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GCHQ targets telephone network of German ministries

English.news.cn   2013-12-21 08:09:29            

BERLIN, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Papers from the documents revealed by Edward Snowden disclosed more about the spying scandal involving Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, the online edition of the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

According to a joint investigation by the Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times, the GCHQ has monitored European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia as well as the telephone network of German authorities and ministries in Berlin and the German embassy in Rwanda, the report said.

The British GCHQ declined to comment on detailed questions about the German and European monitoring goals, but indicated that the agency strictly adheres to the "political and legal frameworks" and is not engaged in industrial espionage.

A mailbox of then Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was also targeted as monitoring objective, as well as an email address that was labeled with "Israeli Prime Minister".

In addtion, hundreds more phone numbers and email addresses can be found on the lists that is classified as secret with target people, according to Der Spiegel.

The documents that are mainly from the year 2008 and 2009 referred to the individuals and institutions partly as "targets".

Names of companies like French armaments concern Thales, the petroleum giant Total and international organizations, such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the UN's children's charity Unicef and Non-governmental organizations such as Doctors of the World, are also listed in the British target database.

Leigh Daynes, the British Executive Director of Doctors of the World, said that he was "shocked and surprised" by the alleged surveillance of its organization. "There is absolutely no reason to monitor our work."

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