France has also been targeted by the U.S. intelligence. According to Le Monde investigations, the National Security Agency (NSA) has intercepted French citizens’ telephone communications on a massive scale. The documents released in June by Edward Snowden, the former consultant of the agency, describe the techniques used to illegally capture French secrets or privacy details.
One of the documents leaked by Snowden shows a graph that describes the extent of telephone monitoring performed in France: over a period of thirty days, from December 10th 2012 to January 8th 2013, 70.3 million telephone recordings of French data have been performed by the NSA.
The agency actually uses several modes of data collection for this program called “US- 985d”. Some telephone numbers used in France do activate a signal that automatically starts recording some conversations. This monitoring also retrieves SMS and content based on specific keywords. The NSA also stores systematically all connections made by each target.
The techniques used for these interceptions appear as “DRTBOX” and “WHITEBOX” codes. The NSA targets both people suspected to have connections with terrorist activities but also individuals through their links with the business and politics arena but also and the French administration.
The graph shows that on average, the NSA intercepted 3 million data per day with peaks of almost 7 million on December 24th 2012 or January 7th 2013. Surprisingly, from December 28th to 31st, no interceptions occurred. This non-activity may match the time required for the renewal by the U.S. Congress of the law governing wiretapping abroad (section 702) at the end of December 2012.
The controversy continues to mount on the precise identity of the targeted individuals and the reason for such a massive collection of data on a foreign territory, which has been a U.S. ally for many years.
The U.S. authorities did not want to comment on these documents considered as classified. They refer to the statement of the National Director of National Intelligence made on June 8th: “For those targeted outside our borders, we cannot target them without legal grounds based, such as the terrorist threat, computer or nuclear proliferation. ”
But France is not the foreign territory where the NSA filters the most digital or telephone connections. In June, Edward Snowden revelations about the system called “Boundless Informant” have given a complete and real-time view of all information collected around the world, through the different tapping systems managed by the NSA. Indeed, “Boundless Informant” collects both telephone data (DNR) and digital data (DNI). Some of Snowden documents show that between February 8th and March 8th 2013, the NSA has collected 124.8 billion of DNR and 97.1 billion of DNI worldwide in war zones such as Afghanistan, Russia or China. In Europe, only Germany and the United Kingdom stand beyond France for the number of interceptions. However, for the British, this espionage is done with the full consent of their government …
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