Austria seeks explanation from Germany about spying reports

Austria is seeking clarification from neighbouring Germany about reports that its spy agency snooped for several years on nearly 2,000 targets in the Alpine nation, including companies and ministries.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said today that "spying among friendly states is not just unusual and unwanted. It is unacceptable." He and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz were responding to reports in the Der Standard newspaper and the Profil magazine about a list of alleged targets in Austria of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, between 1999 and 2006.

Kurz noted there were previous suspicions in 2014 of German intelligence activity in Austria, and suggested that was partly responsible for German laws subsequently being tightened. He said Austria is asking Germany who was snooped on and when the surveillance ended.


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