According to the most recent Snowden leak, The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its U.K. counter-part, British Government Communications Headquarters (GHCQ) are able to secretly access information from German telecom operators.
The leak suggested that NSA and GHCQ have access to most of the big German telecom companies like Deutsche Telekom, Netcologne, Stellar, Cetel, and IABG., German magazine Der Spiegel reported.
Both the snooping agencies use a new program called “Treasure Map”, which allows these spymasters, remote access to customers computers, smartphones, tablets, routers and routers connected with the network via an Internet connection provided by the German telecommunication companies.
The ‘Treasure Map’ programme, which the Der Speigel calls “the Google Earth of the Internet, can access all secret and classified information from the devices connected to the network. It also has abilities to map any user and steal personal information at any instant of time. these information can be further used to plan sophisticated cyber attacks.
Deutsche Telekom and Netcologne when asked to confirm the news, said they have not found any evidence of NSA, GCHQ surveillance on their network. but further added that the matter is under investigation.
“We are looking into every indication of possible manipulations but have not yet found any hint of that in our investigations so far,” a German telecom spokesperson said. “We’re working closely with IT specialists and have also contacted German security authorities. he added
Deutsche Telekom’s IT security head Thomas Tschersich said, “The access of foreign secret services to our network would be totally unacceptable.”
The relations between U.S and Germany have hit a rough trough since the last year’s leaks from NSA contractor and whistle blower Edward Snowden. The leaks made by Snowden in June, 2013 stated that NSA spied on German officials and tapped the phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Both countries were trying hard to ease out the tensions caused by the above leaks but this leak is going to damage the relations further.
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany had faced a torrid time on home front, post the Snowden leaks and this leak is going to raise further questions from German citizens about their privacy.