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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs