The alleged U.S. spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone may have been run out of its Berlin embassy, less than a mile from the chancellery, media reported Friday.
The surveillance was allegedly conducted by a listening post of the Special Collection Service, run jointly by the National Security Agency and the CIA, said the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
The eavesdropping program "works worldwide in American embassies and consulates, mostly in secret," it said, citing documents provided by fugitive former NSA intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
The alleged spying on Merkel, made public Wednesday by the German government, sent shock waves though the country and was roundly condemned by legislators and in the media.
"Spying between friends, that's just not done," Merkel said Thursday from Brussels, where the agenda of a European Union summit was hijacked by the growing spy scandal.
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Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on the same day called in the U.S. ambassador and then demanded Washington provide straight answers on the allegations.
German news weekly Der Spiegel this year reported that Special Collection Service surveillance devices could be hidden in U.S. embassies around the world, again citing Snowden documents.
In August, a German police helicopter conducted a fly-over of the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt to search for suspected listening posts, it said.
© AFP 2013