July 25, 2021

“potential and serious” facts according to Paris

Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) revelations about the use of the country’s intelligence systems by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on senior European officials , must be verified and the facts will be denounced if they are proven, estimated the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, Monday, May 31.

“I do not have, at this time, the information which clearly corroborates [ces informations] », said Clément Beaune on Franceinfo. These Potential Facts Are Serious, They Must Be Checked Out (…) then draw a certain number of consequences in our cooperation ”, he added about this investigation, to which The world, the Southgerman newspaper, German channels NDR and WDR, as well as Swedish (SVT) and Norwegian (NRK) public television stations had access.

Investigation : How EU leaders including Angela Merkel were spied on by the NSA from Denmark

“There could indeed be a number of diplomatic protests”, but even if there is “A serious journalistic investigation, we must first verify the accuracy of the facts, the extent of the facts, the potential seriousness of the facts”, insisted the Secretary of State.

According to an investigation by Danish public television DR made public on Sunday, the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) had tapped into Danish telecommunications cables to spy on prominent officials and senior officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway and France. To achieve this, the NSA has benefited from a surveillance collaboration with the Danish military intelligence service FE.

Angela Merkel, then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and then opposition leader Peer Steinbrück were among those the NSA spied on, according to DR. The NSA was able to access text messages, phone calls and internet traffic, including searches, chats and messaging services, according to DR. According to the german press, the federal government like Peer Steinbrück were not aware of these wiretaps.

The NSA espionage was exposed in an internal FE report codenamed “Operation Dunhammer” and presented to FE management in May 2015, according to DR. Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen, who was appointed in June 2019, was briefed on the case in August 2020, according to DR.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters