The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on the last three presidents of France from 2006 until 2012, according to newly released documents from the WikiLeaks whistleblower website.
The NSA wiretapped former French presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy as well the current leader Francois Hollande, WikiLeaks said in a press statement published on Tuesday, citing top secret intelligence reports and technical documents.
WikiLeaks said NSA surveillance targeted the communications of Hollande (2012—present), Sarkozy (2007—2012) and Chirac (1995—2007), as well as French cabinet ministers and the French ambassador to the US.
Hollande reacted to the news by calling an urgent defense council meeting to be held on Wednesday.
The revelations were first reported in the French news organizations of Liberation and Mediapart, which said the NSA spied on the presidents from at least 2006, when George W. Bush served as US president.
“The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in the statement, adding that more “important revelations” would soon follow.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of the agency’s spying activities in June 2013.