Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


France, Mexico seek answers on spy claims

21 October 2013, 12:03

Paris - France and Mexico have angrily demanded prompt explanations from Washington following fresh, "shocking" spying allegations leaked by former US security contractor Edward Snowden.

The reports in French daily Le Monde and German weekly Der Spiegel revealed that the National Security Agency secretly recorded tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls described the revelations in Le Monde newspaper as "shocking", in an interview on Monday with Europe 1 radio.

The spy agency taped 70.3 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between 10 December and 8 January this year, Le Monde reported in its online version, citing documents from Snowden.

According to the paper, the NSA automatically picked up communications from certain phone numbers in France and recorded text messages under a programme code-named "US-985D".

Explanations demanded

Le Monde said the documents gave grounds to believe that the NSA targeted not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.

Valls said the revelations would call for "precise explanations by US authorities in the coming hours".

US authorities declined comment to the French daily on the "classified" documents.

The Le Monde article followed similar revelations by Der Spiegel, also based on documents provided by Snowden that US agents had hacked into the Mexican presidency's network, gaining access to Calderon's account.

According to the report, the NSA said this contained "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico's political system and internal stability."The agency reportedly said the president's office was now "a lucrative source."

Mexican authorities said they would be seeking answers from US officials "as soon as possible" following the allegations.

"The Mexican government reiterates its categorical condemnation of the violation of privacy of institutional communications and Mexican citizens," Mexico's foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

"This practice is unacceptable, illegitimate and contrary to Mexican law and international law," the statement read.

Snowden, who has taken refuge in Russia, is wanted in the United States for espionage and other charges after leaking details of the NSA's worldwide snooping activities, which triggered a global furore when published in major newspapers in June.

The fugitive had been in hiding in Hong Kong since May and flew to Moscow on 23 June, where he stayed in the transit area for more than a month before being given temporary asylum and leaving the airport for a safe location.

US President Barack Obama has since proposed reforms of US surveillance programmes in the wake of the furore.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...