German spies revive internet snooping work with US: reports

A general view of the monitoring base of the U.S. intelligence organization National Security Agency (NSA) in Bad Aibling south of Munich, August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s BND intelligence agency has resumed joint internet surveillance with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) after halting collaboration with Washington last year following a row over spying practices, German media reported.

Last May, German intelligence sources told Reuters that the BND had stopped sending the NSA information gathered from its surveillance station in Bad Aibling in Bavaria.

That move, which followed allegations the BND had helped the NSA spy on European officials and firms, strained German-U.S. relations and created divisions within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

German newspapers on Friday said that collaborations at the Bad Aibling station have been resumed and the NSA is again being supplied with intelligence by the BND.

The station is considered central to surveillant crisis countries in the Middle East, such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Libya, the papers said.

Officials did not immediately comment on the report but the move comes amid heightened security concerns across Europe following militant attacks in Paris on November 13 and an alert over possible suicide bombings in Munich over New Year’s Eve.

In response to the Munich security alert, which was probably the result of a tipoff from a friendly intelligence service, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere called for closer cooperation with foreign security services.

Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Catherine Evans