France summons U.S. ambassador, Mexico condemns spying
|Former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon
image: World Economic Forum/Twitter
Both France and Mexico have responded to the surveillance program of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) on Monday, with France summoning the U.S. ambassador and Mexico strongly criticizing the U.S. over reportedly spying on the email of the former Mexican president.
The French paper reported that the NSA recorded some 70.3 million items of French telephone data between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013 alone, according to Reuters.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the Le Monde report revealed “unacceptable practices.” This response was quite strong given that France reportedly has a massive surveillance program of their own.
Mexico’s outcry came after Germany’s Der Spiegel reported that the NSA hacked into the email account of Felipe Calderon while he was still president.
The NSA division known as “Tailored Access Operations” gained access to Calderon’s account in May 2010 and said they turned his office into a “lucrative” source of information, the Guardian reports, citing Der Spiegel.
However, it wasn’t just Calderon’s account that was compromised by the NSA, according to the report.
The agency was also able to hack into a central server of the Mexican president’s network which was used by others in his cabinet. This breach reportedly led to a treasure trove of secret information on Mexican diplomatic and economic affairs.
“This practice is unacceptable, illegal and against Mexican and international law,” the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement, without citing the Der Spiegel report by name.
The German report on the operation, called “Flatliquid, was reprinted by Mexican media outlets.
The spying could negatively impact relations between the U.S. in Mexico over many issues like cross-border security and the fight against drug cartels.
The two governments will be discussing the issue through diplomatic channels, an anonymous senior U.S. State Department official said to CNN.
The NSA said they would not “comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.”
“As the President said in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, we’ve begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share,” the NSA added in response to CNN.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.