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France demands explanation for NSA spying

 
 
 
 
 
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France has summoned the US ambassador after reports emerged that the National Security Agency (NSA) has recorded millions of French telephone calls.

The French daily Le Monde recently published a report which showed that the NSA spy agency secretly taped more than 70 million phone conversations in France over a 30-day period this year.

Paris summoned US Ambassador Charles Hammerman Rivkin for explanation on Monday.

Rivkin has not commented on the summoning issue, but he told reporters that the US-France “relationship on a military, intelligence, special forces… level is the best it’s been in a generation.”

The Le Monde report was based on documents leaked by American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

According to the report, the NSA automatically monitored communications from certain phone numbers in France and recorded text messages. The spying agency also targeted certain high-profile French political and business individuals.

France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said that the spying revelations are “shocking.”

The summoning of the US envoy to France comes as the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that US agents had hacked into the email account of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and obtained a “lucrative” source of information.

Mexico has said they will be demanding answers from Washington “as soon as possible” regarding the spying disclosures.

Revelations of massive spying operations by the United States have already triggered condemnations across Europe and Latin America.

The extensive US surveillance on communications in Brazil made President Dilma Rousseff cancel a visit to Washington last month.

Snowden, who was granted political asylum in Russia on August 1, has been charged in the United States with espionage and theft of government property after leaking documents that revealed the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been secretly gathering information of people in both the US and all around the world.

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