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Did the NSA Record 70+ Million French Phone Calls in a Month?

10.22.13

There are allegations that the National Security Agency (NSA) “spied on French telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent and gathered data on millions of phone calls” according to French foreign minister Laurent Fabius as reported by Computerworld. On October 21, 2013 French newspaper Le Monde reported that the NSA used DNR (Dial Number Recognition) between December 10, 2012 to January 8, 2013 there were “70,3 million recordings of French citizens’ telephone data were made by the NSA.” Le Monde also stated that text messages (SMS) and metadata were captured:

…when a telephone number is used in France, it activates a signal which automatically triggers the recording of the call. Apparently this surveillance system also picks up SMS messages and their content using key words. Finally, the NSA apparently stores the history of the connections of each target – or the meta-data.

Upon reading the Le Monde article Minister Fabius told “journalists that he immediately summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry.”

Since privacy remains headline news what happens next will be interesting to follow, but there may also be interesting international Internet jurisdiction issues.

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