US now bugging German ministers in place of Merkel: Report
BERLIN (REUTERS) - The US National Security Agency (NSA) has stepped up its surveillance of senior German government officials since being ordered by Barack Obama to halt its spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday.
Revelations last year about mass US surveillance in Germany, in particular of Merkel's mobile phone, shocked Germans and sparked the most serious dispute between the transatlantic allies in a decade.
Bild am Sonntag said its information stemmed from a high-ranking NSA employee in Germany and that those being spied on included Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, a close confidant of Merkel.
"We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the chancellor's communication directly," it quoted the NSA employee as saying.