One day after news broke that the NSA hacked into the Mexican president's email, French paper Le Monde reported that the U.S. spy agency recorded more than 70 million phone calls in France over a 30 day period last year.
The report, which was co-written by Glenn Greenwald, states that 70.3 million phone calls between French citizens were recorded between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013. The recording system, which was triggered automatically, also intercepted text messages, according to the report.
"This sort of practice between partners that invades privacy is totally unacceptable and we have to make sure, very quickly, that this no longer happens," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters at a European Union meeting in Luxembourg. "I have immediately summoned the U.S. ambassador and he will be received this morning at the Quai d'Orsay (the French Foreign Ministry)."
And perfect timing for a diplomatic row! The news broke just as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris to discuss a peace deal between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
One of the documents which Le Monde was able to consult notes that between 8 February and 8 March 2013, the NSA collected, throughout the world, 124,8 billion telephone data items and 97,1 billion computer data items. In Europe, only Germany and the United Kingdom exceed France in terms of numbers of interceptions.
[Image of U.S Ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin leaving the French Ministry via AP]