'Success Story': NSA Targeted French Foreign Ministry

French Foreign minister Laurent Fabius in Paris this month. Zoom
AFP

French Foreign minister Laurent Fabius in Paris this month.

Espionage by the US on France has already strained relations between the two countries, threatening a trans-Atlantic trade agreement. Now a document seen by SPIEGEL reveals that the NSA also spied on the French Foreign Ministry.

America's National Security Agency (NSA) targeted France's Foreign Ministry for surveillance, according to an internal document seen by SPIEGEL.

Dated June 2010, the "top secret" NSA document reveals that the intelligence agency was particularly interested in the diplomats' computer network. All of the country's embassies and consulates are connected with the Paris headquarters via a virtual private network (VPN), technology that is generally considered to be secure.

Accessing the Foreign Ministry's network was considered a "success story," and there were a number of incidents of "sensitive access," the document states.

An overview lists different web addresses tapped into by the NSA, among them "diplomatie.gouv.fr," which was run from the Foreign Ministry's server. A list from September 2010 says that French diplomatic offices in Washington and at the United Nations in New York were also targeted, and given the codenames "Wabash" and "Blackfoot," respectively. NSA technicians installed bugs in both locations and conducted a "collection of computer screens" at the one at the UN.

A priority list also names France as an official target for the intelligence agency. In particular, the NSA was interested in the country's foreign policy objectives, especially the weapons trade, and economic stability.

US-French relations are being strained by such espionage activities. In early July, French President François Hollande threatened to suspend negotiations for a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement, demanding a guarantee from the US that it would cease spying after it was revealed that the French embassy in Washington had been targeted by the NSA.

"There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union, for all partners of the United States," he said at the time.

The NSA declined to comment to SPIEGEL on the matter. As details about the scope of the agency's international spying operations continue to emerge, Washington has come under increasing pressure from its trans-Atlantic partners. Officials in Europe have expressed concern that negotiations for the trade agreement would be poisoned by a lack of trust.

SPIEGEL/kla

Article...
  • For reasons of data protection and privacy, your IP address will only be stored if you are a registered user of Facebook and you are currently logged in to the service. For more detailed information, please click on the "i" symbol.
  • Post to other social networks

Comments
Discuss this issue with other readers!
3 total posts
Show all comments
    Page 1    
1. That's What Spies Are For
potkas7 09/01/2013
If the NSA wasn't monitoring all foreign Embassies and Trade Missions, they wouldn't be doing their job now would they? This isn't the movies, this is real life. That's what spies are for.
2. In God we trust, everyone else we monitor
Alan Keys 09/02/2013
The claims are that spies are used to protect us against terrorists and rogue states. I suppose the US sees the whole world as a rogue state, particulary those "cheese eating surrender monkeys".
3. US & the French
kukaramanga 09/04/2013
And the French retaliate by volunteering to go along in the bombing of Syria. But then again, we French are swine and have always been.
Show all comments
    Page 1    
Keep track of the news

Stay informed with our free news services:

All news from SPIEGEL International
Twitter | RSS
All news from World section
RSS

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2013
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH





European Partners
Presseurop

Politiken

Corriere della Sera

Concordia Casts Off

Concordia Leaves Giglio


Facebook
Twitter