US combs through half a billion of German phone calls, emails and text messages on a monthly basis and has classified its European ally on the same target level as China, a German news magazine revealed.
The NSA document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden and published by Der Spiegel classified Germany as a “third-class” partner, on the same level as China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, meaning that the US surveillance in Germany was stronger than in any other EU country.
"We can attack the signals of most foreign third-class partners, and we do it too," the document states.
It revealed that NSA monitors phone calls, text messages, emails and internet chat contributions and has saved the metadata (connections and not the content) at its headquarters.
NSA snooped through 20-60 million German phone connections and 10 million internet data sets a day, Der Spiegel claims.
In comparison, US tapped around 2 million connection data a day in France.
The only countries exempt from the surveillance attacks were Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand.
Snowden’s documents already revealed that NSA had spied on EU, including Germany, but the extent of surveillance was not known.
Spiegel’s earlier report, which revealed that European citizens, employees of the EU diplomatic missions in Washington and the UN were under electronic surveillance from the NSA, was met withanger from EU policymakers.
Germany demanded an “immediate” US response over bugging allegations, adding that this kind of surveillance was reminiscent of the Cold War.
"It must ultimately be immediately and extensively explained by the American side whether media reports about completely disproportionate tapping measures by the US in the EU are accurate or not," Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement.
The US has charged Snowden with espionage and is trying to extradite him..........................................