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Germany's foreign intelligence service BND long spied on journalists of the BBC, The New York Times, Reuters and other media, news weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday.
Media rights group Reporters Without Borders labelled the alleged surveillance 'a monstrous attack on press freedom', voiced fears the eavesdropping was ongoing and said it was planning legal action, according to Der Spiegel.
The magazine, which has extensively worked with US fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and reported on US and German espionage scandals, only cited documents it had seen.
While it is unknown exactly who the BND spied on, news of the surveillance is a culmination of the three year inquiry that resulted in German Chancellor Angela Merkel giving evidence last week.