‘Israel intercepted millions of French calls’

Press TV — Oct 27, 2013

The Elysee Palace, the official residence and office of the French president. Click to enlarge

A leaked US intelligence document has revealed that Israel is behind the hacking of millions of phone calls and messages in France.

According to a report by Le Monde on Friday Israeli agents is behind a cyber attack against the communications networks of the Elysee Palace, intercepting more than 70 million calls and text messages a month.

France had initially accused the US of hacking into former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s communications network during the 2012 presidential election.

Senior French intelligence officials visited the US earlier this year to discuss the attempt to hack into the Elysee communication system.

However, according to a classified documents dated April 2013, which was leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, the agency denied the allegation and reportedly hinted that Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, had been involved in the attack.

The NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) that handles cyber attacks denied the allegations and said the US closest allies — Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand — were also not involved, the document reportedly noted.

After the World War Two, the US signed a “no-spying” deal with Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, known as the “Five Eyes” alliance.

“TAO intentionally did not ask either Mossad or (Israel’s cyber intelligence unit) ISNU whether they were involved as France is not an approved target for joint discussions,” extracts from the document published by Le Monde read.

The report comes amid outrage over claims the US has been monitoring the telephone conversations of 35 world leaders.

“A US official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders… Despite the fact that the majority is probably available via open source, the PCs [intelligence production centers] have noted 43 previously unknown phone numbers. These numbers plus several others have been tasked,” said the classified document provided by Snowden.

Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

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