Latest Snowden Leak Shows that NSA Spied on French Citizens
October 21, 2013 4:46 PM
France wants answers
France is concerned about the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA)
and its intentions when it comes to the involvement of French citizens, and now, the country is demanding answers.
France summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday after French newspaper
detailed the NSA's actions in spying on French citizens. It turns out the amount and depth of the NSA's spying on France is more than the country was aware of, and it plans to get detailed justification.
"We have extremely useful cooperation with the United States in the struggle against terrorism, but this cooperation does not justify everything," said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. "So we've asked the United States to provide clarifications, explanations and justifications extremely quickly."
According to the U.S. embassy in Paris, Ambassador Charles Rivkin promised Fabius's chief of staff that he would tell Washington about France's NSA worries.
said the NSA recorded 70.3 million bits of French telephone data between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013. The NSA also collected tens of thousands of French phone records.
While the NSA says it targets those suspected of terrorism activity or involvement, those part of French business or politics were also spied on through the NSA's surveillance programs.
Back in July, Paris prosecutors opened a preliminary inquiry into the NSA's Prism program after
in Britain and
in Germany uncovered a more widespread spying effort by the NSA.
The NSA has been under the microscope ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden uncovered the spying methods used by U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this year, which included
collecting data from phones
. This was used to fight terrorist attacks, but the public feared for their privacy after such revelations.
In August, reports said that the NSA admitted to
touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic
. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale.
Days later, an internal audit showed that the NSA broke the law
nearly 3,000 times
from 2011 to 2012. More specifically, the May 2012 audit revealed that the NSA had
abused its power
to either accidentally or intentionally
spy on Americans
and green card holders 2,997 times in that time period.
Just last week,
The Washington Post
revealed that the NSA seized
the email and IM contacts lists
of 700,000+ accounts daily in 2012.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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