France summons U.S. ambassador after report says NSA swept up 70.3M French phone records in a month

PARIS The U.S. National Security Agency swept up 70.3 million French telephone records in a 30-day period, according to a newspaper report that offered new details of the massive scope of a surveillance operation that has angered some of the country's closest allies. The French government on Monday summoned the U.S. ambassador for an explanation.

The report in Le Monde, co-written by Glenn Greenwald who originally revealed the NSA surveillance program, found that when certain numbers were used, the conversations were automatically recorded. The surveillance operation also swept up text messages based on key words, Le Monde reported, based on records from Dec. 10 to Jan 7.

The Le Monde reporting emerged as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris for diplomatic talks Monday about a peace process for Israel and Palestinian authorities.

"This sort of practice between partners that invades privacy is totally unacceptable and we have to make sure, very quickly, that this no longer happens," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said during a meeting in Luxembourg with his European counterparts. Fabius said the U.S. ambassador had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry.

CBS Radio News correspondent Elaine Cobbe reported that France has asked Ambassador Charles Rivkin for assurances that the activity has stopped. Kerry was to meet Fabius on Tuesday morning in Paris. The meeting was expected to focus on the ongoing crisis in Syria, but French officials have confirmed the NSA spying will now be on the agenda, too.

Rivkin said later Monday he assured the French diplomatic talks over the issue will continue.

Spying among allied countries is common, but the scope of the NSA surveillance, as revealed by leaker Edward Snowden, was larger than expected.

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