In an interview with a German public broadcaster ARD TV, Edward Snowden dismantles yet another defense put out by supporters of president Obama and the NSA that, unlike those evil Chinese, Russian, and other governments who indulge in industrial espionage in order to get American business and trade secrets and thus benefit their own national industries, the US only spies as part of counter-terrorism efforts.
Of course this defense had already sprung leaks with documented reports of the US spying on Brazilian oil companies, Belgian telecommunication companies, and European Union trade organizations. But Snowden expands on that, saying that the German industrial giant Siemens was also a target.
In a lengthy interview broadcast on the public broadcaster ARD TV on Sunday, Snowden said the NSA did not limit its espionage to issues of national security and cited the German engineering firm Siemens as one target.
“If there’s information at Siemens that’s beneficial to US national interests – even if it doesn’t have anything to do with national security – then they’ll take that information nevertheless,” Snowden said in the interview conducted in Russia, where Snowden has claimed asylum.
He did not release any documents that supported his claims. He said that he no longer had any documents, having handed them all over to the journalists he had chosen as his trusted conduits. But he has proven to be reliable so far so it is only a matter of time before a journalistic outlet releases documents supporting the statements made in the interview.
I suspect that those documents will reveal that Siemens is not the only company that was targeted and that he happened to mention that name because it is a German company and he was being interviewed by the German media. It would not surprise me to find that Japanese, Korean, and companies from other major nations have also come under surveillance.