- JP Morgan, Four Other Banks Hit by Hackers
- ‘Up to 100′ Russian military vehicles cross into Ukraine
- NATO Not Looking for War With Russia
- NATO Not Obliged to Protect Ukraine, Not Going to Discuss Membership at Upcoming Summit
- IS ‘executes’ 200 captured troops
- Iraqis say Israeli drone crashes near Baghdad airport
- Quakes jolt Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano, spread to second volcano
‘Success Story’: NSA Targeted French Foreign Ministry
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.