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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/21/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

National Security Agency monitored countless phone calls in both nations

France and the United States have had sometimes chilly international relations. Many French people find Americans boorish and culturally insensitive, while Americans find the French to be arrogant. But the two nations remain close allies. America's neighbor to the south, Mexico, has always enjoyed good relations - in spite of illegal immigrants sometimes streaming through the southern border. Both France and Mexico are now outraged to learn that the national Security Agency, or NSA, has been surveying the telephone calls of citizens of both countries. We're supposed to be friends - right?

The U.S. ambassador had 'immediately' been summoned to his ministry for a meeting, according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The U.S. ambassador had "immediately" been summoned to his ministry for a meeting, according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/21/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: France< Mexico, NSA, Edward Snowden


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's all part of the  new spying allegations leaked by former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden. As published in the French newspaper Le Monde and the German weekly Der Spiegel, the NSA secretly monitored tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account.

Snowden also says that the U.S. had a vast, secret program called PRISM to monitor Internet users.

The U.S. ambassador had "immediately" been summoned to his ministry for a meeting, according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

"These kinds of practices between partners that harm privacy are totally unacceptable. We have to rapidly make sure that they are no longer implemented in any circumstance," he told reporters.

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

The NSA automatically picked up communications from certain phone numbers in France and recorded certain text messages under a program code-named "US-985D," Le Monde reports. 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.

Der Spiegel reported upon documents provided by Snowden -- that U.S. agents had hacked into the Mexican presidency's network, gaining access to Calderon's account.

The NSA said this contained "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico's political system and internal stability."

Mexican authorities said they would be seeking answers from U.S. 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 Sunday.

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

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