The European Union has called for explanations from the United States as Germany reels from new NSA spy claims.
German magazine Der Spiegel cites a top secret document in the hands of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, which shows that the US classed Germany as a ‘third class’ partner which required surveillance similar to China, Iraq or Saudi Arabia.
Around 20 million German phone and 10 million internet connections were being monitored on an average day.
Responding to reports that the EU was tapped by the US agency, the European Parliament President Martin Schulz said he was ‘deeply worried and shocked’. He added that if they proved true, it would “have a severe impact on EU-US relations.” The European Commission has called on Washington to explain the allegations.
With EU-US free trade negotiations underway, the news comes at a delicate time.