New revelations about U.S. spies reading the e-mails of Mexico's president and eavesdropping on millions of private phone calls in France have proven to be an embarrassment for the Obama administration. But experts aren't surprised by the news, revealed in documents leaked by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.
France summoned the U.S. ambassador to express its outrage over the incident, which was revealed Monday in LeMonde. French Prime Minister Ayrault said: "It's incredible that an allied country like the United States at this point goes as far as spying on private communications that have no strategic justification, no justification on the basis of national defense."
Yet the outrage may be more for domestic consumption. Le Monde reported in July that the French government was storing personal data of its citizens on a supercomputer at the headquarters of the French intelligence service.
"There's absolutely nothing shocking here at all," said John Schindler, professor at the U.S. Navy War College and, like Snowden, a former National Security Agency analyst. "This is what intelligence services are supposed to be doing. The French do the exact same thing. Everyone does this. The NSA is just better at it than many other countries."