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France wants answers

France is concerned about the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) spy programs 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 Le Monde 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. 

Le Monde 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 The Guardian in Britain and Der Spiegel 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.

Source: Le Monde

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RE: just wondering...
By vol7ron on 10/31/2013 11:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
Name one instance where spying on Americans stopped an attack. The Obama administration has had ample time to provide such an example. It has not, and can not.

Are you serious? Do you know how many threats and planned attacks the government and institutions receive daily? - both foreign and domestic. An intel officer told me once and I was astonished - post 9/11 they talk about it on the news every once-in-a-while. Recently, there have been a number of planned attacks, car bombings, subway bombings, et al. that have occurred (primarily in NYC, DC, Boston, and LA) over the years. Do you not recall the FBI working with Paypal to do analysis on consumer purchases and discovering groups as a result? Jason, please don't claim ignorance on this one.

Immaterial. If they have a system that invites abuse whether they're abusing it now or plan to does not preclude future abuse.

It's not immaterial. You're reconfirming my statement... we should care if they are abusing or have plans to. We need to protect ourselves, without crippling our defenses. The world isn't the same as it was in the 50s. I don't understand how you can quote me, then say something similar, and call it "immaterial". It's not immaterial. You're assuming they're going to abuse this power, I'm saying that we won't know unless we protect/prepare ourselves -- I suppose I'm more conservative than you and not as naive. I don't think "just because I don't hear about it, it's not happening", instead, I think... it could be happening, I want to ensure it isn't.

All systems are vulnerable to data loss if they are accessible by humans. No system is "hack-proof".

It was a rhetorical question, reinforcing the fact that we should care.


I don't understand why my original comment was down voted. I am not for being spied on, but I'm not so ignorant that I can't understand that there are malevolent-natured people in this country. Whether here illegally, or actual "Americans", there are those amongst us that try to enact plans of terrorism or some vigilante agenda. Look at 9/11, they were terrorists who trained themselves on our soil. I don't know about you, but I'd like to prevent that from happening. I'd like to protect the innocent, not endanger them.

My main question is how can we better prevent terrorist schemes this day in age, without gathering information and doing analysis on it? My belief is that homeland security is the government's primary objective - to protect its citizens, especially those that cannot protect themselves; women and children first. If there is no other way for the government to do this, than gathering lots of data and running analytical engines, then we should make sure to protect ourselves (our rights) from it being abused.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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