France calls emergency meeting over WikiLeaks spying revelations

French President Francois Hollande with US President Barack Obama.

French president Francois Hollande called for an emergency meeting with his defence council on June 24, after WikiLeaks released documents showing the United States has been spying on all France's presidents since 2006.

“The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

According to the documents, Hollande has been a target of the spying program. The program listened to and recorded phone calls made by the president, as well as his ministers and the French ambassador to the US.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has responded to the leaked documents, denying any wrongdoing. NSA spokesperson Ned Price said: “We are not going to comment on specific intelligence allegations.

“As a general matter, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike.”

The revelations come as France has given its domestic intelligence and surveillance services controversial greater powers to combat alleged jihadist networks, with more permissions to bug phones and to carry out mass surveillance on the internet.

It is unknown if the documents published by WikiLeaks were provided by Edward Snowden. According to sources cited by IT industry website The Register, it is believed that another former NSA official, turned whistle-blower, is handing new information to WikiLeaks.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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