NSA Collects 70 Million Pieces of French Phone Data in One Month, France Outraged: Report

By on October 22, 2013

by Ali Papademetriou

French officials summoned the United States ambassador, Charles H. Rivkin, on Monday after discovering a bit of startling news regarding the NSA that was reported by French newspaper Le Monde.

Rivkin met with the Foreign Ministry on Monday morning after reading in the newspaper about the US National Security Agency pulling a similar stunt on French residents as it did to US citizens – unwarranted spying through telephone data.

In just less than one month’s time – between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013, the NSA gathered tens of thousands of French phone records and 70.3 million pieces of telephone data, reported Le Monde.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is outraged and said that the behavior is intolerable, especially considering the US and France are strong allies.

These kinds of practices between partners are totally unacceptable and we must be assured that they are no longer being implemented,” Alexandre Giorgini, a ministry spokesman, reportedly told to Mr. Rivkin.

Fabius told news outlets in Luxembourg, “We have extremely useful cooperation with the United States in the struggle against terrorism, but this cooperation does not justify everything.”

Ironically, the reports came out on the same day US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in France for a representative visit. The New York Times confirmed that Kerry turned down informing reporters in Paris about the US surveillance rampancy, and said that the US would be hosting talks with France and other allies regarding the situation.

Our goal is always to try to find the right balance between protecting the security and the privacy of our citizens and this work is going to continue as well as our very close consultations with our friends here in France,” claimed Kerry.

Image Reference

Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

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