NSA spied on 35 world leaders according to leaked document

The document said that the numbers yielded little "reportable intelligence"

The U.S. monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders, according to a National Security Agency document provided by its former contractor, Edward Snowden, according to The Guardian newspaper.

The names of the world leaders is not disclosed in the document of 2006, and access to the 200 phone numbers of the leaders provided "little reportable intelligence," as the phones were apparently not used for sensitive discussions. The numbers, however, provided leads to other phone numbers that were subsequently targeted, according to the document.

The document is likely to add to concerns about NSA surveillance, including its monitoring of phones of political leaders. German officials said this week that U.S. intelligence agencies may have spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. There have also been reports that the U.S. hacked into the email server of Mexico's former president Felipe Calderon while he was in office, and also spied on Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff.

A report in French newspaper Le Monde alleged that the NSA recorded data relating to over 70 million phone calls involving French citizens over a period of 30 days. U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper said the allegation that the NSA had collected recordings of French citizens' telephone data was false.

Alarmed at the developments, some countries are considering measures. Brazil has, for example, proposed in-country data storage requirements under an Internet bill before the country's Parliament.

The phone numbers of leaders were handed over to the NSA as part of a policy encouraging people to provide the direct, residence, mobile phone and fax numbers of foreign political and military leaders.

The note asking for "targetable" phone numbers was addressed to "customer" departments, which the Guardian said includes the White House and the Pentagon.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentprivacyregulationU.S. National Security Agency

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?