“The British secret services are intercepting data from Germany,” writes Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to the paper, new documents released by the whistleblower and former American National Security Agency officer Edward Snowden indicate that the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is intercepting communications running on transatlantic fibre optic cables belonging to Deutsche Telekom.

“Theoretically”, writes the daily, the British also have access to German online communications. This means, according to Süddeutsche

that almost all European internet traffic can be recorded and analysed by Britain’s largest secret service.

It shows that “GCHQ is much more deeply involved in the surveillance scandal than was previously thought,” adds SZ.

The newspaper suggests there are at least six companies that collaborate with GCHQ, “probably unintentionally”:

British Telecom (BT), Level-3, Viatel, Interoute, Verizon and Vodafone. All of them are also active in Germany, and a large part of the communications over the Internet in Germany runs through their networks. BT customers include BMW and Commerzbank, as well as the governments of Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate. Some of these operators are not limited to programming software to allow spying [by their clients]. According to the records from Snowden, BT has also developed hardware to intercept data.