According to German magazine Der Spiegel report, German foreign intelligence service – the BND, was spying on foreign journalists for years. The magazine reported the findings after obtaining BND documents listing journalists’ emails, faxes and telephone numbers.
Spiegel’s report apparently shows that the German intelligence tapped into the phones of BBC correspondents in Afghanistan, but also targeted telephone and fax numbers at BBC headquarters in London.
The documents indicate that a phone number belonging to New York Times in Afghanistan was also on BND’s surveillance list, as well as several mobile and satellite numbers of the British-based international news agency, Reuters, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Moreover, German spies conducted surveillance on the independent Zimbabwean newspaper Daily News, before it was banned by the country’s President, Robert Mugabe. Among other news agencies listed are those from Kuwait, Lebanon, India, as well as journalists in Nepal and Indonesia.
In a reacting to Spiegel’s report, German branch of Reporters without Borders, said that BND’s surveillance of foreign journalists and media is an “egregious attack on press freedoms” and “a new dimension of constitutional violation.”
We are disappointed to hear these claims. The BBC’s mission is to bring accurate news and information to people around the world, and our journalists should be able to operate freely and safely, with full protection for their sources.
Said a BBC spokesman in a response to allegations that BND was spying on his media house. The BND has declined to comment on the report.