New documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest up to 122 world leaders have been targeted by the National Security Agency in the course of its surveillance operations. The fresh revelations, published in Germany’s Der Spiegel over the weekend, claim that the NSA’s spying network is more wide-ranging than was previously thought. According to the documents, a system known as Nymrod was used to gather intelligence on heads of state across various communication platforms, including computers and telephone calls.
Secret documents newly disclosed by the German newspaper Der Spiegel on Saturday shed more light on how aggressively the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have targeted Germany for surveillance. A series of classified files from the archive provided to reporters by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also seen by The Intercept, reveal that the NSA appears to have included Merkel in a surveillance database alongside more than 100 others foreign leaders. The documents also confirm for the first time that, in March 2013, the NSA obtained a top-secret court order against Germany as part of U.S. government efforts to monitor communications related to the country. Meanwhile, the British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters targeted three German companies in a clandestine operation that involved infiltrating the companies’ computer servers and eavesdropping on the communications of their staff.