President Hollande of France will use a European summit later this week to call for tighter security for personal data in the wake of a furore over large-scale US spying.
Le Monde newspaper said the US National Security Agency snooped on 70.3 million French phone calls and texts in under a month, between 10 December 2012 and 8 January 2013.
The French foreign minister summoned the US ambassador and will also complain when he sees Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris on Tuesday.
“We had already been alerted in June and we reacted strongly but obviously we need to go further. This kind of practice between partners, that violates privacy is totally unacceptable. We must ensure quickly that these practices are no longer repeated,” Laurent Fabius said.
It is thought terrorism suspects were targeted as well as others with ties to business, politics and administration.
Le Monde says the new information came from data leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. It details how the use of certain phone numbers and key words in text messages would trigger alerts.
Paris has support from Germany, whose Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he could “understand the indignation and anger in France” regarding the United States because “this is not the way we should work between partners and friends”. He added that American spying on other countries, especially Germany, needed clarifying.
Euronews Paris correspondent Giovanni Magi said:
“French and American diplomats have worked hard in recent years to rebuild the relationship that became cracked at the time of the military intervention in Iraq. Now, the revelations about wiretapping are likely to mark a setback in this process of rapprochement. And they’re also a source of embarrassment for the US Secretary of State John Kerry who’s now arrived in Paris (for talks on Syria).
“There are also questions over why the French foreign minister waited until today to summon the American ambassador. Perhaps the secret services did not have enough information on the scale of the interceptions. Or perhaps the government simply waited for the affair to become public.”
In Washington there was no immediate official reaction from any top US official. Euronews correspondent in the US Stefan Grobe added:
“It is clear that the latest revelations are embarrassing for the administration, especially as relations with France have improved over the last years. And let’s not forget that France was the only major European ally that was willing to support US military action in Syria just a few weeks ago.
“Of course, the irony is that President Obama once pledged to have the most transparent US government in history, and now he is dealing with security operations that are politically, constitutionally and morally questionable. But there may be an opportunity for Obama to transform the NSA very soon, and this is the upcoming retirement of NSA Director Keith Alexander. Obama could appoint somebody who will make sure that individual rights are more protected. That would be something that privacy groups have already advocated.”
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Ottawa fatal shooting: Police admit they were ‘caught by surprise’
- 2Police search for possible suspects following attack on Canada’s parliament
- 3Revealed: Europe’s capital cities where it’s hardest to be a foreigner
- 4Intruder sparks lockdown at the White House
- 5Another battle for Ukraine as winter approaches amid gas row
- 1Revealed: Europe’s capital cities where it’s hardest to be a foreigner
- 2Canada raises its terror threat following attack on soldiers
- 3Ottawa fatal shooting: Police admit they were ‘caught by surprise’
- 4Another battle for Ukraine as winter approaches amid gas row
- 5‘Criminal negligence’ blamed for death of Total boss Christophe de Margerie
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Now is ‘right time’ for Catalonia independence vote, says Mas | euronews, world news
- 3Vatican rocked by another paedophilia scandal | euronews, world news
- 4Two container ships collide on Egypt’s Suez Canal | euronews, no comment
- 5British Muslims’ message to ISIL: Not in my name! | euronews, world news
- 6Sweden becomes first European nation to recognise Palestine | euronews, world news
- 7Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel | euronews, world news
- 8International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 9Revealed: Europe’s capital cities where it’s hardest to be a foreigner | euronews, world news
- 10European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 11Emma Watson threatened with naked photos leak after UN equality speech | euronews, world news
- 12How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad | euronews, world news
- 13Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’ | euronews, world news
- 14Ebola: Six new suspected cases in Spain | euronews, world news
- 15Learning through “serious games” | euronews, learning world
- 16euronews speaks to Ban Ki-moon ahead of key UN and climate change talks | euronews, the global conversation
- 17Mike Tyson: ‘You learn humbleness when you get older in life’ | euronews, the global conversation
- 18US delivers technical aid to Ukraine but warns over security | euronews, world news
- 19euronews apps : iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Nokia S40, Nokia Asha, Smart TV and Google Glass
- 20Global warming to ‘cause 250,000 extra deaths a year’ | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 15:29 CET U.S., allies stage 15 air strikes on Islamic State in Iraq, Syria…
- 14:56 CET China vows better rule of law, but no word of disgraced security…
- 14:43 CET Ottawa pushes for business as usual after shootings
- 14:40 CET Exclusive – Charred tanks in Ukraine point to Russian involvement
- 14:35 CET U.N. rights watchdog calls for open elections in Hong Kong
- 14:02 CET Ukrainian PM warns Russia may try to disrupt Sunday’s election
- 13:55 CET Syrian Kurds sign power-sharing deal to draw more support
- 13:24 CET EU leaders seek climate deal, but divided over costs