Whistleblower Edward Snowden has alleged that the US National Security Agency spies on industrial establishments abroad.
In a recent interview on German public television, he said that the NSA resorts to snooping whenever it feels any industry information is in US interest regardless of national security concerns.
"There is no question that the US is engaged in economic spying," said Snowden.
Giving an example of an industrial giant, Snowden clarified the pretext of espionage.
"If there's information at Siemens that's beneficial to US national interests, even if it doesn't have anything to do with national security, then they'll take that information nevertheless," said Snowden.
If some industry information the NSA believes "would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they'll take it," he continued.
Snowden did not reveal details on why he thinks the US is involved in industrial espionage and said he was no longer in possession of any NSA documents as he had passed them all to a few selected journalists.
The latest disclosure by Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum by Russia, came during a 30-minute interview conducted in the host country and aired on ARD, a German public broadcaster.
He also believes that US officials wanted to kill him, he said in the interview, citing an article he had read on Buzzfeed in which US government representatives had allegedly told a reporter that they wanted to kill him.
"These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket and then watch me die in the shower," he said.
He confessed to feeling a "significant threat" to his life, but said he "sleeps well," because he believes he had done the right thing.
The US government's surveillance programmes on foreign civilians and officials came to light last year, when Snowden leaked a massive collection of telephone and email records to media outlets.