WikiLeaks: US ‘spied on French presidents’

French President Hollande attends a news conference following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris
The current president of France Francois Hollande

WikiLeaks has published documents it says show the US National Security Agency spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12.

The release caused an uproar among French politicians, although it did not reveal any huge surprises or secrets.

WikiLeaks in it’s revelations cites top secret intelligence reports and technical documents from the NSA.

The US would not confirm the veracity of the documents, while Mr Hollande called a defence council meeting on the issue for Wednesday, an aide said.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy


France is on the verge of approving broad new surveillance powers, and is among several US allies that rely heavily on American spying powers when trying to prevent terrorist and other threats.

There was no instant confirmation of the accuracy of the documents released in collaboration with French daily newspaper Liberation and investigative website Mediapart, but WikiLeaks has a track record of publishing intelligence and diplomatic material.

It appeared serious enough to prompt an emergency meeting of President Francois Hollande’s defence council, according to presidential aides.

The council, convening this morning, includes senior French security officials.

Former president Jacques Chirac


WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said he was confident the documents were authentic, noting that WikiLeaks’ previous mass disclosures – including a large cache of Saudi diplomatic memos released last week – have proven to be accurate.

This is not the first time that allegations like this are been revealed. In 2013 the NSA was accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

WikiLeaks published information that arose from documents that were availed by Edward Snowden alleging that the US had spied on Chancellor Merkel.

Snowden an American computer professional was a former CIA employee, and government contractor .

The information revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments.

When the allegations were made the White House made no outright denial, but said Mrs Merkel’s phone was not being bugged currently and would not be in future.

The alleged spying shocked public opinion in Germany, with Mrs Merkel saying that “spying between friends just isn’t on”.