"German intelligence agents secretly recorded at least one telephone conversation involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and parties to West Asia negotiations in 2013, as well as a 2012 conversation between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, according to a media report.
According to German magazine Der Spiegel, in addition to surveillance of U.S. targets, Germany did and continues to snoop on Turkey was.
The latest twist comes after ties between Berlin and Washington were engulfed in tension over allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency tapped the personal phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prompting an angry response from Ms. Merkel’s office and an assurance from the Obama administration that such spying would not recur." The Hindu
You mean that the lovely Germans listen to other people's private telephones? Why would they do that? Ah! The nasty, evil Americans must have corrupted them and browbeat them into doing this bad thing!
The BND grew out of the Gehlen Group formed after WW2 which itself grew out of a section of the German Army General Staff in WW2 called Foreign Armies East (FAE). This section had responsibility for collection and analysis of information concerning Soviet forces. Foreign Armies East ran espionage agents behind Soviet lines, COLLECTED SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE (SIGINT) and analysed all that for the Wehrmacht.
At the end of the war the head of FAE, Major General Reinhard Gehlen, German Army, gathered up his records and people and succeeded in surrendering to the US Army. After some doubts the US "adopted" Gehlen and his group and started using them against the Soviets. That seems a sound decision to me.
Over time the Gehlen Group grew into the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German federal intelligence service, Well, guess what folks? They did SIGINT in WW2 and they have pretty much always done SIGINT and always did it in close cooperation with NSA. Well, maybe not always, most certainly not when they were collecting against US diplomatic targets. In this case Der Spiegal broke cover on this activity.
Now, are we supposed to believe that Chancellor Merkel, "the most powerful woman in Europe," did not know that senior US officials were among the many, many targets collected against by the BND? We are expected to believe that she did not know that the BND collected such signals when she flamed all over the media and diplomatic world about her precious cell phone conversations?
At the same time, all you others out there in; the UK, Canada, Australia, etc. who may feel a certain moral superiority to the Germans do exactly the same thing. pl