Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: IT Security in the Snowden Era

NSA engaged in industrial espionage, claims Snowden

The U.S. did not limit spying to issues of national security, but also tapped corporations such as Siemens for the country's national interests, says former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The U.S. National Security Agency engaged in industrial espionage and did not limit its spying to national security issues, claimed its former contractor Edward Snowden, speaking with a German TV network.

Snowden cited German engineering firm Siemens as one target, in his interview with ARD TV, according to Reuters.

"If there's information at Siemens that's beneficial to U.S. national interests—even if it doesn't have anything to do with national security—then they'll take that information nevertheless," said Snowden, in the report. The interview was recorded in Russia, where he has claimed asylum .

The latest allegations are likely to further fray already damaged relations between the U.S. and Germany, following reports that the NSA had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone .

The news follows Snowden's claims that the NSA embedded software in almost 100,000 computers around the world to carry out its surveillance, according to a New York Times report earlier this month. This was in line with allegations that surfaced last September claiming Brazil's state-owned oil giant had its internal network  monitored by the NSA.