Titus Stahl

NSA spied on German media; US embassy pressured German government to not cooperate with the press

CNN reports:

Less observed: that this week came news that the NSA was eavesdropping not only on Merkel, but in some capacity on Germany’s free press as well, namely DER SPIEGEL.

CNN has learned that in early Summer 2011, the CIA station chief in Berlin (also representing the NSA at the U.S. Embassy) met with [German intelligence coordinator] Heiss, and his assistant, Guido Müller. The CIA station chief urged the two men to take action against Heiss’s deputy, Hans-Josef Vorbeck, whom he said was leaking classified information to journalists.

Later that summer, CNN has learned, Heiss went to Washington, D.C. and discussed this same matter with U.S. government officials. In the meantime, the Chancellery opened a file on U.S. protocols of intercepted communications between Vorbeck and journalists.

By August, Vorbeck had been re-assigned to the Archive – a move widely seen as a punishment for his cooperating with reporters.

Update: The Intercept also reports.

See also “Wikileaks publishes German Intercepts”.