Britain operating 'electronic spy posts' in Germany: Independent

Mon Nov 4, 2013 11:07pm EST

Protesters carry portraits of Edward Snowden during a demonstration against secret monitoring programmes PRISM, TEMPORA, INDECT and showing solidarity with whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and others in front of Berlin's Brandenburg gate July 27, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

Protesters carry portraits of Edward Snowden during a demonstration against secret monitoring programmes PRISM, TEMPORA, INDECT and showing solidarity with whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and others in front of Berlin's Brandenburg gate July 27, 2013 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski

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(Reuters) - Documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden show that Britain's surveillance agency is operating a network of "electronic spy posts" from within a stone's throw of the Bundestag and German chancellor's office, the Independent reported.

NSA documents, in conjunction with aerial photographs and information about past spying activities in Germany, suggest that Britain is operating its own covert listening station close to the German parliament, and Chancellor Angela Merkel's offices in the Chancellery, using hi-tech equipment housed on the embassy roof, the British newspaper reported.

The spying operation, conducted by GCHQ at diplomatic buildings around the world to intercept data in host nations, is being carried out together with the United States and other key partners, the Independent reported. (link.reuters.com/zar44v)

Spy agencies across Western Europe are working together on mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic comparable to programs run by their U.S. counterpart and denounced by European governments, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Saturday.

There has been particular anger in Germany, a close ally of the United States, over allegations that the NSA monitored Merkel's mobile phone.

GCHQ could not be immediately reached when contacted by Reuters.

(This story was refiled to correct typo in spy agency's name in sixth paragraph)

(Reporting by Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore; Editing by Paul Simao)

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