France, Mexico demand answers over new US spying allegations
By Marianne Barriaux ,AFPPARIS -- France and Mexico have angrily demanded prompt explanations from the United States after new spying allegations leaked by former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden.
October 22, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
The reports published in French daily Le Monde and German weekly Der Spiegel claim that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) secretly monitored tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account.
They come on top of revelations already leaked by Snowden and published in June that the U.S. had a vast, secret program called PRISM to monitor Internet users, which French prosecutors are already investigating.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was “deeply shocked” by the revelations — the same word used by Interior Minister Manuel Valls — and demanded an explanation from U.S. authorities.
“It's incredible that an allied country like the United States at this point goes as far as spying on private communications that have no strategic justification, no justification on the basis of national defense,” he told journalists in Copenhagen
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, on a trip to Luxembourg for a meeting with his EU counterparts, said the U.S. ambassador had been summoned to his ministry for a meeting Monday morning.
“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.
It was the second time in less than four months that the American ambassador in Paris has been hauled in over revelations about U.S. snooping.
The latest leak is also expected to prove embarrassing for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was due in Paris on Monday for talks with Arab officials.
Fabius will raise the issue with him in talks planned for Tuesday morning, a ministry spokesman said.