France aviation giant files complaints over US spy claims News
France aviation giant files complaints over US spy claims

[JURIST] French aviation giant Airbus [corporate website] said Friday it is filing criminal complaints alleging that German intelligence helped the US carry out industrial espionage. The criminal complaint against persons unknown was filed following German media reports that the country’s spy agency BND [official website] was collecting data on European firms at the request of the US National Security Agency [official website]. Allegations claim that the German government knew about the NSA spying on European businesses since 2008. According to the reports, the agency did not target German or US officials in the surveillance because they are protected by a 2002 BND-NSA agreement. Airbus has asked the German government for more information, which is under pressure to disclose how much it knew about the operations.

The NSA has been under intense scrutiny and caused international tensions ever since Snowden leaked [JURIST report] top-secret NSA documents in 2013. In February a US District Court dismissed [JURIST report] a challenge to NSA warrantless surveillance. The same month the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruled [JURIST report] that the UK’s mass surveillance of citizens’ Internet use violates human rights law. In July the German government summoned [JURIST report] US ambassador John Emerson [official website] after the arrest of a man who was claimed to be a US spy working surveillance throughout the country. In June 2013 the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit [JURIST report] in federal court just days after Snowden claimed responsibility for the leaks. As the outcry over the revelations began to expand in scope and severity, several other human rights groups decided to sue as well. The following month both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed suit alleging [JURIST report] similar claims on the behalf of a coalition of 19 separate organizations.