The National Security Administration (NSA) is facing new allegations about invasions of privacy, according to CNN. The U.S. ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, met with French diplomats on Monday to discuss these allegations, which revolve around the NSA incepting over 70 million phone calls in France over a period of 30 days.
Details of the allegations appeared in the French newspaper Le Monde.
"These kinds of practices between partners, that violate privacy, are totally unacceptable," Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Minister, told reporters at a meeting of European Union (EU) foreign ministers that were meeting in Luxembourg. "We must quickly assure that these practices aren't repeated."
The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was already in Paris for a previously scheduled meeting, and is expected to meet with Fabius on Tuesday, according to a U.S. official that spoke with CNN.
This new information about monitored calls is another result of the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA.
"Telephone communications of French citizens are intercepted on a massive scale," read the article in Le Monde. The intercepts mentioned in the allegations took place between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013. An accompanying NSA graph shows an average of three million data intercepts per day.
"When a telephone number is used in France, it activates a signal which automatically triggers the recording of the call," read Le Monde. "Apparently this surveillance system also picks up SMS [text] messages and their content using key words.
"Finally, the NSA apparently stores the history of the connections of each target - or the meta-data," the article continued.
The article didn't make it clear whether the conversations were recorded, or only the data surrounding the calls.
The NSA said that it wouldn't "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 this 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 concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share," the NSA continued.
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