In an open letter published on November 3 by the German news magazine Der Spiegel, whistleblower Edward Snowden accused the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart (GCHQ) of being among the “worst offenders” engaged in uncontrolled mass surveillance.
In his letter, entitled “A Manifesto for the Truth,” Snowden wrote: “The world has learned a lot in a short amount of time about irresponsibly operated security agencies and, at times, criminal surveillance programs. Sometimes the agencies try to avoid controls.”
Snowden, a former infrastructure analyst for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton at an NSA facility in Hawaii, continued:
While the NSA and GCHQ (the British national security agency) appear to be the worst offenders — at least according to the documents that are currently public — we cannot forget that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution.
The letter, which Snowden transmitted to Der Spiegel over a secure network, was published in German and translated into English by CNN.
Der Spiegel published an article on October 28 headlined “Embassy Espionage: The NSA’s Secret Spy Hub in Berlin,” that alleged the following:
Research by SPIEGEL reporters in Berlin and Washington, talks with intelligence officials and the evaluation of internal documents of the US National Security Agency and other information, most of which comes from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, lead to the conclusion that the US diplomatic mission in the German capital has not merely been promoting German-American friendship. On the contrary, it is a nest of espionage. From the roof of the embassy, a special unit of the CIA and NSA can apparently monitor a large part of cellphone communication in the government quarter. And there is evidence that agents based at Pariser Platz recently targeted the cellphone that [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel uses the most.
"Spying between friends, that's just not done,” Merkel said at a European Unioin summit in Brussels on October 24. “Now trust has to be rebuilt.”
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