France summons US ambassador to answer allegations of widespread NSA surveillance
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting French telephone calls “on a massive scale”, according to a report published Monday in Le Monde. The report was co-authored by American journalist Glenn Greenwald, and is based on classified documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. According to Le Monde, the NSA recorded millions of telephone calls placed by French citizens over a 30-day period last year, including some placed by people with no connections to terrorist organizations.
The NSA declined to comment on today’s revelations, though French officials are already taking action. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters Monday that he has summoned the US ambassador to discuss Le Monde‘s report.
“This type of practice between partners, which invades private life, is totally unacceptable,” Fabius told reporters in Luxembourg. “We must assure, very rapidly, that they are no longer practiced.”
The French daily reports that the NSA collected 70.3 million recordings of French phone calls from December 10th, 2012 to January 8th, 2013; on average, the agency executed about 3 million data intercepts per day. A program called “US-985D” allowed the NSA to automatically intercept calls and text messages sent from certain phone numbers, though details on the techniques used to obtain these data — codenamed in classified documents as “DRTBOX” and “WHITEBOX” — remain unclear. Text messages were reportedly intercepted based on certain keywords and the NSA collected associated metadata, though it’s not clear whether the content of the messages were retained, or if the program is still active.
The identities of targeted individuals are equally unclear, though Le Monde writes that the size of the NSA’s operation suggests that the agency has been conducting surveillance not only on suspected terrorists, but people who “belong to the worlds of business, politics, or French state administration.” In September, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the NSA conducted surveillance on the French Foreign Ministry’s computer networks as part of an attempt to learn more about the country’s foreign policy objectives and weapons trade agreements.
“NSA collected 70.3 million recordings of French phone calls from December 10th, 2012 to January 8th, 2013; on average, the agency executed about 3 million data intercepts per day”
outrage from the french..i bet they didnt complain when THEY were receiving intel about other trading partners..there is no honour amongst criminals! owned..