German media reports on Thursday reported that the German intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) has halted monitoring the internet on behalf of the US National Security Agency NSA.
According to the German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, from the beginning of March the BND from its monitoring station at Bad Aibling in southern Bavaria continued to receive data from phone calls and fax messages, but did not monitor the internet for the NSA.
The newspaper claimed that the BND’s collaboration with the NSA has decreased. It also added that the BND sent the data of internet usage in Bad Aibling to the NSA until this week.
The report further states that the BND, with the support of chancellor’s office, has started to ask reasons for providing information on people or institutions requested by the NSA.
This is considered a reaction to the scandal over the NSA that the BND has been engrossed in ever since US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed details of widespread spying by the NSA in 2013.
A CIA official based at the US embassy in Berlin was later expelled after another leaked report surfaced last July stating that a number of German officials had spied on behalf of the NSA.
A report released in Germany also claimed the country’s intelligence service, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), spied on France and the European Union on behalf of the United States.
Despite a cooperation agreement between the two intelligence agencies, even German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone conversations were monitored by the NSA in a joint operation with the British spy service GCHQ.