05:23 GMT +316 October 2019
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    France Says 'No' to Spying - NSA Does It Anyway

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    Non! French President Francois Hollande has called a defense council meeting following revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) wire-tapped his conversations despite promising not to.

    In 2013, the US agreed not to spy on the French president. However, documents released by WikiLeaks detail conversations held by the country's current leader, Francois Hollande and his two predecessors, who were all wire-tapped by the NSA.

    Referring to the promises made by the US in 2013, the Elysee Palace said in a statement:

    "Commitments were made by the US authorities. They must be remembered and strictly respected."

    NSA Communications — Carte Blanche

    But despite the "commitments" made by the US not to spy on the French, the top-secret documents released by WikiLeaks suggest that the US government gave the NSA carte blanche to intercept the French communications data anyway.

    Meanwhile, Francois Hollande's German counterpart Angela Merkel remains embroiled in a controversy over how complicit the German government was in allowing the NSA to spy on its citizens.

    Following the revelations in June 2013 that the NSA had spied on German citizens, former chief of the chancellery Ronald Pofalla told the German public that the US had offered Germany an anti-espionage deal.

    However, according to documents obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German government exaggerated the 'no-spy' deal to the public without receiving a clear promise from US President Barack Obama's administration that the US was willing to enter such an agreement.

    Obama had only promised to look at the possibility of not spying on Germany and Angela Merkel is facing criticism for allowing the German intelligence agency, the BND, to assist the NSA in spying on European firms and officials. 

    Paris has summoned the US Ambassador over NSA revelations that the French President and his predecessors were spied upon. An aide to Hollande said the defense council meeting is to "evaluate the nature of the information published by the press on Tuesday evening and to draw useful conclusions."

    As for the information published in the press — perhaps most timely of all is the revelation that Hollande gave the approval for secret meetings with German opposition parties to be held behind Merkel's back and to discuss the potential fallout of a Greek exit from the Eurozone, as early as 2012.

    Related:

    France Vows to Retaliate Following Revelations That NSA Spied on Hollande
    NSA, GCHQ Excesses Stem From Their Role as Secret Guardians and Protectors
    German-US Spy Scandal Spreading Like Wildfire Across Europe
    Tags:
    France, NSA Surveillance, Eurozone, snooping, Grexit, Greek economy, EU membership, classified documents, leaked documents, intelligence, defense, NSA spying, surveillance, Elysee palace, German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), National Security Agency (NSA), Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Germany, Europe
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