French Condemn Surveillance by N.S.A.

10/21/13
 
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from The New York Times,
10/21/13:

The French government castigated the United States on Monday for carrying out extensive electronic eavesdropping within France, the latest diplomatic backlash against the National Security Agency’s wide surveillance net and another example of how disclosures about the program have strained relations — at least temporarily — with even the closest of Washington’s allies.

The Foreign Ministry summoned the American ambassador, Charles H. Rivkin, who met with ministry officials after an article Monday in Le Monde, the authoritative French newspaper, that the N.S.A. had scooped up 70 million digital communications inside France in a single month, from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013.

French officials called the spying “totally unacceptable” and demanded that it cease.

“These kinds of practices between partners are totally unacceptable, and we must be assured that they are no longer being implemented,” Mr. Rivkin was told, according to a ministry spokesman, Alexandre Giorgini.

The same language was used late Monday in a statement from President François Hollande describing what he had said in an earlier telephone conversation with President Obama.

However, in a discreet signal that some of the French talk may have been aimed at the government’s domestic audience, France did not call this episode a breach of sovereignty, as Brazil did last month after similar revelations.

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