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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

US intelligence chief insists Le Monde allegations are 'inaccurate and misleading' -- AFP

Cyber-attack threat 'could be worse than September 11' The US intelligence chief said on Tuesday that articles published by the French newspaper Le Monde about America's espionage activities abroad "contain inaccurate and misleading information."
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the specific allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million "recordings of French citizens' telephone data" was false.
"While we are not going to discuss the details of our activities, we have repeatedly made it clear that the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations," Clapper said in a statement.
"The US collects intelligence to protect the nation, its interests, and its allies from, among other things, threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
Citing documents from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, Le Monde reported Monday that the NSA taped 70.3 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between December 10 and January 8, 2013. 

The newspaper said the documents gave grounds to think the NSA targeted not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism, but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.

It followed up on Tuesday by publishing details of US spying on French embassies around the world.
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