The National Security Agency and the British Government Communications Headquarters spied on private German companies, according to a report based on documents revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
British spies surveilled employees of top German companies in order to develop "in-depth knowledge of key satellite [Internet Protocol] service providers in Germany," German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.
Three companies listed in the report include Stellar, a satellite ground station operator which provided telecommunications for major clients including governments, as well as Stellar competitors Cetel and IABG. The latter was contracted by the German defense forces.
Der Spiegel's report follows earlier allegations that the NSA spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel by tapping her personal phone. That report sparked outrage in Germany, chilling typically cordial relations between Washington and Berlin.