False & misleading: NSA denies French spy reports

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The NSA did not record 70 million French telephone calls, but it does carry out espionage in France, Intelligence Director James Clapper has said. Responding to media reports on NSA activities in France, he dismissed them as “false and misleading.”

The head of the National Security Agency (NSA) stopped short of denying the US carried out espionage in France, but claimed the contents of a report by Le Monde were “false.”

The French newspaper released an article on Monday describing the espionage activities of the NSA on the French people. Citing classified data leaked to the paper by former CIA employee Edward Snowden, Le Monde wrote the US recorded 70.3 million phone calls between December 10, 2012, and January 8, 2013.

"Recent articles published in the French newspaper Le Monde contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding US foreign intelligence activities," Clapper said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Specifically addressing the claims that the NSA had tapped French citizens’ phone calls, Clapper stated, “The allegation that the NSA collected more than 70 million 'recordings of French citizens' telephone data' is false.”

However, the intelligence chief did consent that “the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.”

Le Monde claimed it has reason to believe that the US was not only gathering data on citizens suspected to be involved in terrorist activities, but also high-profile politicians and businessmen.

The allegations of espionage provoked a volley of furious rhetoric from the French government who characterized the NSA’s activities as “unacceptable and shocking.” Furthermore, the French Foreign Minister summoned US Ambassador Charles Rivkin to personally account for the spy..

Read more: http://rt.com/news/reports-nsa-france-false-583/