It turns out Angela Merkel wasn’t the only state figure from an American ally whose phone calls were being monitored by the NSA. Today, WikiLeaks dropped another bombshell collection of secret government documents, “Espionnage Élysée,” detailing the extent to which the NSA has spied on French officials over the past several administrations.
The files detail the French government officials that were targets of espionage, which include French Presidents Francois Hollande (2012–present), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012), and Jacques Chirac (1995–2007). The files also list partial phone numbers and additional identifying information for several other French officials. Notable with this leak is WikiLeaks’ claim that the documents also include “intelligence summaries” of the monitored conversations.
A major scandal broke out in Germany in October of 2013 when it was revealed that the NSA had been monitoring European leaders from a spying hub in the United States German Embassy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was so angered that she denounced the actions and called on the EU to reconsider its intelligence sharing cooperation with the United States.
While the data regarding Merkel emerged from the files leaked by Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks did not identify the source of these documents specifically.
In a statement, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said:
“The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally. We are proud of our work with leading French publishers Liberation and Mediapart to bring this story to light. French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future.”