Identify your spy: Germany asks other countries for names of secret agents

Germany is asking foreign diplomatic missions to reveal the names of secret service agents working in the country, a report states. It comes amid the spy row between Berlin and Washington, following revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The German Foreign Ministry sent a note verbale to all the foreign embassies in Berlin on Wednesday, urging them to submit “lists of names of all active agents,” Der Spiegel reported. The note was also addressed to consulates, cultural institutions, and intelligence apparatuses.

The Foreign Ministry reportedly expects its non-binding request to be answered by all the embassies. The ministry did not deny the information to AFP.

Media reports suggested that Germany’s request was triggered by Berlin’s disappointment with Washington’s denials that US spies are operating in the country. Spiegel estimates that there are around 200 US intelligence officers operating in Germany under diplomatic passports.

The US and Germany have been at odds in the spying row ever since revelations were made about the extent of global espionage by the US National Security Agency (NSA) in June 2013.

Last October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was angered after learning that she had allegedly been on the NSA’s tapping list since 2002. The chancellor called the alleged spying – which was revealed thanks to Snowden’s leaks – “unacceptable.”

A German parliamentary committee has since been holding hearings on the NSA’s spying activities in Germany.

Adding to a row of embarrassing spy scandals, earlier this month Berlin announced it had discovered..

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