Report: NSA Allegedly Intercepted Phone Calls Made In France
October 21, 2013 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
LUXEMBOURG (UPI) — The U.S. ambassador to France was summoned over allegations the National Security Agency captured millions of phone calls in France over 30 days.
The NSA tapped and monitored phone calls made in France, French newspaper Le Monde reported Monday, citing material leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, now living in Russia under temporary asylum.
“I have immediately summoned the American ambassador. He will be at the Foreign Ministry this very morning,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said during a European Union meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg Monday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris Monday, CNN reported.
The surveillance occurred from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013, Le Monde reported. An NSA graph indicated an average daily data intercepts numbered 3 million.
Efforts to contact the Foreign Ministry were unsuccessful, CNN said.
Le Monde’s report followed the German news magazine Der Spiegel article, also citing documents leaked by Snowden, saying the NSA “systematically” eavesdropped on the Mexican government. Der Spiegel said the NSA hacked the public e-mail account of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, which was also used by Cabinet members.
“This practice is unacceptable, illegitimate and against Mexican and international law,” Mexico’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said it would push for speedy investigation.
A U.S. State Department official told CNN the two countries have been in contact about the report and would discuss it through diplomatic channels.
In September, Mexico and Brazil summoned U.S. ambassadors after media reports the United States had spied on their countries’ presidents.
The NSA said it would not “comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and as a matter of policy we have made clear the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.”
Noting President Obama’s comments at the U.N. General Assembly, the NSA said, “[We've] begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.”