Le Monde newspaper says documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that the U.S. National Security Agency swept up 70.3 million French phone records in a 30-day period. The French government has summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain why the Americans spied on one of their closest allies.
The report Monday, co-written by Glenn Greenwald who originally revealed the NSA surveillance program, found that when certain numbers were used, the conversations were automatically recorded. The surveillance operation also swept up text messages based on key words, Le Monde reported, based on records from Dec. 10 to Jan 7.
Similar programs have been revealed in Britain and Germany.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he would demand an explanation for a practice he described as “totally unacceptable.”
France calls in U.S. ambassador over spying report
France called in the U.S. ambassador on Monday to protest at allegations in Le Monde newspaper about large-scale spying on French citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
“I have immediately summoned the U.S. ambassador and he will be received this morning at the Quai d’Orsay (the French Foreign Ministry),” Fabius told reporters at a European Union foreign ministers’ meeeting in Luxembourg.