British GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies


Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark
Spiegel Online
March 29, 2014

Angela Merkel has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. Credit: César / Wiki

Angela Merkel has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. Credit: César / Wiki


Documents show that Britain’s GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America’s NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?

The headquarters of Stellar, a company based in the town of Hürth near Cologne, are visible from a distance. Seventy-five white antennas dominate the landscape. The biggest are 16 meters (52 feet) tall and kept in place by steel anchors. It is an impressive sight and serves as a popular backdrop for scenes in TV shows, including the German action series “Cobra 11.”

Stellar operates a satellite ground station in Hürth, a so-called “teleport.” Its services are used by companies and institutions; Stellar’s customers include Internet providers, telecommunications companies and even a few governments. “The world is our market,” is the high-tech company’s slogan.

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