In the media, there were reports that the NSA was listening to allies through a Danish cable.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that it was unacceptable to listen to phone conversations of allies after media reports that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on European allies.
“This is unacceptable among the allies,” Macron said at a news conference after a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Earlier, Danish state broadcaster DR reported that the NSA used a partnership with Denmark’s foreign intelligence department to spy on high-ranking officials in neighboring countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
According to DR, citing nine unnamed sources, these findings are the result of an internal investigation conducted in 2015 by the Danish Military Intelligence Service regarding the role of the NSA in the partnership.
According to the investigation, which spanned from 2012 to 2014, the NSA used Danish information cables to spy on high-ranking officials in Sweden, Norway, France, and Germany, including former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former German opposition leader Peer Steinbrueck.
A spokesman for the German chancellery said it had only learned of the allegations from journalists and declined to comment further.
Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen declined to comment on media “guesses” about intelligence issues.
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish broadcaster SVT that he “demanded full information.” Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told NRK that he took the surveillance reports seriously.
French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune told France Info radio that the DR report needed to be verified and that if confirmed, it would be a “serious” issue.
The NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. A spokesman for the Danish Military Intelligence service also declined to comment.
Denmark is home to several key stations for underwater Internet cables running to and from Sweden, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. According to DR sources, using the analytical software Xkeyscore, the NSA intercepted calls, text messages, and messages from messengers from the phones of officials in neighboring countries.