“James Clapper: Reports US tapped French phones ‘false'” BBC


"US intelligence chief James Clapper has denied reports that US spies recorded data from 70 million phone calls in France in a single 30-day period.
The director of national intelligence said the report in Le Monde newspaper contained "misleading information".
In a separate story, the newspaper said the US bugged French diplomats and used the information to sway a key UN vote.
Both reports were based on leaks from fugitive ex-US intelligence worker Edward Snowden.
"Recent articles published in the French newspaper Le Monde contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding US foreign intelligence activities," Mr Clapper said in a statement released on Tuesday."  BBC


Really?  Clapper's problem at this point is that there is no reason for anyone to believe anything he says.  pl






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26 Responses to “James Clapper: Reports US tapped French phones ‘false'” BBC

  1. JohnH says:

    Clapper is such a pathetic liar, that it looks like the NSA is going to have to hire a professional PR firm to help them craft responses to the leaks. Until now, they have been able to operate in the shadows and haven’t faced serious scrutiny, so they are not used to responding to it.
    The downside is that they will only become become more deceptive.

  2. confusedponderer says:

    Of course the statement “US spies recorded data from 70 million phone calls in France in a single 30-day period” is utterly false! Quite clearly, such misleading information only means to smear the good name and reputation of the US.
    My secret source at the DNI tells me that Le Monde owes the US and the NSA an apology, since corrected for the misleading parts, the statement would read “US spies recorded data from 69,7 million phone calls in France in a single 30-day period”. Le Monde was deliberately misleading by rounding – in doing so suggesting a larger!
    He then went on that the French deception didn’t stop there! The data in question was not recorded by US spies, since the NSA had outsourced the operation to civilian contractor – which means not only that the operation isn’t subject to congressional oversight (bussiness secretss!) but also not government on government spying! The NSA only bought the stuff!
    The only explanation he had for Le Monde’s reporting was that, obviously, the French Anti-Americanism was at it again.

  3. Should or should not the US collect INTEL from allied or friendly governments?
    Should all nation-states just assume all other Nation-States are collecting INTEL against it to the extent they can do so?

  4. par4 says:

    Maybe it was 70 million in a week.

  5. Bobo says:

    Something is wrong here. How can a government record 1,600 phone calls per minute in one country and they cannot get a website to work properly to cover healthcare. I think I know where Clapper is going next….

  6. Jose says:

    Blame it on the Republicans plus they got Merkel too..lol

  7. Eadwacer says:

    Clapper has no reason to lie to us, we’re not Congress.

  8. seydlitz89 says:

    Col. Lang-
    Nice post sir. Bobo’s comment reminds me of the old joke about the German Democratic Republic . . . which seemingly indicates the way we are going . . . the joke went: it might take ten years to get a telephone in the GDR, but it only takes a minute to change a burned-out light bulb along the Berlin Wall.
    It’s all comes down to priorities . . .

  9. toto says:

    …Testifying to Congress that heathcare.gov is a roaring success?

  10. Any opinions on the claims of surveillance by US on Chancellor Merkel?

  11. confusedponderer says:

    Of course they should expect that, but the point remains that such an intrusion is nevertheless a violation of national sovereignty, and the outrage about such a foreign intrusion into ones citizens privacy is absolutely understandeable, and I say warranted.
    One can expect the targets of US surveillance to know about being spied on. The extent may surprise them.
    The really interesting thing is the extent to which such spying can be prevented and how citizen privacy is protected against it and how to protect business and government secrets from it. Considering the resources the US has put into spying, is it practical?
    One would be a bloody naif to assume that the US is not giving economically and technologically interesting data that the NSA, or other services, get their hands on to US companies to give them a competitive edge.
    It is known that some years ago US services relayed intercepted pricing information in an Airbus deal with iirc the Saudis to Boeing which then underbid Airbus and secured the deal.
    I read that since that became known Airbus started using couriers.
    The episode also shows that the US services make no distinction between political, military or economic information and target everything.
    I remember a dressing down I got in the army when we laid phonelines in a provisional headquarters along the piping in the building. It was explained to us that that was insecure because induction would allow to intercept the calls by connecting to the piping. I’d have loved to see a demonstration.
    Now, in the digital age there are a myriad more ways to get into communication.
    I read somewhere that the Russians are again transporting really secret information by courier again and type them on mechanical typewriters because more technical means are too easily compromised in light of US or Western capabilities.

