felt surprised and "alienated" by media reports of cold-war-style U.S. spying on European nations. "We are no longer in the Cold War," a government spokesman said.
U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed last Wednesday to hold a high-level bilateral meeting over U.S. surveillance programs.