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Germany recorded John Kerry, Hillary Clinton phone calls 'by accident'

Germany recorded John Kerry, Hillary Clinton phone calls 'by accident'

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Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor, Hilary Clinton, were both caught up in German spy efforts, says a new report. According to German weekly Der Spiegel, the country's foreign intelligence agency, BND, inadvertently recorded phone calls from both Secretaries of State.

Details of the calls aren't available, but the magazine repots that neither Kerry nor Clinton were targets of the BND. Instead, the two US officials were on calls that were caught up in the spy agency's surveillance efforts in the Middle East. The Kerry call was recorded in 2013, while Clinton was tapped in a 2012 call with former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. The latter call, the magazine explains, was recorded as part of anti-terrorism efforts — apparently Clinton's phone call was on the "same frequencies" as those targeted by the BND. The agency only later discovered what it had actually recorded, and, according to the report, sought to keep the surveillance of the US officials a secret. The recordings were then "immediately" destroyed.

The news comes as a surprise after German politicians and citizens have harshly attacked US intelligence efforts. A major revelation last year uncovered that the NSA had wiretapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone for several years. This is also isn't the first time a recent Secretary of State has been wiretapped by a close US ally: earlier this month it was revealed that Israel recorded phone calls by Kerry in 2013 as well.