Over the weekend, the German news magazine Focus published a report that revealed that it wasn’t only the United States that was listening in on Angela Merkel’s private phone calls. According to the report, intelligence agencies in the UK, Russia, China and North Korea had a direct line into the German chancellor’s phone.
The revelation that the UK has been spying on Merkel isn’t entirely new as it was made known that, like the U.S., special equipment had been installed on the roof of their embassy building in Berlin. Whether or not it was being used for the purpose of spying on Merkel isn’t entirely known, but the capabilities were and are apparently there to do so. British Embassy officials in Berlin declined to comment on the allegations.
Focus claims that having such a small area in Berlin where both German and foreign governments work has often been a concern of German intelligence services. Instead of needing sophisticated technology to spy on each other, the short distances make it easy to accomplish with just the basic tools.
Also revealed in the report was that Germany is still a hot spot for Russian spies. Apparently more than 120 Russian spy agents are operating in Germany to collect sensitive information. It isn’t clear if spying on Merkel’s phone is part of the operation or if this is being done by an entirely separate team in the Russian government.