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New leaks reveal NSA and GCHQ listening posts in Berlin and Cyprus

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GCHQ headquarters UK (Credit: GCHQ/Crown Copyright)
GCHQ headquarters UK (Credit: GCHQ/Crown Copyright)

A new series of leaks have revealed the locations of NSA and GHCQ in both Berlin, monitoring the German government, and in Cyprus, pulling raw web traffic from undersea data cables. The more sensitive revelations come from Germany, where the NSA has recently faced international criticism for tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal phone. A new report from The Independent reveals that while the NSA's Berlin station went quiet in the wake of the Merkel scandal, Britain's GCHQ station has continued to operate in close proximity to the German parliament, which has led to speculation that the station is spying on German politicians at work.

At the same time, Italian news magazine L'Espresso reveals a separate British facility in Cyprus used to tap into global web traffic. The practice of bulk traffic analysis had been previously reported by The Guardian as occuring at "a location abroad," but L'Espresso names it as the Ayios Nikolaos intelligence station in Britain’s Eastern Sovereign Base Area, potentially exposing Cyprus to diplomatic pressures from other European governments unhappy with the systematic cable-tapping.