​Airbus to file complaint over spy claims

Airbus is seeking information from the German government to file a criminal complaint about supposedly being a target of US industrial espionage.

European aviation giant Airbus said it will file a criminal complaint against persons unknown following German media reports that it had become the target of US industrial espionage.

"We are aware that large companies in the sector, like ours, are targets of espionage," the company said in a statement to AFP on Thursday.

"However, in this case, we are alarmed because there is concrete suspicion of industrial espionage."

Following the recent media reports, on which the company said it did not want to speculate, it added: "We have asked the German government for information. We will now file a criminal complaint against persons unknown on suspicion of industrial espionage".

This is the latest allegation likely to further strain already damaged relations between the US and Germany, following reports that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had tapped into German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

More recently, BBC reported that Germany's national intelligence agency, BND, was linked to a joint spy operation with the NSA, targeting France's presidential palace and foreign ministry, as well as the European Commission.

Last year, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA engaged in industrial espionage, and did not limit its spying to national security issues.

The German government has previously warned its citizens to stop using US-owned web services such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, in order to avoid being spied on by the US.

The Brazilian government had also alleged that Brazil's state-owned oil giant had its internal network monitored by the NSA.

Last year, security firm McAfee Labs predicted that online espionage will increase, with focus on gathering intelligence on both high-profile people and intellectual property.

With AAP

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