NSA spied on French Diplomats


French news organization Le Monde obtained internal memos from the US National Security Agency (NSA) detailing a program known as “Genie” costing the US Taxpayer $652 Million US Dollars.

A document dated August 2010 suggests intelligence stolen from foreign embassy computers ensured the US knew ahead of time the positions of other Security Council members, before a UN vote for a resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran.

The US was worried the French were drifting to the Brazilian side – who were opposed to implementing sanctions – when in truth they were always aligned to the US position, says our correspondent.

The intelligence agency quotes Susan Rice, then-US ambassador to the UN, who praises the work done by the NSA: “It helped me know… the truth, and reveal other [countries’] positions on sanctions, allowing us to keep one step ahead in the negotiations.”

On Monday, Le Monde alleged that the NSA spied on 70.3 million phone calls in France between 10 December 2012 and 8 January 2013.  Link to BBC article

This comes just after revelations that the NSA had been listening to French phone calls ‘on a massive scale‘:

The French government summoned the US ambassador in Paris on Monday to demand an urgent explanation over claims that the National Security Agency had engaged in widespread phone and internet surveillance of French citizens.

The French daily Le Monde published details from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden suggesting the US agency had been intercepting French phone traffic on what it termed “a massive scale”.

US administration officials, particularly Susan Rice, don’t seem to be at all embarrassed about the situation.  But considering the NSA wants to ‘ramp up’ it’s monitoring of Wall Street in order to ‘protect it,’ it makes one wonder what the reaction of global business and the people will be.

Drawing an analogy to how the military detects an incoming missile with radar and other sensors, Alexander imagined the NSA being able to spot “a cyberpacket that’s about to destroy Wall Street.” In an ideal world, he said, the agency would be getting real-time information from the banks themselves, as well as from the NSA’s traditional channels of intelligence, and have the power to take action before a cyberattack caused major damage.

If the NSA is monitoring France, Brazil, Mexico, China, and other countries governments, citizens, and businesses; one can reasonably suspect that any network has the potential to be compromised.

Further Reading

Chinese technology company Huawei