New documents from the National Security Agency outline how the agency was spying on the most profitable companies in France for “economic intelligence” purposes.
The documents were shared with French outlets Libération and Mediapart, via WikiLeaks. The NSA was interested in companies that signed high-priced export contracts for industrial goods. France’s security agency Anssi said the agency may have spied on hundreds of companies.
“According to an economic espionage order, the NSA intercepted all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million in many different industries, such as telecommunications, electrical generation, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy, and environmental and healthcare technologies.
A second economic espionage order called “France: Economic Developments” shows that information was then shared with other U.S. agencies and secretaries, including the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Commerce, the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of Treasury. Eventually, this data could have been used to help sign export deals.”
The latest document dump comes one week after WikiLeaks released documents proving that the NSA spied on France’s most recent presidents, including Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.
Hollande said the spying was “unacceptable”. RT reported that the French justice minister said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could be offered symbolic asylum in the country.
Following the recent leaks, officials with the U.S. and Europe announced an investigation into the existence of second NSA whistleblower.
“The U.S. and European sources cautioned that they did not know for sure that Assange (Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks) had developed a source other than Snowden inside U.S. intelligence. Assange has been in contact with associates of Snowden and helped arrange for him to flee from Hong Kong to Russia, where he was later granted asylum.”
The existence of a second whistleblower was first noticed in late July 2014 as a 166-page document related to terrorism watch lists was released through The Intercept. TruthInMedia reported on the second whistleblower in October 2014:
The document could not have come from whistleblower Edward Snowden, as it is dated August 2013, after Snowden left for Russia. At the time The Intercept only referred to the whistleblower as “a source in the intelligence community”.
The documentary Citizenfour also confirms the existence of the latest whistleblower. The film details the story of whistleblower Edward Snowden and his efforts to contact Laura Poitras. In the film journalist Glenn Greenwald tells Snowden about the second source.”
Whether a second whislteblower exists or may have already been arrested by the authorities remains to be seen. Americans concerned with the loss of privacy and growing surveillance state should remain vocal supporters of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers that put their lives on the line in an attempt to reduce government tyranny.