NSA after Industrial Spying: Snowden to German TV
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The NSA agency is not preoccupied solely with national security, but also spies on foreign industrial entities in US business interests, former American intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden, revealed in an interview to German TV.
Edward Snowden chose the German ARD broadcaster to make his first TV interview ever since he became a whistleblower. The interview was made in strict secrecy in an unspecified location in Russia, where Snowden is currently living under temporary asylum.
“There is no question that the US is engaged in economic spying,” said Snowden.
If an industrial giant like Siemens has something that the NSA believes “would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they'll take it,” the whistleblower said, giving an example.
Edward Snowden disavowed participation in any future publications of the documents he withdrew from the NSA databanks, saying in the same interview that he no longer possesses any NSA data. The information has been distributed among a number of trustworthy journalists, who are going to decide for themselves what to make public and in what sequence.
The full 30-minute version was aired at 11pm local time (22:00 UTC) on Sunday.
The former NSA contractor’s revelations about US global spying activities, including snooping on its closest allies, put transatlantic ties “to the test,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel last November and demanded that Washington give Germany clarity over the future of the NSA in the country, RT reported.
Snowden’s revelation hit Berlin particularly hard because Germany is a non-Anglophone country, and therefore is not a member of the ‘Five eyes’ intelligence alliance that incorporates NSA-equivalent agencies in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Deutsche Welle points out. While members of the ‘Five eyes’ were exchanging intelligence on a regular basis, Berlin had to consider itself satisfied with less data, while both Washington and London, for example, were blatantly listening to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone right in the middle of Germany’s capital.
The Germans - according to polls - have lost confidence in the US as a trustworthy partner, and the majority of them consider NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a hero.