German publication Der Spiegel has released a set of documents that reveal the NSA conducted spying operations on up to 112 foreign leaders under “Operation Nymrod”. The details of Operation Nymrod were unveiled in documents released by Edward Snowden, which state that it is currently an active program.
As a mere piece to the overall puzzle, Angela Merkel represents but a small fraction of Germany’s top brass who spent their time in and out of the country with an NSA bug tucked away in their pockets. 112 various world leaders and high-ranking German officials have been specifically targeted as a part of Nymrod, representing one of the broadest and most in-depth international espionage efforts seen in all of modern history, wartime or otherwise.
And it turns out the NSA weren’t the only ones interested in penetrating Germany’s communication networks from as many different angles as possible either. The GCHQ ran several independent operations designed to penetrate the networks of top technology companies and monitor all communications in or out of the building between employees and other magnates in related industries.
The 26-page document explicitly names three of the German companies targeted for surveillance: Stellar, Cetel and IABG, all of which are connected to the telecommunications industry either directly or indirectly through a chain of mergers and subsidiaries.
These revelations are of particular interest, because much like the litany of lies they’ve already tripped over twice in this process, the NSA had used as many opportunities as they could to state that their capabilities for over-the-air omnipotence had never been abused for the purpose of transnational economic espionage.
The most recent leaks directly contradict this rhetoric, showing definitively that once the NSA got tired of hunting in the desert for terrorists, they turned their radar dish-sized ears toward first world nations that might present a threat to the United States in the one place they actually care about the most: their pocketbook.
You can view the full report here, along with a detailed list of all the world leaders who were subjected to unwarranted, unrestricted surveillance for nearly a decade or more in some cases.