Besides the Presidency of the Republic, several departments were put under surveillance by the NSA, according to internal documents of the US electronic surveillance agency published by WikiLeaks Tuesday, June 23. The NSA had collected the phone numbers of officials from the Foreign Ministry, advisors of President on international issues (Africa, Europe …). It is however not certain that these figures have been tapped.
Merely identifying these “switches” – term used by the NSA to designate an identifier, either an email address, a phone number, an IP address or other single identifier – allows the agency to find out easily, thanks to its gigantic communications monitoring system, when and with whom they exchange SMS, emails or phone calls, also including agriculture, trade and finance.
These selectors duly identified by the NSA, some of which correspond to telephones surveillance constitute a decisive advantage in trade negotiations. The standard of the Ministry of Agriculture, in particular, on the list – while the United States and France have long clashed on issues of taxes on agricultural products in several rounds of negotiations in the WTO.
Not surprisingly, the trade to the state secretary and the Ministry of Finance are also among the list of the identified numbers. One document also mentions a conversation between Nicolas Sarkozy and the President of Pernod Ricard group. The head of the French state wanted to address the issue during a visit to Washington in 2010. “Patrick Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, is one of rich benefactors Sarkozy” noted the agency.
Getting in trouble by revelations of Edward Snowden, NSA has largely defended its action, for two years, highlighting its role in the fight against terrorism. Forgetting to mention this was a significant part of their activity is to provide the US a deciding advantage in trade negotiations.
On June 8, 2013, shortly after the very first revelations of Edward Snowden, the national director of US intelligence and explained that targeted people outside our borders, cannot target without legally based reasons, such the terrorist threat, computer or nuclear proliferation.