For the first time since 1945, Germany will begin spying on intelligence services from Britain and the United States operating on German soil, according to German news reports. While the quaint story of Germany rearming itself with the humble typewriter in the face of the U.S. spying scandal emerged a few weeks ago, it now looks as though Germany will use more modern methods.
Speaking with German paper the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a source with ties to Angela Merkel’s government said, “We need to send a strong signal.” Under the decision, American and British spying operations will reportedly be treated with the same counter-espionage measures as those of Russia, China, and Iran, reports The Telegraph. The source also spoke with state-funded TV channels, WDR and NDR, reports The Independent.
German intelligence agency BND will also “extend its surveillance and counter-espionage operations to all foreign intelligence agencies operating on German soil,” according to The Telegraph.
Earlier this month, Germany asked the top U.S. intelligence official to leave the Berlin embassy after the discovery of two American spies operating in the country. Already incensed by claims that the NSA tapped into her phone, as well as those of dozens of other world leaders, Merkel has ramped up efforts to defend Germany, despite reports that she was initially worried about a confrontation with the U.S.
While it appears Germany is holding firm in public, high-ranking U.S. officials, including White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, met with officials in Germany this week to reassure them and “attempt to heal the feud,” according to The Washington Post.