National Intelligence Director Denies Allegations of Phone-Tapping in France

Snowden-leaked info points to eavesdropping

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The director of national intelligence dismissed accusations Tuesday night that the National Security Agency listened in on 70 million French phone calls in a 30-day period.

James Clapper denied the eavesdropping, which was initially reported in the French newspaper Le Monde, calling the allegations “misleading” and “false,” the New York Times reports. The revelations came from documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor now charged with espionage and theft for leaking confidential documents about the scope of NSA surveillance.

France is just the latest American ally to express outrage over revelations that the NSA used electronic surveillance within their borders. Mexico, Germany and Brazil are already  upset about allegations of spying within their borders.

Le Monde also reported that information learned through wiretapping had played a “big role” in helping the United States secure a crucial vote in favor of a 2010 United Nations resolution to impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

Clapper did not address these allegations in his statement posted on the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“While we are not going to discuss the details of our activities, we have repeatedly made it clear that the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations,” the statement said.

French President François Hollande expressed “extreme reprobation” at the report, and President Barack Obama called him Monday to acknowledge the report in an attempt to smooth out the situation.

[NYT]

5 comments
Kungmalaysia
Kungmalaysia

" The US does not monitor and will not monitor " 


This doesn't point to the fact that the US already has subcontractors who do monitor and are monitoring and who will monitor you in the present and very near future! Thank you NSA for your incredible hard work!

Kungmalaysia
Kungmalaysia

Sure - the US 'only' identifies data from third party locations, using third party contractors then reports this data back to the NSA and so we get truth by ignominious default from the US AFTER and post all the information has been farmed, forwarded and actioned by other third party ( should we call these first party or fourth party; getting more complicated ) principals so they know everything about France! Hooray for the USA. 

KnottWhittingley
KnottWhittingley

More Clapper lying by misdirection.

What's being reported is that 70 million French call records (metadata) were recorded by the US, not that the audio was recorded as in a wiretap.

The US does not need or want all that audio---it would mostly just clog up their databases.  The metadata on phone calls is sufficient to figure out lots of good stuff, making good guesses as to who's sleeping with whom, who has cancer they haven't told the public about, what opportunities various corporations are pursuing, and who has influence with politicians.

That's a pretty good start at being able to bribe, extort, blackmail, insider trade, undermine negotiations, etc., and tells them where to target more invasive surveillance, with wiretaps and bugs that are simply worth the time, money, or trouble in the vast majority of cases.  (Especially when you combine that metadata with other data such as web browsing histories, SMS messages, etc.---e.g., they can tell what you were reading that inspired you to call somebody, and make good guesses as about why.)

As usual, Clapper is trying to distract from what they are doing by denying what they're not doing, but are getting much the same result as, more economically.  He's counting the fact that most people don't realize that metadata is the most revealing data of all, kilobyte for kilobyte.

jlgottfred
jlgottfred

Clapper is the most egregious  prevaricator in Washington....

Wyden asked Clapper March 12 if the NSA collects "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans."

Clapper answered, "No sir," then added, "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly."

freshaire
freshaire

@jlgottfred So Clapper LIED to Congress!!  Why isn't he FIRED??  What kind of role-model is Clapper to children, young adults, to Federal Employees at NSA, CIA, DIA ....?  Do we want an intelligence community of liars?