There's been another leak of top secret documents by the activist website WikiLeaks, and this one could cause some embarrassment for the U.S. government. The leaks indicate that the U.S. spy agency, The NSA, listened in on the phone calls of at least three French presidents.
I bet this is happening all the time, but when evidence leaks out, it causes a huge international incident. How would you feel if you found out that foreign powers have been spying on the secret conversations of our top leader? That seems to be what happened in France, according to the latest files exposed on WikiLeaks. The site displayed NSA files that show the United States government has spied on the French for the last three administrations.
These files, called Espionnage Élysée, clearly show that the U.S. security agency had listened to phone calls made by the French presidents since 1995. The illumination of these phone taps angered the current French president, Francois Hollande. He issued a statement earlier this week, declaring “France will not tolerate actions that threaten its security and the protection of its interests.”
This type of government spying goes on all the time, but there was a special vow made between the two allies that forbade the U.S. from spying on other allied leaders. President Obama reassured the French government that the NSA did not violate that vow. But France isn't buying it.
This issue was the topic of a phone call made between President Obama and French President Hollande. Hollande's office released a statement after the conversation, saying, "President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment ... to end the practices that may have happened in the past and that are considered unacceptable among allies."
A top French intelligence officer is scheduled to visit the United States in the near future to discuss how the allies can move forward from here on out. The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, publicly announced that he wants to develop a specific "code of conduct" to determine how virtual intelligence gathering will be completed in the future.
I think a code of conduct would be a great thing to establish in a time where everything is run electronically. But what do you think? Should we be able to spy on who we want, whenever we want? Or should there be a clear set of rules for all government agencies around the world to follow? Let me know what you think by leaving me a note in the comments section below.