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Global reactions to Snowden leaks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

France added its "shock" on Monday to global criticism of an American spy programme following new allegations linked to former US security contractor Edward Snowden.

French daily Le Monde and German weekly Der Spiegel said the US National Security Agency monitored tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican president Felipe Calderon's email account.

The charges follow revelations already leaked by Snowden regarding PRISM, a secret US programme run by the NSA to monitor Internet users via services such as Facebook, Google and Skype.

US President Barack Obama has proposed reforms of US surveillance programmes in the wake of the furore.

Here is a look at reactions by countries involved so far.

- BRAZIL: Brazilian President Dilma Roussef slammed the US after the daily O Globo revealed in September that the NSA had intercepted millions of e-mails and telephone calls in the country, including those of Roussef, her aides and the national oil company Petrobras.

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, Roussef called the programme "an affront to the principles.. that otherwise govern relations between countries."

- BRITAIN: Flaps in Britain involve a June 17 report by The Guardian newspaper that the Government Communications Headquarter's (GCHQ) skirted the law by using PRISM data, and had spied with the US on Russian, South African and Turkish envoys to G20 meetings in London in 2009.

Turkey and Russia both said that would constitute a "scandal," while the South African foreign ministry called for an investigation "with a view to take strong and visible action against any perpetrators."

British officials were then criticised for holding David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, for nine hours at Heathrow Airport on August 18 as he passed through on his way to Rio de Janeiro.

Finally, an outcry erupted on August 20 after the Guardian said it was forced to destroy copies of intelligence files obtained from Snowden.

- CHINA: In late June, the official Xinhua news agency called the US "the biggest (cyber attack) villain in our age" after the Sunday Morning Post reported Snowden leaks which revealed that the NSA was hacking Chinese mobile phone companies.

Snowden also said US spies had hacked the Tsinghua University in Beijing -- home to one of six "network backbones" that route all of mainland China's Internet traffic -- and the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet, which operates one of the Asia-Pacific region's largest fibre-optic networks.

- EUROPE: Criticism came from the Council of Europe, a pan-European rights body separate from the European Union, German human rights official Markus Loening, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, the Russian foreign ministry, and the editors of four Nordic newspapers.

Loening told the daily Berliner Zeitung "the red line was crossed" with Miranda's detention, while Russia spoke of "the perverse practice of double standards applied by London."

On June 30, Spiegel said the US has spied on EU offices in Brussels and on its diplomatic mission in Washington.

- FRANCE: Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Monday he was "deeply shocked" by claims the US has secretly monitored phone calls in France, and that he had asked Washington for clear answers.

The NSA monitored 70.3 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between December 10 and January 8 this year, Le Monde reported in its online version.

- MEXICO: Authorities said they would seek answers from US officials "as soon as possible" following fresh charges published by Der Spiegel that US agents had hacked into the network of former Mexican president Calderon.

"The Mexican government reiterates its categorical condemnation of the violation of privacy of institutional communications and Mexican citizens," Mexico's foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131021/global-reactions-snowden-leaks