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NSA Intercepted French Telephone Calls "On a Massive Scale" 330

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the french-people-don't-deserve-privacy dept.
rtoz writes "The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting French telephone calls 'on a massive scale,' according to a report published in Le Monde. According to Le Monde, the NSA recorded millions of telephone calls placed by French citizens over a 30-day period last year, including some placed by people with no connections to terrorist organizations. France called in the U.S. ambassador to protest the alleged large-scale spying on French citizens by NSA."
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NSA Intercepted French Telephone Calls "On a Massive Scale"

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  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:36AM (#45189155)

    It's impossible to keep an operation that big under wraps. I can't say I have a problem with the US spying on other countries. I do have a major problem with a wasteful, counterproductive grab bag approach that relies on 20ish high school dropouts.

    • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:46AM (#45189315)

      Given how patriotic one of them has been, I'll give three cheers for 20ish high school dropouts.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:38AM (#45189185)

    with no terrorist connections?

    SOME?

    When you intercept millions of phone calls, I'd rather expect that the majority of them are not placed by terrorists, else terrorists have the phone habits of the average western teenager.

  • by Coeurderoy (717228) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:39AM (#45189199)

    Millions of conversations & "some" are not related to terrorists !
    Millions is at least 2 millions or 66 666/day...
    "Some" is at most "half" so there where apparently 33 333 conversations related to terrorist every day ... shudder ....
    So assuming that all these bad guys where plotting like crazy, every day, and always the same, that still means that with 50 conversations per day the NSA should have found out at least 600 "new" terrorist ...
    nb: there are about 60 000 people in jail in France, so at the very least 1% is something like "large" ....

    So Where are they ??? are they hiding under my table ... or in some bush on my way home .... shudder shudder ....

    Or should it read, some conversations where related to terrorism ...

    In practice, when the official communication says: we looked at all these people and some where innocent... I find it much more scary than
    we unfortunately looked at a lot of innocent people but we did find "some" very bad people...

    The fact that the communication days "some where innocent" really gives the impression that they are again trying to bamboozle us ...

    • Re:Scarrrring !!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Immerman (2627577) on Monday October 21, 2013 @12:23PM (#45189787)

      What makes you assume that "some" is "at most half"? Any logician will tell you that "some" only technically means "at least one". The statement "some ravens are black" is absolutely true - I am stating only that that at least one raven is black, and that I am not claiming that non-black ravens don't exist. But by the same logic I can make the equally true statement that "some apples are purple" - I have seen a purple apple, therefore the statement is true.

      As such the claim that "some calls are not related to terrorists" is essentially information-free. It means only that at least one call was not related - which is a given granted that surveillance at this scale can not be 100% accurately targeted. It significantly does not make any claim whatsoever that even one of those monitored calls actually was terrorist-related.

      • You are technicaly right, but if you use logic in order to tell things that are true but do sound very different from what they actually are you are doing weaseling with weasel word.

        As in "our prices are the lowest we ever did* (* on selected products)" sounds cheap but just means that you are offloading some unsaleable junk..
        Or "Blue Sky initiative" sounds ecological, it just means that you called some activity "blue sky initiative"

        Some ... could mean "all of them" but then it would be natural and honest t

  • by schneidafunk (795759) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:43AM (#45189275)

    This article [telegraph.co.uk] articulates many points on France's recent espionage history.

    • Yes, just look at their biggest industrial coup, where France stole the best invention of the human race from another country: So-called "French" fries were actually invented by the Belgians!

      But in the international automobile industry, there used to be an old saying, "The French copy from nobody . . . but nobody copies the French."

  • Uh oh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Daas (620469) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:43AM (#45189287)

    La merde vient de frapper le ventilateur.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:46AM (#45189311)

    I suspect many Americans would be demanding that Versailles get nuked or we name french fries to freedom fries.

  • by DeathToBill (601486) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:51AM (#45189363) Journal

    God knows, if there's anyone I want protecting from it's the French. Sir Humphrey Appleby had it right. They may be our allies now, but for most of the last 1,000 years they've been our enemies. I'd vote for an increase of surveillance on the French.

    And once that's happened, let's start on the Welsh.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:57AM (#45189455)
    So will the french demand the return of the Statue of Liberty that they gifted to the americans?

    Not so much as retribution, simply because it doesn't apply, any more.

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      So will the french demand the return of the Statue of Liberty that they gifted to the americans?

      Hey France: Molon labe.

    • I think this is a brilliant idea. You're right, the Statue of Liberty does not apply any longer. Well, certainly not in America, at least.

      So will the french demand the return of the Statue of Liberty that they gifted to the americans?

      Not so much as retribution, simply because it doesn't apply, any more.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday October 21, 2013 @02:22PM (#45191531) Journal

      So will the french demand the return of the Statue of Liberty that they gifted to the americans?

      The intellectual father of the Statue (Laboulaye) and the designer (Bartholdi) both felt that the United States better embodied the spirit of liberte, egalite, fraternite than Napoleon's empire.

      Which is why the Statue of Liberty was installed in the USA, facing France, as a big middle finger to Napoleon III.
      (Even though Napoleon was long gone by the time the Statue was finished.)

  • People have "known" (ie suspected) for years that the federal government was doing something like this. With all the revelations that have been released recently, why are people so surprised when another comes out? And this may have been started by the previous administration (or the one before that) but the current administration knew about it. I am kinda surprised there has not been a Congressional hearing about this yet.

    • American's "know" a lot of things, but never seem to have the time to take any action to right the wrongs perpetrated on them (and others around the world). Taking no action means agreement. Therefore, why do Americans agree that spending massive amounts of taxpayer monies on illegal spying operations is a Good Thing(tm)? Are you that paranoid and fearful that someone will "get you?" Does this illegal spying help you sleep soundly at night? What? Please explain.
  • by tgd (2822)

    "The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting FREEDOM telephone calls 'on a massive scale,' according to a report published in Le Monde.

  • by RivenAleem (1590553) on Monday October 21, 2013 @12:13PM (#45189653)

    The summary makes no mention of how much all these phone calls weighed.

  • by Captain_Chaos (103843) on Monday October 21, 2013 @01:01PM (#45190349)
    I think every country on Earth can safely assume that the NSA spied on and recorded some large proportion of their telephone calls. It's almost naive to be outraged every time it gets confirmed.
  • by Swave An deBwoner (907414) on Monday October 21, 2013 @01:11PM (#45190501)

    Peter Allen had it right ..

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/how_they_do_it/2006/02/wiretapping_europeanstyle.html [slate.com]

    Reported and discussed several years ago:

    Washington's biggest European critic -- France -- also has a serious wiretapping habit, as Marc Perelman points out in Foreign Policy: "In addition to judicially ordered taps there are also 'administrative wiretaps' decided by security agencies under the control of the government."

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Monday October 21, 2013 @01:43PM (#45191017)

    They were all in French.

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