  12. linda says:

    looks like there’s an effort underway to improve clapper’s reputation… david ignatius has an extremely flattering portrait of him based on a book coming out.. all the ‘improvements’ he made among the assorted intelligence agencies; reducing duplicated programs/efforts.. etc. i don’t believe there was any reference to the lies he told during his congressional testimony.

  13. turcopolier says:

    linda et al
    Ignatius is writing a book about Clapper? Clapper is one of the dullest, most boring people in DC. Ah well… Ignatius lives by the information generosity of the intelligence agencies. David usually feeds at the CIA’s teat but Clapper is now the head spook. This should be expected. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    CP and WRC
    It is the business of NSA/GCHQ and the service cryptologic agencies to collect communications. The French and German equivalents do exactly the same thing. They just don’t do it as well. If you think that the French and German embassies in DC do not have SIGINT collection going on in some secure space then you are naive. pl

  15. Ulenspiegel says:

    “Should or should not the US collect INTEL from allied or friendly governments?”
    Only with hard data the NSA is able to deceide wether a government is allied or friendly. 🙂

  16. JohnH says:

    Something is wrong here. How can the government record so many phone calls and never find any drug kingpins to convict?

  17. F5F5F5 says:

    Wiretapping and snooping on a grand scale has already been taking place for yonks with Echelon. Europeans know it very well, since NSA has had big ears stationed in the UK since the 1950s.
    European leaders and major business people should know by now their mobile phones and email are as safe as shouting to each other across an airport hall.
    And everybody does it, or tries. It’s become an unspoken standard in competition. It’s fair game within the confines of mutual deniability.
    AQ leaders, mafia bosses, the street dealer round the corner, and anybody with a reason to be paranoid knows this too.
    This is selective and targeted wiretapping. It serves a direct and – mostly – legitimate purpose.
    But NSA is recording all data from everyone, and is keeping it.
    Personally I don’t give a flying fiddle, being a law abiding citizen and all that. And good luck to anybody reading through my history, as they would be bored out of their pickle.
    The concern is the apparent lack of oversight and safety. The guys with access to this data are mostly civilians in private companies, like Snowden himself.
    Just imagine this all this data sold or stolen.
    Any goody two shoes could be sorry for it.
    The right information in the wrong hands could have you thrown to the dogs.

  18. Thanks PL and CP!
    In many exercises in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s some highly classified I suggested as a player that bicycle couriers should be utilized and were they available? I was laughed at!

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Mais, mon colonel, tout le monde sait que la France l’a fait au nom de l’humanitĂ©.

  20. turcopolier says:

    Mais, certainement. pl

  21. Basilisk says:

    He’s really just referring to Michael Allen’s “Blinking Red.” Like “connecting dots,” “blinking red” is terminology used by people who just don’t get it.
    I expect this will be another interesting view of the work inside, characterized by those who are actually straphangers.

  22. Walrus says:

    Yes, cosi fan tutti – everybody does it. However what has been revealed is that NSA have made a quantum jump in capability. It is understood and accepted that the CEO of Airbus, etc. will be targeted, what is unacceptable is that John Doe is targeted IN CASE that one day he becomes a ” person of interest” like the aforesaid CEO.
    To put that another way, would the rebellion have come earlier if each American colonial had their own personal redcoat tailing them and recording their every transaction?

  23. kodlu says:

    of course there is hypocrisy on all sides. the french have the second largest Sigint network–after UKUSA five–in the world with listening stations in the pacific (new caledonia) latin america (french Guyana), africa (can’t remember exact location) as well as in france itself.

  24. confusedponderer says:

    I presume the founding fathers would have found strong words for that.
    You’re right to point out that they are indeed targeting John Doe is IN CASE that one day he becomes a ” person of interest”.
    Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson used pseudonyms when they wrote the Federalist Papers, to keep an overbearing government off their back.
    Had they published it on the internet, today’s Redcoats could find Junius, that unidentified but highly influential subversive pamphleteer and have him arested.
    A must read here: Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere
    Another interesting piece:
    Pervasive NSA surveillance + civil forfeiture = U.S.-flavored totalitarianism?

  25. Thanks Ulenspiegel!
    I agree with you! Unofficial relationships often far different than formal Treaty relationships.
    I would argue that relationships with China are so dominated by the almost total penetration by China of USA business, economics, STEM disciplines and technology and cultural and political elites of the USA that they are more allies than enemies.

  26. confusedponderer says:

    Hurried typing again – it should read:
    “Had they published it on the internet …
    Today’s Redcoats could find Junius, that unidentified but highly influential subversive pamphleteer and have him arrested.”

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