News / Europe

US Says It Will Help Resolve German Spy Allegation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) chats with her delegates as she attends a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 7, 2014.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) chats with her delegates as she attends a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 7, 2014.
VOA News

The United States says it will work with Germany to resolve concerns over whether one of its intelligence employees was a double agent spying for Washington, but is declining to say whether the allegation is true.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the U.S. relationship with Berlin is broad and important, but that he could not talk about intelligence matters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on a visit to Beijing, said the spy allegation is "serious," and if true would violate the trust between Germany and the United States.

"About the reports that a German intelligence employee spied for the United States, if the reports are proven true it would be a serious case," she said. "The German federal prosecutor is investigating on this case. If the allegations are true, it would be for me a clear contradiction as to what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners."

The comments marked the chancellor's first public remarks on the arrest last week of the 31-year-old man suspected of being a double agent. When questioned, authorities say he told them he had been working for the United States for two years.

German authorities have described the suspect as a low-level employee of Berlin's foreign-intelligence agency. He was detained after allegedly being pinpointed as the author of an email offering to sell secret documents to Russia.

He is believed to have copied more than 200 German intelligence documents and sold them to the United States for $34,000.

The case risks further straining ties between the two allies, following the revelations last year of wide-spread spying on Germany by the U.S. National Security Agency, including monitoring of Merkel's cell phone.

Industrial espionage

Surveillance is a sensitive issue in Germany, where memories of the Nazi's Gestapo secret police and communist East Germany's Stasi ensure the right to privacy is treasured. 

As Merkel visited China, where she oversaw the signing of agreements involving Airbus Group NV's helicopter division selling 100 aircraft to Chinese companies, a German intelligence chief warned that some firms in China faced a growing threat from industrial espionage by Chinese government agencies with huge resources.

"Germany is against that - regardless of where it comes from," Merkel said, in reference to industrial espionage.

"We have a duty as the state to protect our economy. ... We are for the protection of intellectual property," she said.

China's premier repeated his government's denial that it was involved in such activities.

"China and Germany, it can be said, are both victims of hacking attacks. The Chinese government resolutely opposes hacking attacks as well as the use of the internet to steal commercial secrets or intellectual property," Li said.

"China will engage in dialogue and consultation to protect the security of the Internet," he added

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

US Urges Taliban to Remain Engaged in Afghan Peace Talks

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Daniel Feldman recently met with Pakistani and Afghan officials as talks were disrupted by news of Taliban chief Mullah Omar's death More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alexander M Swan from: USA
July 07, 2014 9:07 AM
The USA should avoid spying on its partner countries like Germany, EU, Canada, etc because it is a unethical act on trust.
In Response

by: Founding Father #5
July 08, 2014 4:15 AM
andyoo,

"Germany started 2 world wars."

Germany started WW2. WW1 was started by a Serbian terrorist (Gavrilo Princip) and Austria. I recommend learning some very basics of history before you bring up historical arguments.

Then - since the end end of WW2, 69 years ago, by the way, USA who have started 13 wars, Germany zero. Two of America's wars were justified with manifest lies (Tonkin incident in 1966, "Weapons of mass destruction" in 2003). If someone would use this as an excuse to spy on USA, would you accept this excuse?

"Also that is a double agent...means it's a half German spy..... dah?"

No dah at all. He was no double agent but a subordinate office clerk at BND in Munich organizing documentation. Germany has a government ruling not to spy on what they consider friends (may be naive to consider Americans "friends"). They may change this now.

By the way, this man is very lucky that Germany has no Espionage Act and has the chance for a fair trial. A chance that Edward Snowden would not have.
In Response

by: Yeru
July 07, 2014 10:33 AM
The EU, of which Germany is a member, is not a country. The more covert the activity, the higher the probability of quality data, and the higher the probability that it is was illegally obtained. Even US allies have agendas that conflict with American interests from time to time and vice versa. How do you propose to address this if not through espionage?
In Response

by: andyoo from: us
July 07, 2014 10:20 AM
what do you expect? Germany started 2 world wars. U.S. is not going to not spy on them just in case they start the next one again. come back again when Germany has no spy in U.S. Also that is a double agent...means it's a half German spy..... dah?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs