Oct 222013
 October 22, 2013  Posted by  Non-U.S., Surveillance

US President Barack Obama has spoken to French President Francois Hollande about the reported surveillance of millions of phone calls in France by the US National Security Agency.

Mr Obama said some recent disclosures had been distorted but that some had raised “legitimate” questions for US allies.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Paris that his government was taking a fresh look at its intelligence gathering operations.

Read more on RTÉ News. The New York Times adds:

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.

The Netherlands are also upset by the revelations that showed that their citizens’ communications were also scooped up:

Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk wants to make agreements with the US about the activities of its security service NSA in relation to the Netherlands and Dutch nationals, news agency ANP reports.

A spokesman for the minister said talks are already underway between the NSA and Dutch security service AIVD. The minister was reacting to reports that NSA tapped into 1.8 million phone calls in the Netherlands in one month month last year.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.