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France summons U.S. ambassador over NSA spying report

Published: Updated:

France’s foreign minister Monday announced the summoning of the U.S. ambassador over a report that the U.S. National Security Agency had eavesdropped on millions of calls made by French citizens.

Paris-based newspaper Le Monde says that documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden showed that over 70 million French phone records were looked at in a 30-day period.

Le Monde’s article, co-written by Glenn Greenwald who originally revealed the NSA surveillance program, stated that conversations were automatically recorded when certain numbers were used.

As EU foreign ministers arrived for a meeting, French FM Laurent Fabius told reporters that a meeting would take place “this morning” and that he “immediately summoned the U.S. ambassador” following the publication of the report.

The report states that the U.S. surveillance operation also accessed text messages based on key words, Agence France-Presse quoted Le Monde as saying.

Fabius emphasized that he would demand an explanation for the “totally unacceptable” practice, reported the Associated Press.

Similar surveillance programs have previously been revealed in Britain and Germany.

(With AFP and the Associated Press)