NSA's high-level spy targets


PARIS, France – France "will not tolerate" security threats from alleged US espionage, President Francois Hollande declared Wednesday, June 25, after leaked documents appeared to reveal that the US National Security Agency spied on three French leaders including himself.

Here is a recap of controversies that have sprung from previous leaks about NSA activities targeting foreign leaders in Europe and North and Latin America.

June 17, 2013: Britain's Guardian newspaper, citing NSA documents provided by former analyst Edward Snowden, says the agency intercepted top-secret communications by Russia's then-president Dmitry Medvedev while he was in London for a G20 summit in 2009.

Snowden's documents also reveal that British eavesdropping agency GCHQ used that summit, and another the same year, to spy on foreign delegates.

June 30, 2013: A report by the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, again based on Snowden's documents, says the NSA spied on European Union diplomatic offices in Washington.

The report cites a "strictly confidential" document dated September 2010 that described how microphones were installed in the building and its computer network was infiltrated, giving the NSA access to emails and internal documents.

October 23, 2013: A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the government has received information that US intelligence is spying on her mobile phone communications.

"Spying between friends, that's just not done," Merkel adds the next day.

On March 29, 2014, Der Spiegel says the NSA's eavesdropping programmes amassed more than 300 reports on Merkel.

She was on a list of some 122 heads of state and government about whom the NSA gathered intelligence in May 2009, the magazine said.

June 24, 2015: Documents published online by WikiLeaks and by the French website Mediapart and Liberation newspaper show that the US wiretapped Francois Hollande, along with his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac, between 2006 and 2012.

The documents, classified as "Top Secret", comprise five NSA reports based on wire tapping.

Leaked NSA documents also suggest the US spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto along with his predecessors Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox, and cardinals at the Vatican ahead of the election of Pope Francis. – Rappler.com