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 summons US ambassador over spying

22 October 2013, 09:29

Paris - France reacted angrily on Monday to a newspaper report alleging that the US spied on millions of phone communications made by French citizens, summoning the US ambassador and demanding that the issue be taken up in EU-US free trade talks.

Le Monde daily reported that documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the US National Security Agency (NSA) collected 70.3 million recordings of French phone data between 10 December 2012 and 8 January 2013.

The information was contained in an NSA graphic, which the paper uploaded onto its website.

It was not clear whether the spying had started before 10 December and/or continued after the period in study. The graphic appeared to be a 30-day snapshot of the programme, which was coded "US-985D".

The documents did not identify the targets of the surveillance but Le Monde said that explanations given in the texts indicated that "both people suspected of links with terrorist activities as well as individuals targeted simply for their links to the world of business, politics or the French administration" had been monitored.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius slammed the alleged spying as "totally unacceptable".

Speaking on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg Fabius said his ministry had summoned the US ambassador to demand an explanation.

In later remarks, he said he would bring up the issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry at a pre-scheduled meeting on Tuesday and that President Francois Hollande would also be squeezing the European Commission to obtain more guarantees on data protection in trade talks with the US.

"Because, as I have said before, we are obviously in agreement to cooperate on fighting terrorism, it's indispensable, but that doesn't justify snooping on the personal data of millions of our citizens," Fabius said.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls also labelled the revelations "shocking" and "completely unacceptable" on the part of an ally.

Le Monde said the NSA had several ways of spying on the French.

"When some telephone numbers are used in France they activate a signal which automatically triggers a recording of certain conversations."

"This surveillance also uses key words to retrieve text messages and their content. Finally, the NSA systematically stocks the records of each target's communications."

The revelations are the latest in a steady stream of disclosures about US spying programmes, based on NSA documents leaked by former CIA employee Snowden starting in May.



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...