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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora