Report: NSA spied on French citizens, Mexican government

Source: Al Jazeera

Newly released documents show the NSA accessed the emails and phones of French civilians and Mexican officials.

The National Security Agency (NSA) recorded 70.3 million French civilian telephone conversations in a span of 30 days, from Dec. 10, 2012 to Jan. 8 this year, French newspaper Le Monde reported Monday.

The agency also intercepted communications of the Mexican government for years, has read text messages and listened to phone calls of its current President Enrique Pena Nieto, and has hacked into the email servers of private companies in Latin America, according to a report published on Sunday by Der Spiegel, a German newspaper.

Both reports are based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently in Russia evading U.S. persecution for revealing classified information from the NSA.

The news is the latest in a long line of revelations about the secretive agency. Previous document releases revealed that the agency intercepts and monitors the communications of American citizens without warrants, and also conducts foreign surveillance on several countries, including U.S. allies.

Le Monde’s report emerged as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris for diplomatic talks about a peace process for Israel and Palestine Monday. The U.S. ambassador to France has also been summoned to the French foreign ministry to discuss the newspaper’s allegations.

Mexico’s foreign ministry condemned “the violation of privacy of institutional communications and Mexican citizens,” according to a statement released Sunday.

“This practice is unacceptable, illegitimate and contrary to Mexican law and international law,” the statement read.

The documents obtained by Der Spiegel show that in May 2010, the NSA was able to hack into an email server used by the Mexican government and gain access to then-president Felipe Calderon’s public email account, along with the accounts of his cabinet members.

The NSA documents called the server a “lucrative source” of information because it allowed the U.S. to see “diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico’s political system and internal stability,” according to Der Spiegel.

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