U.K. snooping on Germany: report

AFP-JIJI

Germany said Tuesday it had asked to speak to Britain’s ambassador following a media report that London has been operating a secret listening post from its embassy in Berlin.

“At the instigation of Foreign Minister (Guido) Westerwelle, the British ambassador was asked to come for a meeting at the Federal Foreign Office,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

It added that the ministry’s head of European affairs had “asked for an explanation of current reports in British media and indicated that tapping communications from a diplomatic mission would constitute a violation of international law.”

The request, which was not a summons but is unusual between European Union partners, was prompted by a report in The Independent newspaper Tuesday of a spy post not far from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin.

The report said Britain’s electronic eavesdropping center, Government Communications Headquarters, appeared to be using high-tech equipment on the embassy roof to intercept German data.