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Snowden: NSA Spies On Foreign Companies, Too

The whistleblower says the NSA spies on foreign companies to gain competitive advantages over them, though he provided few details on which companies.
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jan 26, 2014

Edward Snowden's latest revelation? The U.S. National Security Agency doesn't just focus on national security but also spies for competitive advantages over businesses.

Snowden spoke exclusively to German TV station ARD and said the NSA definitely spies on foreign companies — (Via Al Jazeera

— naming, for example, tech and engineering giant Siemens as a possible target. That's a German-based company. Snowden did say he's not sure if Siemens has actually been spied on before. (Via Siemens ) 

Ahead of the interview airing, ARD released small excerpts Sunday— including this one:

 "There's no question ... If there's information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to national interests, not the national security of the United States, they'll go after that information and they'll take it." (Via ABC)  

Snowden's latest interview comes a week after President Obama went on another German TV station — ZDF — with pretty much the opposite message. 

"We do not listen to people's phone calls or listen to their emails if there's no national security threats involved." 

Just a few days ago U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he wouldn't consider complete clemency for Snowden, but Holder said he would be open to a plea deal with the whistleblower. (Via CBS

During his interview, Snowden also reiterated he's no longer in possession of leaked documents from the NSA. Instead, he says he's given them all away to certain journalists —

— something he also mentioned before gaining asylum in Russia. (Via The New York Times

Snowden's most recent disclosure could further strain an already tense relationship with Germany — a U.S. ally. 

The NSA has already come under fire from the German government after it was revealed the U.S. tapped the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel. (Via CNN

Snowden is currently living in Russia on temporary asylum. Russia's government has made it clear it has no plans to deport Snowden anytime soon.