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ESPIONAGE

France summons US ambassador over 'spying'

afp
2 min

The US National Security Agency recorded millions of French phone calls, including those involving individuals with no links to terrorism, "Le Monde" reported on Monday, prompting France to summon the US ambassador for "immediate" talks.

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The US National Security Agency (NSA) secretly recorded millions of phone calls made in France, French daily "Le Monde" reported on Monday, citing documents leaked by former NSA intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The US spy agency taped 70.3 million French phone calls in just a little under a month in the period from December 10 last year to January 8, 2013, "Le Monde" reported on its website. The paper said the NSA automatically monitored communications from certain phone numbers and recorded text messages under a programme that was code named "US-985D".

"Le Monde" said the documents indicated that the NSA targets not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.

The revelations prompted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to summon the US ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, for "immediate" talks on Monday.

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

"Le Monde" has previously reported on the French government's vast spying network, which it says stores the metadata on “all emails, SMSes, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts” in a massive three-floor underground bunker in Paris.

Snowden, who has taken temporary refuge in Russia, is wanted in the United States on espionage and other charges after leaking details of the NSA's monitoring activities to journalists at Britain's "The Guardian" newspaper.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

 

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