Reason #1,000,001 we need a completely new government:
France, Mexico seek answers on 'shocking' US spy claims
by AFP, October 21, 2013
Paris (AFP) - France and Mexico have angrily demanded prompt explanations from Washington following fresh, "shocking" spying allegations leaked by former US security contractor Edward Snowden.
The reports in French daily Le Monde and German weekly Der Spiegel revealed that the National Security Agency secretly recorded tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls described the revelations in Le Monde newspaper as "shocking", in an interview Monday with Europe 1 radio.
The spy agency taped 70.3 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between December 10 and January 8 this year, Le Monde reported in its online version, citing documents from Snowden.
According to the paper, the NSA automatically picked up communications from certain phone numbers in France and recorded text messages under a programme code-named "US-985D."
Le Monde said the documents gave grounds to believe that the NSA targeted not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.
Valls said the revelations would call for "precise explanations by US authorities in the coming hours."
US authorities declined comment to the French daily on the "classified" documents.
U.S. monitored the phone calls of 35 world leaders: report
by Reuters, October 24, 2013
LONDON (Reuters) - The United States monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders according to classified documents leaked by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, Britain's Guardian newspaper said on Thursday.
Phone numbers were passed on to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) by an official in another government department, according to the documents, the Guardian said on its website.
It added that staff in the White House, State Department and the Pentagon were urged to share the contact details of foreign politicians.
"We are not going to 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," a White House spokeswoman said, reacting to the report.
The revelations come after Germany demanded answers from Washington over allegations Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone was bugged, the worst spat between the two countries in a decade.
The White House did not deny the bugging, saying only it would not happen in future.
"In one recent case, a U.S. official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders," reads an excerpt from a confidential memo dated October 2006 which was quoted by the Guardian.
The identities of the politicians in question were not revealed.
The revelations in the center-left Guardian suggested that the bugging of world leaders could be more widespread than originally thought, with the issue set to overshadow an EU summit in Brussels.
(Reporting By Costas Pitas; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Barry Moody and Eric Walsh)