Among the targets of the surveillance were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (now president of the country), and chancellor candidate from the Social Democratic Party of Germany Peer Steinbruck.
The Danish intelligence services gave the Americans access to a special station near Copenhagen, from where wiretapping was carried out and from which it was possible to access the underwater cables of Internet service providers. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Danish Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Finance, as well as one firm in the military-industrial complex sector, were also monitored.
The Danish government was informed about the cooperation with the Americans no later than 2015. The authorities were provided with a special secret report in connection with information published by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. It pointed out that the country’s special services helped the United States in spying on leading politicians in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, and Germany. This information led to the resignation of the head of the Danish intelligence service Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE). As stated in the German government, they did not know about the possible surveillance from Denmark. A representative of the German cabinet told Süddeutsche Zeitung that Merkel became aware of this situation from the newspaper’s material. The government declined to comment further.