A report published on Monday by the French daily newspaper Le Monde revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency extensively monitored the telephone records of millions of French citizens. Damien Leloup, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of LeMonde.fr, joined HuffPost Live’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss the revelations.
According to Le Monde, the interception of telephone communications occurred between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the surveillance program “totally unacceptable.”
As CNN reported, Fabius said, “We must quickly assure that these practices aren’t repeated.”
In response to whether Fabius' statements would result in immediate policy changes, Leloup commented, “[I’m] not so optimistic. It’s obvious that France alone won’t be able to do much -- even if there was political will to do so -- without [the help of] the other European countries. It’s a much bigger discussion to have.”
Yet when it comes to France's own surveillance programs, Leloup believes that the Le Monde report will serve as a catalyst for reform.
“You can’t profess something for other countries and not check what you’re doing in your own country,” he said. "It would be pretty hard for the current government to protest strongly against the NSA’s surveillance operation without doing a better job with checking balances regarding our own programs,” he continued.
According to Leloup, Le Monde is still working on covering France’s domestic programs and has plans to release new reports in the coming days.
Learn more by watching the full interview above.