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German Helicopter Flies Low Altitude Over US Consulate to Check for Surveillance Gear, Warn US on Spying

By , September 10, 2013. (6 comments)

Der Spiegel reported Monday that the German government has confirmed a previously reported operation targeting potential US spying facilities in Germany in late August.

According to the report, a German Federal Police helicopter circled at an altitude of just 200 feet over the US Consulate in Frankfurt. The main objective was to take high-resolution photographs to identify suspected listening posts on the building’s roof.

However, the Germans may have had an additional motive. As noted in the report, an unnamed official claimed Germany wanted to send a message that eavesdropping technologies would not be tolerated on its soil. Specifically, the message was supposed to be, “Stop. Germany strikes back!”, according to Der Spiegel.

Allegedly, the operation was ordered by Chancellor Merkel’s Chief of Staff Ronald Pofalla. According to the report, while Pofalla believes the NSA scandal has passed, he is furious about reports of spying technologies at US diplomatic outposts in his nation.

As Der Spiegel notes, experts believe the flyover was more symbolic than a serious attempt to locate spy gear. Experts believe the Germans wanted to make it clear they can get more aggressive on this issue, if necessary.

Here’s the kicker: the operation was ordered by Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution. It looks like the German government actually cares about protecting its citizens’ most important rights while the US government destroys them at home and abroad.

Photo credit: Flickr/DirkVorderstraBe